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The State of the Chinese Economy: Implications for China and the World

This major USC US-China Institute conference examines the health and future of the Chinese economy and assesses China's economic ties with the US and others. (At the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.)

February 26, 2011 12:00am

Click here to read a USC News article about the conference.

Videos of the conference presentations are available at the USCI website and at the USCI YouTube channel.

Program ll Speakers ll How to Register ll For Teachers ll Sponsors

The USC U.S.-China Institute is hosting a major international conference examining the structure of the Chinese economy, its current health, and its likely future. We invite you to join us at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on February 25-26, 2011 for this penetrating look at America's number one overseas trade partner and the largest foreign holder of American public debt. The conference features a keynote address by Hu Shuli, China's most distinguished financial journalist, and presentations by influential American and Chinese analysts. Reserve your place at the conference now. Space is limited.


Even the most casual news consumer knows China's economy is large and growing fast. Growing at about 10% in 2010, China's gross domestic product is now over US$5 trillion, second only to that of the United States. China now has an estimated $2.6 trillion in foreign exchange reserves.

Headlines, though, are also dominated by other economic news from China. Prices, especially food prices, have been spiking up leading to some hoarding and panic-buying. Labor unrest has prompted governments to mandate minimum wage hikes. Meanwhile most university graduates are finding it difficult to get jobs. Property prices in China's largest cities have risen so fast and high that they've become the subject of soap operas, sparked much discontent, and caused bankers and others to worry about the impact of a possible market meltdown. Income and wealth inequality have grown dramatically since the 1980s. Paying for health care reform and providing for an aging population are also keeping economic planners up at night as they also strive to make China a leader in emerging industries such electric cars and renewable energy.

Economics also looms large in China's foreign affairs. The preeminence of the US dollar as a reserve currency, exchange rates, export controls, market access, and protection of intellectual property are just a few of the issues dominating summit meetings and state visits. Securing supplies of essential resources as well as winning valuable construction contracts has Chinese leaders and businesspeople forging alliances in worldwide. China is the world's top destination for foreign direct investment, but Chinese businesses have also been making big investments abroad. 

Major conference topics include: 

  • Macroeconomic trends and government policy (including growth targets, efforts to rebalance the economy and to address rural/urban and regional disparities, infrastructure investments, currency valuation)
  • Challenges posed by demographic change and health care reform (including efforts to foster greater productivity and creativity and cope with an aging population)
  • Competitiveness and innovation (including efforts to promote indigenous innovation, reforms in corporate governance, and establishing leadership in green industries)
  • Trade and foreign direct investment (including efforts to maintain technology transfer, expand and diversify markets and resource flows)

Conference Program

Friday, Feb. 25
8 - 8:25 am

8:30-8:40 am
Clayton Dube, USC US-China Institute

Panel 1: The Broad View
8:45 – 10:30 am

Chair: Clayton Dube, University of Southern California

Barry Naughton, University of California at San Diego
“Macroeconomic Imbalances and a Revised Growth Strategy”

Carsten Holz, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology/USC
“China’s Economic Growth 1978-2025: What We Know Today about China’s Economic Growth Tomorrow”

Ho-fung Hung, Indiana University
"Structural Dilemmas in the US-China Currency Conflict"

K.C. Fung, University of California at Santa Cruz
Daniel Lynch, University of Southern California

Panel 2: Debt and Property
10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Chair: Eugene Cooper, University of Southern California

Victor Shih, Northwestern University
"Awash in Debt: State Liabilities and Monetary and Welfare Implications for China"

Deng Yongheng, National University of Singapore
“Monetary and Fiscal Stimuli, Ownership Structure and China`s Housing Market”

Baizhu Chen, University of Southern California
Robert A. Kapp, Kapp and Associates

12:30 – 1:30 pm

Panel 3: Labor
1:45 – 3:15 pm

Chair: Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California

Albert Park, Oxford University
“The Chinese Labor Market: Prospects and Challenges”

Li Hongbin, Tsinghua University
"China`s Educational Inequality: Evidence from College Entrance Exams and Admissions"

Ching Kwan Lee, University of California at Los Angeles
Yi Feng, Claremont Graduate University

