Professor and Chair in Economic Sociology and Chinese Studies; Director of Research, Faculty of Social Sciences – University of Nottingham
I am Professor of Economic Sociology and Chinese Studies. I have conducted economic and social research on developing countries with particular reference to China. Areas researched include social security and well-being; income distribution and poverty alleviation; unemployment and labour markets; gender and intra-household allocation; rural-urban migration; state-ownership restructuring; rural industrialisation and urbanisation. My current funded projects include “Poverty, Migration and Public Health”; “Explaining China’s Economic Growth with Enterprise Data”; and “Economic Inequality and Socio-political Instability in China” .
I started my research career in the early 1980s. As part of a unique organisation called the “Research Group for Studying China’s Rural Development”, I investigated peasant livelihoods. Our research topics were linked to the country’s rural economic reform program. I then worked at the Research Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In October 1988, I was selected to join a Ford Foundation postgraduate programme in Oxford designated for training outstanding young economists, and subsequently obtained my DPhil in Oxford. Between 1989 and 1999, I worked at the Institute of Economics and Statistics (now renamed as the Department of Economics), Oxford University. I have worked at the University of Nottingham since November 1999.
I am the Winner of Richard A. Lester Prize for “the Outstanding Book in Labour Economics and Industrial Relations published in 2005” and have published broadly. I have regularly served as consultant to the international organizations and have advised both Chinese government and British government. I have served on the Editorial Board for China Economic Review since 1st July 2001 (second term) and was a council member for the British Association of China Studies between 2000 and 2004.
Areas of expertise include the design and conduct of fieldwork, and the use of advanced statistical method (mainly econometrics) to analyse data. My approach to research and teaching is multi-disciplinary, combining economics and sociology with strong application to issues of social and public policy. I am committed to original data collection, and have led or participated in over 10 field-surveys in China and one in Sierra Leone. These all involve questionnaire design, scientific sampling and quantitative analysis. I am the Principal Investigator for a newly ESRC / DfID funded project (3/2015-2/2019); totaling £570,000 (from ESRC) and the project is entitled “Local Government, Economic Growth and Human Development: Chinese Lessons for Kenya and Uganda?”
Talk title: ‘Why does Hukou Reform Matter in China?’