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China Program

Eight adjacent turnstiles mark the entrance to a Chinese subway station

Subway station interior in Chongqing, China. A new metro line is rapidly being built in one of the biggest cities in the world.

SCID’s China Program promotes research, collaboration, and discussion of major Chinese economic policy issues. Through original research by Stanford faculty and visitors from China, and high-level interaction among academics, business leaders, and government officials, the program has positioned Stanford as a leader on scholarship on China’s economic policy. Inside China, the program has drawn significant interest. Its work is influential among Chinese decisionmakers and has made SCID an important destination for experts from Chinese academic institutions, government agencies, and think tanks. Through the program, Stanford researchers have built close working relationships with Chinese counterparts. The program’s conferences in China and at Stanford offer policymakers and scholars valuable opportunities for give-and-take on a wide range of topics.


China Program research is oriented to policy, exploring such subjects as international financial management, private enterprise development, pension reform, and market performance. For example, Stanford economists, working jointly with a Chinese team, have compared approaches to innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States and China. Stanford researchers are also surveying hundreds of Chinese manufacturers to assess management quality. China is a focus of several of SCID’s research initiatives, which bring together Stanford faculty and students to investigate significant economic development questions. In SCID’s China in Africa Initiative, for instance, Stanford scholars are examining how Chinese investment is changing Africa’s labor markets, environment, and political institutions.


The China Program hosts visitors from China and other countries. The program has brought scholars to Stanford from a long list of Chinese academic institutions and think tanks, including Tsinghua University, Renmin University, Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission, and the People’s Bank of China. In a notable example, visiting scholars are leading a project on China’s role in global supply chains, tracing value added at different stages in an increasingly globalized production process. In addition, the China Program has organized exchanges that bring researchers from China’s Ministries of Finance and Commerce to study a range of subjects, including fiscal practices at different levels of government, pension reform, treasury management, and performance evaluation.


China Program research reaches scholars, policymakers, and the broader public through a variety of channels, including English-language and Chinese articles in academic and popular publications, and SCID’s working paper series. The China Program’s conferences are key vehicles for disseminating the program’s work. The program also sponsors talks by Stanford faculty and guests, including high-ranking Chinese officials, senior academics, and executives of major Chinese companies. Period special lectures have brought leading scholars to Stanford to speak about economic policy.

Please contact Jessica Leino (, SCID Deputy Director, with questions.