Keynote Address
3:30 – 5 pm

Introduction by Elizabeth Garrett, USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Presentation by Hu Shuli, Editor in Chief, Caixin Media

"China's Marketplace of Ideas"

5 - 6 pm

Saturday, Feb. 26
8 - 8:25 am

Panel 4: Human Capital
8:30 – 10 am

Chair: Daniel Lynch, University of Southern California

Haizheng Li, Georgia Institute of Technology
“Human Capital in China”

Scott Rozelle, Stanford University
“Education, Health and Nutrition and China`s Human Capital Challenge in the 21st Century”

C. Cindy Fan, University of California at Los Angeles
Guofu Tan, University of Southern California

Panel 5: Paying for the Future: Families and the Nation
10:15 – 11:45 am

Chair: Merril Silverstein, University of Southern California

Xiaobo Zhang, International Food Research Institute
"Bride Prices and House Prices"

John Strauss, University of Southern California
“As China Ages: Elderly Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Status”

Brett Sheehan, University of Southern California

Special Workshop
for Secondary School Educators: The Chinese Economy in Your Classroom
Noon – 3:30 pm

This USC/National Consortium for Teaching about Asia workshop will focus on how to bring issues addressed during the conference as well as other topics to life in the secondary school classroom. Attendees will receive lunch and curriculum materials. Attendance at the Saturday conference panels is required. Enrollment in this workshop is limited to educators teaching world history, government, and economics. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Click here to download an application.

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Conference Sponsors

Yu Yaping
Chairman, Chongqing Haitian Company

Lawrence Maltz
Former chief operation officer, Starbucks
Founder, Starbucks China

Harvard-Westlake Global Asia Initiative
Gunter-Gross Endowment

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Keynote Address:

Hu Shuli
Editor in Chief, Caixin Media Group

Founder of Caijing Magazine in 1998, Ms. Hu provided the leadership that brought Caijing to its eminent position as one of China’s most authoritative business publications. At the editorial helm for 11 years, Hu Shuli made her departure in 2009 to create the breakthrough new media group, Caixin Media Company Limited. Internationally recognized for her achievements in journalism, Hu was twice named by Foreign Policy as one of Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010. She received the 2007 Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. In 2006, Hu was called the most powerful commentator in China by Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal cited her as one of the “Ten Women to Watch” in Asia. She was named International Editor of the Year by World Press Review in 2003 and one of BusinessWeek’s “Fifty Stars of Asia” in 2001.

Other confirmed speakers include:

Baizhu CHEN
Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California
Professor Chen’s research covers a wide range of monetary economics, international finance, and Chinese financial market reforms. He has published prolifically on the political economy of growth, private investment, foreign currency market, the Chinese financial market, and monetary policy. He is currently the Academic Director of Global EMBA (GEMBA) program in Shanghai. He is also a recipient of grants from the Washington Center for China Studies, the Chinese National Science Foundation, and Eurasian Studies of Taiwan for his research on China's central bank monetary policies and the Chinese financial market.

DENG Yongheng
Institute of Real Estate Studies, National University of Singapore
Prof. Deng teaches finance and real estate and is director of the NUS Institute of Real Estate Studies. He is a council member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Urban and Real Estate Development. He has served as a member of Singapore Economic Strategy Committee sub Committee on Land, and is a member of the NUS Global Asia Institute Steering Committee. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He previously taught at the University of Southern California.

C. Cindy FAN
Geography, University of California at Los Angeles

Prof. Fan teaches geography and Asian American studies and is associate dean for social sciences. Her China research focuses on population trends, migration, and regional development, as well as gender and inequality. She’s the author of numerous articles and has served as the editor of Regional Studies and Eurasian Geography and Economics. Her books include China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household and New Themes and Forces of Regional Development in China.

Political Science, Claremont Graduate University

Yi Feng is provost and vice president for academic affairs at CGU. He teaches international political economy, world politics, and methodology. His research has focused on political and economic development. His China-focused publications address financial markets, labor markets, economic growth, foreign direct investment, and trade policy. His books include Democracy, Governance, and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence and Social Security and Economic Development: Lessons For and From China.

