Led by CHEN Zhiwu, a tenured professor at Yale University, the Quantitative Historical Research Project is dedicated to innovatively applying and promoting modern social science research paradigms in historical research. The project emphasizes the usage of quantitative methodologies as well as fundamental theories and cutting-edging topics in interdisciplinary research to bridge past and present, China and the world. Its research intersects economic, social, and cultural analyses to interpret and better understand the interplay between earlier periods in Chinese history and a modern-day changing China. Ultimately, the project aspires to build a global, state-of-the-art, quantitative historical research platform.
The principal activities of the project in 2017 were: 1) conducting the fifth year of its eight-day long history course, with 125 out of 431 students selected (from an applicant pool of 199 doctoral degree holders, 127 postgraduate students, and 105 undergraduate students of which 233 had a background in economics, 103 in history, and 95 in other areas); 2) organizing the fifth annual Quantitative Historical Research Conference in Beijing as well as another convening—“The Rise and Fall of Civilisations in a Millennium: The Fifth Global Conference on Quantitative Historical Research”—in Kaifeng, Henan, in collaboration with Hong Kong University, Tsinghua University, and Peking University, and hosted by Henan University’s School of Economics; 3) selecting and granting funding to the recipient of 2017 Outstanding Research of the Year Award; and (4) running a public Wechat account called Quantitative History Research and improving the quality of its published articles.