This is a new subject for Tibetan studies. This marks the development from economic and social investigation and research into the policies for economic development to studying strategy and theory for economic development.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council held their first national conference on work in Tibet in March d1980. From then on, the gravity of work in Tibet shifted onto economic construction. From 1981 to 1983, Tibet Research carried a number of articles on economic development in Tibet. After 1984, China had a bumper harvest in Tibetan studies which began to touch 20 aspects including the economic structure, the industrial structure, strategy for economic development, farming-live-stock-breeding-industry, economic theory, regional market, population and economic restructuring. Research into Tibetan history covers 10 aspects including economic form in ancient Tibet, economic situation in the Tibetan areas, and manorial economic and trade for salt and grain. During this period of time, the Outline of Economics in Tibet, the first of its kind, came off the press. Authored by Huang Wanlun, the book contains rich facts taken from ancient, contemporary and modern documents, and explains the development from social and economic situation in ancient Tibet to economic development in the early 1980s. This was followed by the publication of the Outline of Economic Development in Tibet by Yang Xuejun, Tibetan Economy Development and Counter-Measures by Li Zuqing, and History of Tibetan Currency by Xiao Huaiyuan. These pioneering works promote in-depth development of the Tibetan studies.
In the 1990s, more academic papers were produced. Tibetan studies made breakthroughs in some fields. Tibet Development and Reform Under Non-Typicla Dual Structure (by Sun Yong) is a book containing theory held as advanced and very important for economic development in Tibet. Employing modern economic theory and with facts gained through on-the-spot investigation and study, the book holds that Tibet at present practices neither the natural economy nor modern economy; its economy is different from the dual economy found nationwide, west China included; instead, it is non-typical dual economic structure. On this basis, the book proposes efforts to effect a change in this regard at present and in the future. The Concise History of Economics in Tibet explains economic development following the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951. It was compiled by Dorje Cedain (used to be chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and then director of theChina National Center for Tibetan Studies) and Gyaincain Norbu (then chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region). The first two chapters of the book tell of social and economic development in Tibet from the ancient time to 1951. Its Chapters 3-9 explain changes in agriculture, communications, aviation, posts and telecommunications, energy, industry, finance, circulation and market. As the authors include economists and officials with government and economic departments, the book is authentic and authoritative. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Environment and Development (series books by lobsang Nyingchi Dorje) and the Research Into Economics in Tibet (series books) are also books on economic development in Tibet, which prove to be very influential in China. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Environment and Development is the first book compiled by scholars involved in the social sciences and natural science. The book is new as it strives to show a road Tibet may follow in economic development, a road which conforms with the local conditions and facilitates future development of whole China. The Research into Economic in Tibet is considered to be of guiding value for economic construction in Tibet. Tibetan economy developed at a fast rate in the 1990s. This stimulated the Tibetologists and economists to make further efforts in studying economic construction in Tibet.