Economics, University of California at Santa Cruz

Co-founder of the Santa Cruz Institute for International Economics, Prof. Fung’s research focuses on international trade and finance, trade policies, multinational corporations, the World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific economics. His work includes the correct measurement of the U.S.-China bilateral trade balance, estimation of the domestic value added and foreign content of Chinese exports as well as trade and investment relationships between China and other places. Fung served as a senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisors for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Carsten HOLZ
Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Carsten Holz teaches economics and currently a visiting professor at USC. His research focuses on issues of economic development in China. These include financial sector reform, the profitability of state-owned enterprises, and Chinese economic growth. Recent and ongoing research covers economic fragmentation within China, productivity growth, growth prospects, and growth strategies.

Ho-fung HUNG

Sociology, Indiana University
Ho-fung Hung teaches sociology and is associate director of research at the Center on Chinese Business and Politics. He studies Chinese political economy and state-society interaction in historical and global perspectives. Hung is the author of Protest with Chinese Characteristics (winner of President’s Book Award, Social Science History Association) and editor of China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. His paper on China and the global crisis won the first prize of 2010 research paper award of the World Society Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. In addition to his academic articles, Prof. Hung also writes for the popular press.

Robert A. KAPP
Robert A. Kapp & Associates, Inc
Following ten years as a professor of modern Chinese history, Dr. Kapp led three business organizations dedicated to advancing American relations with China.  From 1994 through 2004, he guided the leading organization of U.S. companies engaged with China, the US-China Business Council, in Washington, D.C.  He has appeared frequently in the media and in public discussions of US policy toward China.  He currently heads the consultancy Robert A. Kapp & Associates, Inc., serves as Senior China Advisor to K&L Gates LLP, the global law firm, and chairs the China Committee of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Ching Kwan LEE
Sociology, University of California at Los Angeles

Professor Lee teaches sociology. Her current research focuses on the politics of rights and the changing citizenship regime in China. She’s also investigating Chinese investment and labor practices in Africa. Lee is the author or editor of five books and numerous articles. Two of her most recent books are Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt and Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation.

Haizheng LI
Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Li is teaches economics and is also Special-Term Director of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research (CHLR), in the Central University of Economics and Finance in Beijing, China. His major research fields are labor economics and Chinese economy, with a focus on human capital issues. He is a founder of the CHLR in China, an international center on human capital studies. The Center's annual China Human Capital Report, which contains various series of human capital indexes for China. He was President of the Chinese Economists Society in 2006-07.

LI Hongbin
Economics and Management, Tsinghua University
Li Hongbin teaches  of economics and is also executive associate director of the China Data Center. He received the Changjiang Scholarship in the field of economics, and National Award for Distinguished Young Scientists in China in 2010. Li’s research is concerned with two general themes; a) the behaviors of governments, firms and banks in the context of economic transition; b) human capital in the context of economic development.

Daniel LYNCH
International Relations, University of Southern California
Prof. Lynch teaches international relations and is a member of USC’s US-China Institute Executive Committee. He is the author of Rising China and Asian Democratization: Socialization to “Global Culture” in the Political Transformations of Thailand, China, and Taiwan and After the Propaganda State: Media, Politics, and “Thought Work” in Reformed China. Lynch’s current research focus is how Chinese elites are envisioning the future of China’s domestic politics, international relations, economy, environment, and culture.

Barry NAUGHTON          
International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California at San Diego
Prof. Naughton has published extensively on the Chinese economy, with a focus on four interrelated areas: market transition; industry and technology; foreign trade; and Chinese political economy. His pioneering study of Chinese economic reform, Growing Out of the Plan: Chinese Economic Reform, 1978-1993 won the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. Naughton’s most recent book is The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth, a comprehensive survey of the Chinese economy. Naughton publishes regular quarterly analyses of China’s economic policy-making online at China Leadership Monitor.

Albert PARK
Economics, Oxford University
Professor Park's recent research focuses on poverty, human capital (health and education), labor markets, and globalization. In addition to being a professor of Economy of China at Oxford, he is also research fellow at both the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the IZA Institute for the Study of Labor. He is currently co-directing the Gansu Survey of Children and Families (GSCF), a longitudinal study of rural youth in western China, and the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS).

