Conference on The Study of Inequality in China

All day
Through June 18, 2013

Jun. 17

A conference on the Study of Inequality in China was held at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing on Monday, June 17, 2013, organized by the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, and co-sponsored by the Becker-Friedman Institute and the China Center for Economic Research.  (The UChicago News link for this conference is here.)

More information, including presentation documents, are available at the HCEO webpage for this event.

9:00-9:10a.m. Welcoming Remarks
9:10-9:50a.m. “Wage, Income, and Asset Inequality in China Including Dynamic and Cross-Sectional Analyses”
Li Shi (Beijing Normal University)
Zhong Zhao (Renmin University)
Co-Author: Terry Sicular (Western University)
9:50-10:20a.m. Discussion
Yaohui Zhao (China Center for Economic Research, Peking University)
Chao Fu (University of Wisconsin—Madison)
10:20-10:40a.m. Break
10:40-11:20a.m. “The Human Capital Roots of the Middle Income Trap: Education, Nutrition and Health Inequality in China”
Scott Rozelle (Stanford University)
Co-Authors: Linxiu Zhang, Hongmei Yi, Renfu Luo, and Changfang Liu (Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute for Geographical Studies and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
11:20-11:50a.m. Discussion
James Heckman (The University of Chicago)
Albert Park (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
11:50-12:00p.m. Break
12:00-1:30p.m. Lunch
Keynote Speaker: Yang Yao (China Center for Economic Research, Peking University)
1:30-2:10p.m. “Intergenerational Mobility in China: Patterns and Determinants”
Junjian Yi (University of Chicago)
Junsen Zhang (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Co-Author:Yi Fan (London School of Economics and Political Science)
2:10-2:40p.m. Discussion
James Heckman (The University of Chicago)
Steven Durlauf (University of Wisconsin—Madison)
2:40-3:00p.m. Break
3:00-3:40p.m. “Decentralization, Inequality, and Poverty Relief in China”
Ran Tao (Renmin University)
Dali Yang (The University of Chicago)
Co-Author: Ming Li (Renmin University of China)
3:40-4:10p.m. Discussion
Xiaobo Zhang (International Food Policy Research Institute)
Lawrence Blume (Cornell University and HIS, Vienna)
4:10-4:40pm Concluding Remarks
Lu Mai (China Development Research Fund)
4:40-6:00p.m. Alumni Reception
Remarks by James J. Heckman (The University of Chicago)
Hosted by The University of Chicago Center in Beijing and The University of Chicago Alumni Club of Beijing


Lawrence E. Blume is Goldwin Smith Professor of Economics at Cornell University, a Visiting Research Professor at IHS and a member of the external fac- ulty at the Santa Fe Institute, where he has served as Co-Director of the Economics Program and on the Institute’s steering committee. He teaches and con- ducts research in general equilibrium theory and game theory and also has research projects on the theory and measurement of behavior in social networks. Along with Steven Durlauf, Blume is one of the gen- eral editors of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. He received a B.A. in Economics from Washington University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chao Fu is an assistant professor at the Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin– Madison. She studies the market for higher education and the equilibrium effects of various policy inter- ventions on the college market. She also studies the interaction between the labor market and the market for crime. She obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.

Steven N. Durlauf is Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. For two years, he served as Program Director for the Economics Program of the Santa Fe Institute. Durlauf has worked extensively on theoretical and econometric issues involv- ing the analysis of inequality, social determinants of behavior, economic growth and policy evaluation. He was general editor of the most recent edition of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and coedited the Handbook of Economic Growth. He received his B.A. in Economics from Harvard and his Ph.D .in Economics from Yale.

James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he has served since 1973. In 2000, he won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Heckman directs the Economics Research Center, as well as the Center for Social Program Evaluation at the Harris School for Public Policy. Additionally, he is the Professor of Science and Society in University College Dublin and a Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation.

Lu Mai has served as Secretary General of China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) since 1998. Under his leadership, CDRF has carried out various events and made great progress in all its activities of communication, training and research, achieving satisfying outcome, such as in the case of the China Development Forum. He was the organizer and coordinator of China Human Development Report 2005, which received UNDP’s 2007 Human Development Award for Excellence in Policy Analysis and Influence.

Albert Park is Chair Professor of Social Science, Professor of Economics, and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also a research fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and the International Growth Centre (DFID/ Oxford/LSE).

Scott Rozelle holds the Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professorship at Stanford University and is Senior Fellow in the Food Security and Environment Program and the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies.  He is also an adjunct professor at five universities in China and Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Rozelle’s research focuses almost exclusively on China’s rural economy. For the past 15 years, Rozelle has been the chair of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Li Shi is Professor of Economics in the School of Economics and Business and Acting Director of the Institute for Income Distribution and Poverty Studies at Beijing Normal University. He was a professor and senior research fellow at the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1996 to 2005, a research fellow at the University of Oxford in 2001, and professor at Hitotsubashi University, Japan in 2002.

Ran Tao is a professor in the School of Economics and the director of China Center for Public Economics and Governance at Renmin University in Beijing. A specialist in the Chinese economy, he has published on the political economy of China’s economic transition, land and household registration reform in China’s urbanization, local governance and public finance in rural China.

Dali Yang is Professor in the Department of Political Science at The University of Chicago and the founding Faculty Director of The University of Chicago Center in Beijing. He was previously Chairman of the Political Science Department of The University of Chicago and Director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.

Yang Yao is Professor at the China Center for Economic Research (CCER) and the National School of Development (NSD), Peking University. He cur- rently serves as Director of CCER and deputy dean of NSD in charge of academic affairs and the editor of the center’s house journal China Economic Quarterly. His research interests include economic transition and development in China.

Junjian Yi is currently a post-doctoral scholar at the Department of Economics, The University of Chicago. Mr. Yi focuses on both theoretically and empirically analyzing family behaviors and human capital. Mr. Yi received both M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2007 and 2011, respectively, super- vised by Professor Junsen Zhang. Before entering Chinese University of Hong Kong, he obtained the master degree in Economics from Zhejiang University in 2005.

Junsen Zhang is Wei Lun Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research (both theoretical and empirical) has focused on the economics of family behaviour, including crime, fertility, marriage, education, intergenerational transfers, marital transfers, gender bias, and old-age support (pensions).

Xiaobo Zhang is a professor of economics at the National School of Development, Peking University, and senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.  He is a co-editor of China Economic Review. He was selected as the president of Chinese Economists Society from 2005 to 2006.

Yaohui Zhao is professor of economics at the China Center for Economic Research of Peking University. She received B.A. and M.A. from Peking University and Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in 1995.  Since 2007 she has been principal investigator of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), a nationally representative sample of Chinese residents 45 and older.

Zhong Zhao is a professor of economics at the School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, and a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) at Bonn, Germany. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Renmin University of China and a doctor- ate degree in economics from the Johns Hopkins University. Before joined Renmin University of China, he had worked for IZA as a Senior Research Associate. He also held faculty position at Peking University, was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Southern California in the spring of 2004 and a visiting scholar at the Tinbergen Institute in October 2005.

Organizers: James J. Heckman (Department of Economics) and Steven N. Durlauf (University of Wisconsin), the China Center for Economic Research and the Becker-Friedman Institute.