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Historical Contingency and Commercialisation in Xishuangbanna, China

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This paper examines the driving forces of recent economic change in Xishuangbanna, a relatively developed ethnic minority prefecture in South West China. Its above-average achievement in economic growth draws greatly on commercial farming, tourism and border trade. Certain events in recent local history are shown to have had important effects on the sectoral concentration of economic activities, the level of economic attainment, and the form and outcomes of institutional change in the era of market reform from 1978. The findings indicate aspects of path dependency in economic change, and illustrate difficulties and challenges faced by China's ethnic minority areas in overcoming economic backwardness.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9663.00041

Affiliations: Social Science Division, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong.

Publication date: November 1, 1998

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