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Psychological data reveals deep cultural differences between people in northern and southern China. Evidence from a unique natural experiment in the 1950s, when the government randomly assigned people to farm rice or wheat on collective farms, suggests these two crops are behind China's north-south cultural divide.

Thomas Talhelm is Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He lived in China for five years as a Princeton in Asia fellow, a freelance journalist in Beijing, and a Fulbright scholar and an NSF Research Fellow. While in Beijing, Thomas founded Smart Air, a social enterprise that ships low-cost air purifiers. He earned his Ph.D in Social Psychology from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Michigan.

This talk is co-organized by China Crossroads.


  • Thomas Talhelm (Assistant Professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business)

    Thomas Talhelm

    Assistant Professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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