Stanley ROSEN
Political Science, University of Southern California

A political scientist, Professor Rosen directs USC’s East Asian Studies Center. The author or editor of eight books and many articles, he has written on such topics as the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese legal system, public opinion, youth, gender, human rights, and film and the media. He is the co-editor of Chinese Education and Society. His most recent books are Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market and Art, Politics and Commerce in Chinese Cinema.

Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
Scott Rozelle holds the Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professorship at Stanford University and is Senior Fellow and Professor in the Food Security and Environment Program and the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies. Dr. Rozelle's research focuses on China and is concerned with three general themes; a) agricultural policy, including the supply, demand, and trade in agricultural projects, b) issue involving rural resources, especially the management of water, the forests and cultivated land; and c) the economics of poverty—with an emphasis on the economics of education and health. Rozelle is the co-director of the Rural Education Action Project (REAP).

History, University of Southern California
Brett Sheehan teaches Chinese history. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1997. He is the author of Trust in Troubled Times: Money, Banking and State-Society Relations in Republican Tianjin, 1916-1937, and numerous articles and book chapters. He is currently working on a book exploring the relationship between authoritarianism and capitalism in Republican and early post-1949 China.

Victor SHIH
Political Science, Northwestern University
Victor C. Shih teaches political economy. He is the author of Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation, the first book to inquire the linkages between elite politics and banking policies in China. Prof. Shih has published  numerous articles appearing in academic and business journals and frequent adviser to the financial community on the banking industry in China. His current research concerns Chinese banking policies, exchange rates, elite political dynamics and local government debt in China.

Gerontology and Sociology, University of Southern California

Prof. Silverstein teaches gerontology and sociology. His research is concerned with understanding how individuals age within the context of family life, including such issues as social support across generations, later life migration, life-course patterns of intergenerational solidarity, and public policy toward caregiving families. He’s received National Institutes of Health support for his longitudinal study of aging and families in rural China. Some of Silverstein’s China work has been published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Research in Human Development, Research on Aging, and in edited volumes.

Economics, University of Southern California

Prof. Strauss is a recognized specialist in the fields of development economics, the economics of the household, the economics of human resource investments and labor market outcomes. Indonesian Living Standards Before and After the Financial Crisis, Strauss' most recent collaborative work, uses Indonesia Family Life Surveys (IFLS) to provide a true-to-life look at living conditions in Indonesia. He has also taught at Michigan State University, Yale University, and the University of Virginia. Strauss is the current Principal Investigator of IFLS and is Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal, Economic Development and Cultural Change

Guofu TAN
Economics, University of Southern California
Prof. Tan’s research areas include business strategy and industrial organization, antitrust and competition policy, auction theory, microeconomic theory, and the Chinese economy. His current research projects involve competition in international telephone markets, platform competition, bargaining theory with applications, and the welfare standards in China’s Anti-Monopoly Law. As a consultant, Professor Tan has provided advice to a number of public and private sector clients with respect to competition and regulatory matters in several industries. Dr. Tan is currently a Changjiang Scholar in China, an associate editor of the International Journal of Industrial Organization, referees for numerous journals, and a member of many academic organizations and committees.

Xiaobo ZHANG
International Food Policy Research Institute
Xiaobo Zhang received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He is a senior research fellow at the Development Strategy and Governance Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and leads IFPRI’s rural-urban linkage program. He is a Co-editor of Chinese Economic Review, the leading English journal on the Chinese economy. He was selected as the president of Chinese Economists Society from 2005 to 2006.

Click here to download the conference flyer.

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To Register

There is a $35 registration fee to attend this conference, payable by credit card. Students can attend for a discounted fee of $10 (copy of university identification card must be provided with registration form). This fee includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and conference materials during both days. To register, download and complete the registration form and provide payment information. Registration fee waived for USC faculty.

K-12 teachers who wish to attend the conference as well as the workshop will need to complete the K-12 teachers registration form.

The deadline to register is February 23, 2011.

About the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

Click here to view directions to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Click here to download a map of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

- Self Parking at Pershing Square (across the street) = $9.35 w/ validation
- Valet Parking in the Hotel = $18.00 w/ validation

To find out more about the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and surrounding attractions, visit:

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$35 general public; $10 students with valid ID


October 15, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk with author David Lampton. His new book examines China’s effort to create an intercountry railway system connecting China and its seven Southeast Asian neighbors.