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The China research cluster aims to promote rigorous empirical research on the Chinese economy. China provides a uniquely advantageous context for researchers interested in economic and institutional development.

In the past 200 years, China has experienced rapid and often drastic changes in economic well-being, politics and even culture. These changes provide a rich laboratory for conducting natural and field experiments, from which we hope to gain generalizable insights about the details of the complicated process of development.

  • China Data Access Project

    The China Data Access Project (CDAP) promotes access to microdata from China by providing the names, basic description and known usage of all large sample microdata that have been used in existing research papers. Researchers are responsible for obtaining the data on their own. Where possible, links to the actual data will be provided.

    View the project

  • UChicago-northwestern China Afternoon Workshop

    April 5, 2024

    China Political Economy Workshop

    May 1, 2024

    China Master Lecture

    “Re-thinking China’s Growth”
    Professor Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University, Former Chief Economist and Director of. Research of the International Monetary Fund

    Kellogg Greater China Business Conferences

    China Econ Lab Events

    The China Econ Lab Submission Process Workshop

    March 31, 2021

    Fudan-Kellogg Seminar: Agora's Road to Success

    July 15, 2020
  • China Forum, UCSD and the Council of Foreign Relations

    January 1, 2024

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce 14th China Conference

    May 7-8, 2024

  • Exploratory Travel Grants

    Travel Grants have been paused due to travel restrictions to China. The information will be updated when the travel restrictions have been lifted.

    In order to deepen understanding of institutional details and data, the China research cluster provides exploratory travel grants to Northwestern PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to academic institutions in China. This grant is for projects in the early exploratory stages of research. Grant amounts range typically from $2000 to $5000. Recipients are encouraged to stay in China for 2 to 4 weeks. 


    Short-Term Visitors

    To promote the exchange of ideas, skills and data between US and Chinese scholars, we host top empirical researchers from China, including PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and tenure-line faculty. 

    Visitors are all self-funded and invited to actively participate in the local development economics research community. Please email if interested.

    Visiting Student and Scholars

    This program provides hands-on training for individuals interested in empirical development research of the Chinese economy. Visitors conduct hands-on research with cluster faculty on existing projects, participate in seminars and workshops, and have the opportunity to present his/her own work. Visits range from one quarter to the full academic year. No course credits are given to visitors. 

    We welcome applications from China as well as the United States and other countries. Students who plan to apply for an American economics PhD program are encouraged to apply. Limited partial funding may be available on a case-by-case basis. Interested applicants should send their research statement (statement of purpose), CV, transcript to All materials must be in English. The research statement should be no more than 2 pages, double-spaced, and must clearly state:
    • Why the applicant wishes to work with Northwestern development faculty
    • What research questions and methods the applicant would like to learn at Northwestern
    • Past research experience

    Postdoctoral Fellowship

    The postdoctoral fellowship funds individuals who have completed their PhD within the past two years. A substantial part (though not all) of the fellowship recipient’s research portfolio (which includes preliminary and ongoing work) should be about the Chinese economy. They are asked to participate in workshops and engage with the local development research community. There is no teaching obligation. Each fellowship is for 12 months, with the possibility of renewing up to three years.

  • Faculty affiliates

    • Shengmao Cao

      Assistant Professor in Strategy
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Iza Ding

      Associate Professor in Political Science
      Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences
    • Georgy Egorov

      Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Yingni Guo

      Assistant Professor of Economics
      Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
    • Zhengyang Jiang

      Assistant Professor in Finance
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Benjamin Jones

      Professor of Strategy
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Annie Liang

      Assistant Professor of Economics
      Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
    • Yingdan Lu

      Assistant Professor in Communications
      Medill School of Journalism
    • Harry Pei

      Assistant Professor of Economics
      Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
    • Nicola Persico

      Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Jacopo Ponticelli

      Associate Professor in Finance
      Kellogg School of Management
    • Nancy Qian

      James J. O’Connor Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences
      Kellogg School of Management
      Professor of Economics by courtesy appointment
      Research papers
    • Yang Qu

      Assistant Professor of Sociology
    • Aaron Yoon

      Associate Professor in Accounting
      Kellogg School of Management

    • Pre-Doctoral Fellow

      Yu-Chi Hsieh

    • Post-Doctoral Fellow

      Alina Wang

    • Past Pre-Doc Fellows

      Lan Wang
      Zixin Wei

    • Past Post-Doctoral Fellows

      Cavit Baran
      Jaya Wen

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