The second year of this blog has been a good one: total pageviews are up about 33%, and I also wrote more (91 posts against 73 in 2015). My top five posts this year in terms of traffic were:
- The best books I read in 2016
- Cormac McCarthy’s contribution to the theory of increasing returns
- Zhao Lingmin on the roots of Chinese elite support for Trump
- What Xi Jinping really said about Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong
- Is China’s slowdown really so hard to understand?
I’m pleased and surprised that my annual book review topped the list (mostly thanks to Tyler Cowen’s link I think), although less surprised that the admittedly clickbait-y posts on McCarthy and Trump did well. Both the Trump and Xi Jinping posts were mainly translations, which I find I really enjoy doing. The main non-China theme on the blog this year was nationalism, the subject of several posts though none of them definitive.
Other posts that I myself liked, but that did not do so well in terms of traffic, include:
- The best music I heard in 2016. Admittedly, it was not as good a list as last year’s.
- Why is China not a “transition economy”? A fairly long post on the early stages of Chinese economic reforms, looking at how and why their model shifted from Eastern Europe to Asia.
- What is socialist about “socialism with Chinese characteristics”? An attempt to figure out some of the enduring features of China’s development model.
- Mapping China: The Soviet influence in the 1950s. I did fewer maps this year, but this was a good one.
- Is steel excess capacity a symptom of China’s system, or of its size? I enjoyed digging into historical data for this comparison of steel exports by China and Japan. Also The raw material of urbanization helped me figure out just why, in physical and chemical terms, steel is important.
On to 2017!