Centre for International Business Studies

2014 Eldon D. Foote Lecture in International Business

2014 Foote Lecture in International Business 

Income Inequality and an Economy in Transition

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
3:30 to 5:00 pm

5-40A&B; Stollery Centre, 5th floor, School of Business

Reception to follow, in the Stollery Atrium

Dr. Gan Li

Gan Li is a respected contributor to a range of areas in applied research. He is also a world-recognized thought leader on the immanent "rebalancing" of China's economy. It is anticipated that, in the coming decade, China will move away from its current over-reliance on investment and exports, and towards more consumption. Since 2010, Dr. Gan has been directing the uniquely positioned Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance. The findings of the Center, noteworthy for being at variance with China's officially reported statistics, lend impetus to the call for significant policy change. They also underscore that there are potential costs and difficulties involved.

In his 2014 Foote Lecture, Dr. Gan will be speaking on some key findings of the Survey, and on their implications for both government policy and business strategies. He finds, for example, that income inequality in China, measured by its Gini coefficient of 0.61 in both  2011 and 2013, has become worse than that of the U.S. or other developed countries. Although high income inequality may not necessarily mean social instability, it is the key reason for the high household saving in China. The transition of the Chinese economy toward a consumption-based economy therefore depends on lowering income inequality. In the short run at least, current Chinese leadership ought to change its spending priority toward a massive increase in the country's social welfare programming.

Gan Li holds academic posts in both China and the US. He is Professor of Economics and Cornerstone Fellow of the College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University, College Station. He further is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and Research Fellow at the Private Enterprise Center, also at Texas A&M. In Chengdu, he is Director of the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.

Lecture PPT click here

Lecture Transcript click here