Hongbin Li obtained a PhD in economics from Stanford University in 2001 and joined the economics department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he became a full professor in 2007. He was also one of the two founding directors of the Institute of Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He taught at Tsinghua University in Beijing from 2007 to 2016 and was C.V. Starr Chair Professor of Economics in the School of Economics and Management. He also founded and served as the executive associate director of the China Data Center.
Li’s research has been focused on China and is concerned with two general themes: i) the behaviors of governments, firms and banks in the context of economic transition; and ii) human capital and labor markets in the context of economic development. Research results have been published in journals such as PNAS, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of International Economics, and Demography¸ among others. His research has been widely covered by media around the world and well read by top policy makers in China.
He is the current editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics (2017), an associate editor of Economic Development and Cultural Change, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Economics and China Economic Review, as well as on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Economic Perspectives and China Agricultural Economic Review. He received the Changjiang Scholarship in 2009, the National Award for Distinguished Young Scientists in China in 2010, and the McKinsey Young Economist Research Paper Award in 2012. He is a Research Fellow at IZA and a senior research fellow at the J. Mirrlees Institute of Economic Policy Research.