September 29, 2017

SIPA will establish a series of scholarly forums to generate fresh perspectives on, and understanding of, China’s policies and its continued integration into the global economy.

The new “China and the West Economic Dialogues” will convene leading academics, policymakers, and other thought leaders from the public and private sectors to consider economic policy, development, and related topics in China, the United States, and other countries.

Dean Merit E. Janow and Professor Jan Svejnar will lead development of the Dialogues in partnership with Dr. Pun Hoi (P.H.) Yu, an entrepreneur in information technology, film, and media industries in mainland China and Hong Kong. Yu is the chief advisor to the Peking University Center for New Structural Economics, which along with other academic institutions is a partner to this Dialogues.

“The further internationalization of the Chinese economy and its transition from an investment-led model to one that is increasingly driven by consumption and services provides a timely opportunity for debate and scholarship,” said Janow. “SIPA and Columbia have a long history of scholarship on China and engagement with Chinese academic and other institutions. We are very pleased to deepen our focus on China still further by inaugurating this new initiative.”

“I believe that Chinese and western perceptions of the world are diverging, with growing opportunity to misinterpret China’s thoughts and actions in matters of economic development,” said Yu. “This series will provide a valuable opportunity for intellectual exchange and hopefully an unconventional vantage point to help each side understand the other.”

The initiative builds on a number of SIPA-organized conferences in Beijing that convened scholars from the United States, China, and elsewhere. The first, entitled “The Role of the State in Economic Growth in East Asia,” took place in 2016. The second, also called “China and the West Economic Dialogues,” took place earlier this year.

In particular the Dialogues will strive to foster debate reflecting diverse theoretical and evidence-based perspectives. The Dialogues will also compare China’s policies and approaches to policymaking to approaches elsewhere and consider and the spillover consequences of national choices in institutional design and policies, and evaluate how differences in those choices affect global coordination, relations and economic performance.

The series will begin in 2018 and will alternate between China (including Hong Kong) and New York.