Executive Committee



Edwin L.-C. Lai | Director

Edwin L.-C. Lai (黎麟祥) is Professor of Economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology since July 2009, and later jointly appointed as the Director of Center for Economic Development and courtesy-appointed as Professor of Public Policy. Before joining HKUST, he was Senior Research Economist and Adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas of the Federal Reserve System of the USA from August 2007 to June 2009. Before that he was Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, Associate Professor at City University of Hong Kong and Associate Professor at Singapore Management University. His main research areas are international economics, industrial organization, growth and internationalization of renminbi. He is a widely-cited scholar in the study of intellectual property rights protection in the global economy. He has published in American Economic Review, RAND Journal of Economics, International Economic Review, Journal of International Economics and other top journals in economics.

Professor Lai has been a consultant to the World Bank, visiting professor/scholar/ fellow with Boston University, Princeton University, Kobe University, CESifo (University of Munich), Hitotsubashi Institute of Advanced Study, and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research. He is Associate Editor of Review of International Economics (Wiley Publisher), a Fellow of the CESifo Research Network (U of Munich) and a board member of Asia-Pacific Trade Seminars (APTS) Group. He obtained his B.Sc. in engineering from University of Hong Kong and A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

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Yao Amber Li | Associate Director

Dr Yao Amber Li's (李瑶) research interests include technology transfer, innovation, quality upgrading, FDI, agglomeration, TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), and in particular, heterogeneous firms in emerging economies, based on microeconomic evidence from developing countries, especially from China. She worked as a research fellow in Planning Research Institute, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (previously, Ministry of Information Industry) of China between 2003 and 2005. She has participated in a series of China's national research projects. She was one of the main framers and revisers of several China's national industrial policies (digital TV, integrated circuits, software, etc.), and major policies regarding FDI, exporting, industrial agglomeration and economic development zones for Chinese government. During her PhD study, she joined several research projects sponsored by a national think-tanker, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI, Canada). She holds a BA (2001) and an MA (2003) in Economics from Peking University (P.R. China) and a PhD (2010) in Economics from University of Western Ontario (UWO, Canada). She received a First-Prize National Award for Research Excellence issued by Ministry of Commerce of China in 2004 and the TM Brown Thesis Prize for best doctoral dissertation in Economics at UWO in 2010.

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Xuewen Liu | Committee Member

Xuewen Liu (劉學文) is Associate Professor of Finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prior to joining HKUST in 2010, he served as Assistant Professor of Finance at the Imperial College London from 2007 to 2010. Liu received his PhD from London School of Economics. His research interests include financial economics, macroeconomics, growth and development, as well as Chinese economy.

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Naubahar Sharif | Committee Member

Naubahar Sharif (白立邦) (Ph.D., Cornell University, 2005), is Associate Professor of Social Science and Public Policy. His research interests include the intellectual history of the innovation systems conceptual approach; science, technology and innovation policy in Hong Kong; the "Belt and Road" initiative; and economic linkages within the "Greater Bay Area" of Southern China. He completed the Executive Education program in Innovation for Economic Development at Harvard University in 2011. Naubahar consulted for Hong Kong's Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) from 2006-10. A dedicated teacher, he has been nominated for HKUST's Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching, twice won the School of Humanities and Social Science (SHSS) Best Teacher Award (in 2009 and 2016), and one of his courses was nominated for HKUST's Common Core Excellence award. Naubahar has been awarded both 'Public Policy Research' (PPR) and "General Research Fund" (GRF) grants by Hong Kong's Research Grants Council (RGC). Currently, Naubahar is a co-investigator for a "Strategic Public Policy Research" (SPPR) grant awarded by Hong Kong's Central Policy Unit (CPU) as well as a cross-institutional "Collaborative Research Fund" (CRF) grant awarded by the RGC. He has published numerous articles in leading journals including Research Policy, Science and Public Policy, International Journal of Technology and Management, and Science, Technology and Human Values.

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Jin Wang | Committee Member

Jin Wang (王瑾) is an associate professor of Social Science and a faculty associate of the Institute for Emerging Market Studies both at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She was educated at the Tsinghua University of China for her BA and MA in Economics before getting her PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research, which mostly has a policy focus, is mainly in the areas of Development Economics, Public Economics and Chinese Economy. She worked on a variety of topics - place-based policies, government hierarchy and incentives, and the labor mobility barriers that are embedded in the hukou household registration system of China. She serves as a referee for the American Economic Review, American Economic Journal, Economic Journal, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Economic Growth, and Journal of Comparative Economics.

