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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wu Jinglian Honoured Through Academic Discourse

May 23, 2017. Shanghai – Faculty from eight business schools in and outside of China today paid homage to revered Economist Wu Jinglian by engaging in a day-long symposium where they presented research on topics ranging from property rights, the efficiency of China’s SOEs, foreign exchange reserves, and the origins of China’s institutions.  The day was capped off with Prof. Wu Jinglian’s participation in a wide ranging discussion – with Yingyi Qian, Dean and Professor of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University – on China’s on-going economic reform. The event, hosted at the school’s Shanghai Campus, was The First CEIBS Economics Symposium in Honor of Professor Wu Jinglian.

As CEIBS Dean Ding Yuan explained in his opening address, the full-day symposium is the latest in a series of seminars hosted by the school’s five academic departments. The seminars were launched last year in an effort to showcase and stimulate the school’s research. Today’s event, which brought together many of China’s leading business schools as well as others from abroad, was a fitting way to mark Prof Wu Jinglian’s 87th birthday. “The is an opportunity to honour Prof Wu Jinglian’s contribution to China, and to CEIBS,” noted Professor Wu Ho-Mou, Chair of CEIBS’ Department of Economics and Decision Sciences and the host for the event.

During his dialogue, Prof. Wu’s comments were as insightful as ever. He noted that while there have been highs and lows in China’s reform during the past four decades, the results are undeniable.  He added that the deepening of the reform process is inevitable, but pointed out that it will not be easy as there are still obstacles to overcome.

Here are excerpts from some of the papers used during the full day of presentations:

  • Property Rights, Finance, and Reinvestment: Evidence from China's Private Enterprises
    Presenter: Zhigang Tao, Professor of Economics and Strategy in the Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Hong Kong.
    The authors set out to determine how important property rights protection and access to external finance are when decisions are being made on whether to pump profits back into a business.  An analysis of data from China’s private enterprises showed that property rights protection is the weightier of the two.
  • How Efficient are China’s Central State-Owned Enterprises Really?
    Presenter: Xiaonian Xu, Professor of Economics and Finance at CEIBS.
    With the widespread perception that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) play a major role in China’s economic growth, the authors set out to take a closer look at just how efficient they really are.
  • Balance of Payments, Exchange Rate and Foreign Exchange Reserves
    Presenter: Yongding Yu, Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

This paper looks at the long-term impact of what the authors term “China’s inappropriate balance of payments and overseas asset-liability structure”, which is a by-product of the country’s inflexible exchange rate. The authors offered solutions for the way forward. 

Other presentations included:

  • Dennis Yang, Professor of Business Administration at Darden, University of Virginia’s discourse on Unbundling the Smile Curve: Task Specialization in the Global Economy.
  • Li-An Zhou, Professor of Economics at Peking University’s talk on The Formation of the M-Form in China’s Planning Regime and its Persistent Impacts, and
  • The Origins of China’s Institutions, presented by Chenggang Xu, Professor of Economics at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.

Today’s event was hosted by the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences at CEIBS, which is chaired by Professor Wu Ho-Mou.

Charmaine N. Clarke