Message from the Department Head

Welcome to the web site of the Department of Economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (UST). We are a very young department, because UST only began admitting students in the Fall of 1991. Starting with five faculty members in 1991, we now have reached the size of 19 faculty members.

As one of six departments in the School of Business and Management, we offer two undergraduate degree programs, the B.B.A. in Economics, B.Sc. in Economics and Finance, and co-offer the B.Sc. in Mathematics and Economics with the Department of Mathematics; and two graduates degree programs (the M.Sc. and PhD Program). In addition, we contribute to the School's M.B.A. and Executive programs.

We are keen to maintain the quality and attractiveness of our teaching programs. The department has launched a series of initiatives to enhance the attractiveness of our undergraduate programs. Among others, we have instituted a faculty mentoring program. Under this program, students majoring in economics is assigned a faculty mentor. The mentors and mentees maintain close interaction through formal and informal meetings.

The department emphasizes both teaching and research, and sees them as mutually reinforcing. Faculty members are encouraged to engage in important research that leads to publication in leading international journals. Faculty members are also encouraged to apply rigorous methodologies to local economic issues that are of high academic value. In short, we aspire to be recognized for the quality of our research programs, both theoretical and applied.

Hong Kong is an entrepot and an international financial center located in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. Because of this reason and the fact that our department is in the School of Business and Management, we focus our research effort in five specific areas in addition to the common core of microeconomics, macroeconomics. They are (1) economic growth and development; (2) China economy; (3) industrial organization and theory of the firm, 4) econometrics and 5) international economics.

The department has attracted distinguished scholars to join either as regular or visiting faculty members. It has also attracted young scholars who actively engage in high quality research on important issues in economics. Their accomplishments are formally recognized in several studies of the productivity in economics research. In a study of East Asian universities published by Jin and Yau in Economic Inquiry (October 1999), UST was ranked number one in East Asia. In a study commissioned by the European Economic Association, (2001), UST was ranked 1st in Asia and 37th in the world. In a study of publications in econometrics published by Baltagi in Econometric Theory (2003), UST was ranked 17th in the world for its publications in three core econometrics journals and 26th in all theoretical econometrics publications. We are proud of these recognitions, and will continue to contribute to the economic knowledge of the world.

The Center for Economic Development was established in 1995 and its Director is Professor Edwin Lai. Its goals are to support research on the process of economic development, with emphasis on economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular development issues of Greater China.