Mentors: Qin Fang, Department of History; Kevin McIntyre, Department of Economic and Business Administration
Students: Kent Hu’15, Greg Laslo’15, Zoie McNeil’17, Andrew Roberts’16, Aaron Sampson’17, Carly Weetman’16

Ownership and Entrepreneurship in the Tiehua Industry: Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics 1992-2014

Tiehua (wrought iron painting) is an art form identified with the city of Wuhu in Anhui Province, China. Collectivized into a single factory in 1956, the tiehua industry has changed drastically over the last 25 years as China’s economy has been liberalized. Indeed, the marketization of tiehua has become a significant local issue centering on market structure and ownership structure of the tiehua firms. Our team of six students and two mentors will investigate the history of the tiehua market in contemporary China. The students will conduct research in three important aspects of the tiehua industry: 1) Industrial organization and development, specifically the evolution in ownership and market structure of the local tiehua industry from a single state-owned monopoly to a market now consisting of a state-owned factory, a family business, and a shareholding company. 2) Industrial policy and public subsidization pertaining to the industry, or how “state capitalism” has impacted the tiehua industry. 3) The impact of economic development and industrial change on welfare and quality of life of individuals at the non-management levels of the tiehua industry. The students will conduct interviews and collect data from expert workers, laid-off workers, designers, customer representatives, private business owners, art dealers, policy makers and scholars.


Student Fellows:

Kent Hu,

Greg Laslo,

Zoie McNeil,

Andrew Roberts,

Aaron Sampson, Carly Weetman

Faculty Advisors:

Dr. Qin Fang (History),

Dr. Kevin McIntyre (Economics & Business)

McDaniel College