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Trade and Temples: Conditional Impact of Globalisation on Rural Development in Siam from 1870 to 1914 -- The Role of Local Canal Infrastructure

April 21, 2022

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • The paper examines how the secular export commodity price boom during the first globalisation era causally changed local development in the area where the actual primary production occurred. To overcome a lack of historical development measures, it employs information on temple-building and size. To enable a causal interpretation, it exploits (i) world market-determined rice prices, export income of the major trading partner, and international rice price convergence, and (ii) the canal network plan to construct exogenous globalisation and local infrastructure variables. It finds that the number of temples, temple size, and ordination hall size significantly increased as trade grew, particularly more in the subdistricts that had access to the irrigation canal network, which also acted as a transport channel. The finding shows that openness becomes significantly more meaningful to local development when supported by the right mediating infrastructure.

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  • Thanyaporn Chankrajang is an Associate Professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University. Her primary research interests are in the field of development economics. She applies and analyses both contemporary and historical data to investigate development problems ranging from land-related issues, education, gender, and the environment. Thanyaporn has published in the Journal of Development Economics, the Journal of Economic History, and Ecological Economics. She earned a Ph.D. in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, M.Res., M.Sc., and B.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, April 21, 2022 (9:00 -10:00am)
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, April 20, 2022 (9:00 -10:00pm)