Chinese / English
Remarks by Chairman Xia Bin

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Ladies and Gentlemen, dear faculty and students:

 

Good morning!

 

First of all, on behalf of National Economics Foundation (NEF), I would like to extend our warm welcome to you for attending the Third Great Minds China Forum.

 

At the First Great Minds China Forum, revolving around the theme of “Contemporary Economics in China”, we discussed the difficulties, challenges and opportunities of contemporary economics, the pain points and difficulties of China’s economic research development as well as the economic theoretical research and status quo of education from the perspective of the future economic masters in China.

 

The Second Great Minds China Forum focused on the “Mystery of China's Economic Growth”, explored the issue from the historical and empirical perspective, discussed investment mismatch and China’s economic growth and dug into the mechanism design theory and its significance to China's reform, development and governance.

 

Today, we decide to have some post-crisis economic reflections and gather perspectives from different schools of thought. We have three topics to discuss, from the perspective of micro economics, macro economics and new institutional economics.

 

NEF aims to “impel theoretical innovation and prosper economic sciences”. Nevertheless, the fields of economics need to be enriched beyond merely the macro and micro economics and new institutional economics. An economic science should be the knowledge we have of human beings’ economic behaviors and economic systems, which share some certain commonalities; the economic science should also be developed and enriched in an environment where all schools of thoughts flourish together. Due to time limit today, we will explore innovation of economic sciences only from the above mentioned three perspectives. In the upcoming future, we will also have academic communications from other angles like Marxist economics, new political economics and the Austrian School while utilizing multiple tools, such as econometrics.

 

With the rise of China, studies on economic phenomenon in China have become one of the major tasks for economists around the world. Chinese economic theorists are not only summarizing the policy experiences in the last 40 years of economic growth, but also contributing arduously to innovation of economic sciences based on practices. However, it is normal and inevitable that different individuals’ perceptions would bring disagreement on how to develop and enrich economic sciences; we should manage to avoid belittling ourselves improperly or being overconfident blindly, the two biggest taboos in the midst of innovating economic sciences.

 

Considering the relationship between the evolvement of economic theories and the history of economy, when great changes and turns take place in global economy and during rises and falls of powers, usually new economic thoughts and theories spring up quite frequently. Having a population of 1.4 billion and experiencing nearly forty years of rapid growth, China has brought about a huge influence on the world economy, especially with our GDP ranking global NO.1 for eight consecutive years, accelerating development and changes of the global economic landscape. The economic recovery is still lacking in strength even though it has been 10 years since the subprime mortgage crisis broke out in the US in 2007, and how do we explain this? The rise of a country will definitely lead to the prosperity of economic theories along with the emergence of economic masters in the country. Chinese scholars enjoy more convenience in academic studies as they are in the center of the complex economic context, deeply involve themselves in the diversified economic practices and therefore easily access plentiful materials for economic observation. Hence, we have the reason to believe that as long as Chinese economists can grasp the pulse of the frontiers of economic sciences and dive into the relevant studies, we will be successful in theoretical innovation, and there is no need to underestimate our capabilities.

 

On the other hand, theoretical innovation requires hard work, or even inspirations, but never blind overconfidence. Science is the result of continuous development and accumulation of human knowledge. Among the natural sciences, thermodynamics, optics, electrodynamics and quantum mechanics are all based on the development of classical physics and classical mechanics. In terms of economic sciences, Coase’s transaction cost theory is a product of theoretical innovation based on analysis of “invisible hand” and “insufficient necessary conditions” proposed by Adam Smith in his The Wealth of Nations. Marx’s theory of surplus value is based on classical economist David Ricardo’s study of labor values, with the purpose to explore the rules of social development. Marxism is even more advanced innovation, which is based on a complete critical interpretation of works done by great philosophers, economists, political scientists, legal professionals, etc. and their opponents; Marxism itself is also a subject of continuous development. Today, only by reading and understanding a large number of thoughts and studies done by their predecessors, whether mainstream or non-mainstream, Marxist or non-Marxist, can the Chinese economists achieve theoretical innovation and really obtain the essence of different schools of thought. In this regard, in the academic atmosphere where China's domestic policy and applied studies have focused more on purely theoretical researches over the past more than a decade, the Chinese economists have to vigorously catch up instead of being blindly over-confident.  

 

NEF, as a non-profit organization, presents the China Economics Prize and Outstanding Doctoral Paper on China’s Economic Research every year while organizing and promoting economics-related academic studies. Last year, we awarded the First China Economics Prize to Qian Yingyi and Xu Chenggang, which was fairly well received in the academic circle and even beyond in the whole society.

 

Last but not least, we hope more people and organizations of inspiring insights could join us, to further prosper the development of economic sciences in China, and concert our efforts to leave contemporary Chinese economists’ marks in the history of economic thoughts.

 

 

 



◆please indicate the source if authorized: National Economics Foundation

◆photo:National Economics Foundation