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Jialin Yu | Committee Member

Professor Jialin Yu (余家林) is an Associate Professor of Finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Before joining HKUST, he worked at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University as Associate Professor of Finance. He has been a visiting associate professor at Princeton University. He holds Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University, and bachelor degree in Economics from Fudan University. Professor Yu's research focuses on investment and behavioral finance. His research articles have been published in top academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, among others. His research on Chinese warrants was cited in the scientific background of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His research was awarded the 1st Sun Yefang Financial Innovation Paper Award. In addition, he has received grants and awards from Morgan Stanley, KPMG, and Hong Kong government, among others. He has received recognition of excellent teaching and honor in MBA teaching from HKUST.

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Academic Advisory Board



Gene M. Grossman | Jacob Viner Professor of International Economics, Princeton University

Gene M. Grossman joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1980 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Grossman has received numerous professional honors and awards including the Bernard-Harms Prize from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, an Honorary Doctorate from St. Gallen University, and fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He was elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 1992 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997. Grossman served on the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and of the Center for Economic Policy Research, a life member of the Council for Foreign Relations, and he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Growth, the Review of International Economics, the European Journal of Political Economy, and the German Economic Review. Grossman has written extensively on international trade. He is well known for his work on the determinants of international competitiveness in dynamic, research-intensive industries, and in particular for his book with Elhanan Helpman entitled Innovation and Growth in the Global Economy. He has also written (with colleague Alan Krueger) a widely-cited paper on the likely environmental impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement, as well as many other papers on U.S. and developing countries' trade policies. Grossman and Elhanan Helpman also collaborated on Special Interest Politics, which was published by the MIT Press in 2001 (awarded the 2001 Best Book Award by the Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association), and Interest Groups and Trade Policy, which was published by Princeton University Press in 2002. Grossman's most recent writings focus on the effects of trade on the wage distribution. Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Keith Head | HSBC Professor of Asian Commerce, University of British Columbia

Keith Head is a professor in the Strategy and Business Economics Division at the Sauder School of Business of the University of British Columbia. He holds the HSBC Professorship in Asian Commerce. After earning a Bachelor of Arts at Swarthmore College in 1986, he completed a Ph.D. in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 under the supervision of Paul Krugman. Dr. Head teaches courses on international business management and government policy toward business. His research interests focus on international trade and the decisions of multinational corporations. Current projects include a paper on the diffusion of knowledge across countries via professional network connections and a study of how the car industry will shift production in response to changes in trade barriers.

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Joseph P. Kaboski | David F. and Erin M. Seng Foundation Professor, University of Notre Dame

Joseph P. Kaboski is the David F. and Erin M. Seng Foundation Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame and a Fellow of the Kellogg Institute. His research focuses on growth, development and international economics, with an emphasis on structural change, finance and development, schooling and growth, microfinance, explaining international relative price patterns, and the role of inventories in international trade. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Frisch Medal, awarded biannually for the best paper in the journal Econometrica over the previous five years. He has published scholarly articles in many journals including, the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Economic Theory, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. He is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Human Capital. a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Fellow and Board Member of the Bureau of Research in Economics Analysis of Development. He has consulted for the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis; the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund; and is a Senior Advisor and Board Member to the research department of the Central Bank of Armenia. He is the president of CREDO, a past consultant to Catholic Relief Services, and is currently a Consultant to the USCCB, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2001 and has previously been an assistant and associate professor at Ohio State University and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

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Shangjin Wei | N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business & Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia University

Shangjin Wei is the N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business & Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University. During 2014-2016, Dr. Wei served as Chief Economist of Asian Development Bank and Director General of its Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department. He was ADB's chief spokesperson on economic trends and economic development in Asia, advised ADB's President on economic development issues, led the bank's analytical support for regional cooperation fora including ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and Korea) and APEC, growth strategy diagnostics for developing member countries, as well as research on macroeconomic, financial, labor market, and globalization issues. Prior to his Columbia appointment in 2007, he was Assistant Director and Chief of Trade and Investment Division at the International Monetary Fund. He was the IMF's Chief of Mission to Myanmar (Burma) in 2004. He previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, the New Century Chair in Trade and International Economics at the Brookings Institution, and Advisor at the World Bank. He has been a consultant to numerous government organizations including the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, United Nations Economic Commission on Europe, and United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and to private companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a PhD in economics and M.S. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Wei is a noted scholar on international finance, trade, macroeconomics, and China. He is a recipient of the Sun Yefang Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Economics (for the invention of the Competitive Saving Motive published in Journal of Political Economy), the Zhang Peifang Prize for Contributions to Economics of Development (for pioneering work on measurement of global value chains published in American Economic Review), and the Gregory Chow Award for Best Research Paper; some of his research was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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