Zhun Xu

Zhun Xu
City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice | John Jay CUNY

PhD

About

26
Publications
6,869
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158
Citations
Introduction
My main research interests include political economy, social development and Chinese economy. My previous research provides strong critique on the mainstream research on decollectivization in China. I am working on three projects right now: 1. The political economy of health and stature 2. Economic surplus and secular stagnation 3. Class/gender in Chinese time use
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - May 2015
Renmin University of China
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
Decollectivization of China’s rural economy in the early 1980s was one of the most significant aspects of the country’s transition to a capitalist economy. Deng Xiaoping praised it as an “innovation,” and its significance to the overall capitalist-oriented “reform” process surely cannot be overstated. The Chinese government has repeatedly referred...
Article
Objectives: To explore the changing pattern of nutrition intake by social class in contemporary China. Methods: We defined social class in 2 ways. The first definition was based on employment, and the second definition was based on per capita household income levels. We used China Health and Nutrition Survey data from 1991 to 2011 to show the ch...
Article
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This article follows the Marxian tradition to study the utilization of economic surplus since the 19th century. We define and measure economic surplus mainly based on the capital share of GDP and top income share. Then we construct the Baran ratio, defined as the ratio of gross capital formation to a nation's economic surplus. Our results suggest t...
Article
In 1990, when renowned Indian Marxian economist Prabhat Patnaik asked "Whatever Happened to Imperialism?," once vibrant and influential schools of theories on imperialism were at a postwar historic low. When he left the West to return to India in 1974, imperialism was at the center of all Marxist discussions. But when, he came back to the West mere...
Article
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This paper studies the historical evolution of China’s gender relations through the lens of housework time allocation. In particular, we highlight the role played by social class and income. Drawing upon data from the Chinese Health and Nutrition Survey, we find that during the period 1991–2011, being a peasant or earning less than the spouse was i...
Chapter
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We argue that the baseless sanctions are imperialist responses to the crises of global capitalism of which China has been an integral part. However, such actions only hurt the working people in both US and China, and will tend to destabilize global capitalism even more. The next section briefly reviews the history of the US-China relationship after...
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This paper proposes a Marxian framework to help understand the causes of diverging paths of transition among (former) socialist economies. The framework focuses on the differences in working-class composition and in particular the size of the potential reserve army in these economies. An examination of the historical process of market reforms in th...
Chapter
Our analysis shows that in the near future, the Chinese workers and their struggles will become more militant and political, given the global and domestic economic slowdown and increased economic uncertainty. However, two major challenges remain. First, capital is more mobile than labor and this can put a brake on labor struggles. As higher labor m...
Chapter
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Economic growth as well as the struggles for decent work had their origins in the emergence of capitalism. Capitalism, with its logic of competition and accumulation, is an inherently growth-oriented system. And the transition from feudalism to capitalism generated the modern issue of unemployment and labor-capital conflicts. Both the question of e...
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China's environment suffers from severe overuse of agriculture chemical in recent decades. A popular opinion among policymakers and researchers is that land consolidation and larger farms will be instrumental in bringing down the consumption of fertilizer and improve the environment. By examining the relationship between farm size, capitalist produ...
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A key feature of the contemporary global economy is the unevenness of food production and trade. The problem of food dependency and the system's lack of capacity to accommodate global demand continues to haunt the global food trade and capitalism in general. We show that the global food trade emerged as a solution to the problem of food in capitali...
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With the slowdown of capital accumulation in the past few years in China, accompanied labor struggles begin to move geographically and experience transformation in their forms. Based on detailed empirical analysis, we highlight a discernible spatial shift of labor conflicts from the coastal regions to the inner regions. Meanwhile, repression of lab...
Article
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We measure the size of informal employment using both labor market as well as energy consumption approaches. We find that the share of informal employment in total employment was increasingly most of the time between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, and started steadily decreasing after that until now. This has two contradicting implications for the Ch...
Article
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Scholars have different views on the nature and pace of capitalist transformation of the Chinese agriculture. In this paper, we have, for the first time, estimated the approximate size of agricultural proletariat in China as well as the prevalence of wage labor in agricultural work. We argue that by comparing with typical capitalist agricultures in...
Article
China has seen persistent regional inequality in agricultural productivity since it dismantled its rural collectives in the early 1980s. This paper evaluates the effects of collective legacies on the agricultural performance after decollectivization. We construct a Collective Legacy Index (CLI) based on the achievements in the areas of rural infras...
Article
Despite China's rapid growth in the past decade, Chinese rural residents suffer from a continuing decline of both calorie and protein intakes. We investigate the dramatic historical changes in nutritional intake in the Chinese countryside. There are two main explanations for the decline: first, the changing demographic and economic structure contri...
Article
The literature on Chinese rural collectives offers different views on the causes of their demise in the early 1980s. Some argue it was a result of egalitarianism and inefficiency, while others emphasize the coercive nature of the decollectivization campaign. Using Songzi County as a case study, this article reviews both the achievements and the pro...
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The transition to adulthood has become an increasingly telescoped process for Americans with marital formation occurring increasingly later in the life course. It is therefore striking to find a context like the U.S. military where marriage rates bear an anachronistic resemblance to those of the 1950s era. Using narrative data from life history int...
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This paper examines the labor compensations of the Chinese industrial sector for the period 2005-2010. We find that both the state owned enterprises and the non-domestic enterprises pay more than the living wage. But the domestic private enterprises pay substantially less than the living wage. We also find that all types of Chinese industrial enter...
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We conduct a comparative analysis of breastfeeding behavior between military and civilian-affiliated mothers. Our focus is on African American mothers among whom breastfeeding rates are lowest. The military context may mitigate conditions associated with low breastfeeding prevalence by (a) providing stable employment and educational opportunities t...
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Research has been unable to determine why African Americans have higher infant mortality and preterm birth prevalence than whites, even taking into account measurable social and economic differences. This is, in part, due to the difficulty of adequately measuring the impacts of racial inequality and residential segregation. As an alternative approa...
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China’s official statistics showed that the country’s grain production declined from 512 to 431 million tons between 1998 and 2003. However, according to the Chinese government, since 2004 it has achieved “ten years of consecutive growth” in grain production. According to the official statistics, China’s grain production reached 602 million tons in...
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China's changing agrarian relations have always been an integral part of the world-historical process. The struggles among different solutions to the agrarian question and the class struggle behind them have constituted the engine of social dynamics in China. In the Maoist era, the struggle was primarily between the pro-collective faction (socialis...

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