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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series ~ Is Lying Contagious? Spatial Diffusion of Agricultural “Satellites” During China’s Great Leap Forward

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
4:00 AM
1636 School of Social Work Building

Previous research has well recognized the critical role of spatial proximity in facilitating social diffusions, but often ignores how the effect of spatial proximity may be constrained by human institutions. Situated in China’s Great Leap Forward (GLF) movement in 1958, this study examines how spatial proximity and political proximity interactively structured the nationwide diffusion of “launching agricultural satellites” - exaggerating grain yields, a contributing factor to the catastrophic GLF famine that claimed millions of human lives.

Hongwei Xu is a research assistant professor at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. He received his PhD from the Department of Sociology at Brown University in 2012. His methodology interests include spatial statistics, longitudinal and multilevel analysis, and Bayesian inference. His substantive research topics cover health inequalities, epidemiologic and nutrition transitions, child well-being, and the residential segregation of ethnic groups. He is currently working as a research team member on the China Family Panel Studies, one of the largest longitudinal data collection projects in contemporary China.