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China Program

China’s status as a global economic power makes it a key player in encouraging economic development - at home and beyond. With that leadership comes challenges: China itself faces a number of obstacles, including a deteriorating environment, widening inequality, and trade conflicts with the United States. Identifying the roots of these and other challenges in order to craft meaningful solutions requires unbiased, state-of-the-art research. Understanding China's track record in poverty alleviation and development also informs policymaking in less economically developed countries.

The China Program at the King Center on Global Development provides crucial insights into these challenges and necessary remedies through its network of researchers within Stanford and strategic collaborators in government, the private sector, and educational institutions across China and the globe.

Research and Collaboration

The China Program brings together leaders in a variety of disciplines to generate actionable, data-driven analyses that can inform real-world solutions. Program-supported research by Stanford scholars and their partners is helping to advance the understanding of key issues facing China, including:

  • Firms and Productivity. The China Employer-Employee Survey led by Hongbin Li continues to provide academics and policymakers access to the most comprehensive survey of Chinese manufacturing firms and their employees, including published articles on managerial behavior, productivity of state-owned enterprises, and the rise of robots in China's manufacturing sector.
  • Environment. Stanford faculty and their collaborators in China are studying China's newly implemented tradable performance standard for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Education. Stanford researchers estimate that, by underinvesting in rural education and limiting competition, China’s lagging human capital development will slow economic growth substantially over the next two decades.

Research grants available for junior faculties working on topics relevant to China’s economy.


To foster the sharing of ideas, the China Program regularly hosts conferences, meetings, and lectures held at Stanford and in China with partners in the U.S., China, and the rest of the world.

The China Program plays a key role in developing the annual Stanford China Economic Forum. The inaugural forum took place in Beijing in 2018 and the second forum was held at Stanford in 2019.

In 2018 and 2019, the China Program hosted Bo Li, former director general of the Monetary Policy Department at The People's Bank of China, and current vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. The China Program also hosted a two-day workshop at Stanford on Trade and the Chinese Economy in April 2018. Prominent scholars from the United States, Canada, Europe, and China discussed the causes and implications of China's emergence as a major trading partner and the country's engagement with globalization.

Student Opportunities

The China Program enhances the Stanford student experience through research grants, fellowship, conferences, summer trips, and other events, and experiential learning via on-the-ground programs led by affiliated faculty and scholars.

For more information, please contact Hongbin Li at