Spring Seminar Series: China's Belt and Road Initiative: A Look at the Evidence with Prof. Albert Park


Date and Time

April 27, 2021 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM


RSVP Required.


Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | 4:30 - 5:45 pm Pacific Time

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): A Look at the Evidence with Professor Albert Park, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted polarized debate over China’s motives with relatively little evidence. We analyze project-level data on China’s outbound foreign direct investments (FDI) and construction projects to examine several key questions related to the Initiative. First, we study the impact of the BRI on the amount of outbound FDI to BRI countries and examine whether the importance of economic, governance, and other factors in explaining China’s outbound FDI flows to different countries changed under the BRI. We find that after the BRI began, the importance of economic fundamentals declined while the importance of governance factors increased. Second, we quantify the role of state-owned enterprises in the Initiative and compare the nature and determinants of SOE investments to those made by private firms. Finally, to examine the impact of the Initiative on China’s soft power, we study changes in sentiment by using AI algorithms to conduct textual analysis of millions of media articles around the world.

Watch the Recorded Event: 

Headshot of Dr. Albert Park.
Albert Park
About the Speaker

Albert Park is a development and labor economist who is an expert on China’s economic development. He is Head and Chair Professor of Economics, Chair Professor of Social Science, Professor of Public Policy, and Director of the Center for Economic Policy at HKUST. His research and commentary has appeared in the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, China Daily, BBC, CNN, NBC, Bloomberg, Freakonomics, and NPR. In recent years he has published articles in leading economics journals on firm performance, poverty and inequality, migration and employment, health and education, and the economics of aging in China. Prof. Park has played a leadership role in numerous survey research projects in China including the China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES), the China Urban Labor Survey (CULS), the Gansu Survey of Children and Families (GSCF), and the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). He previously held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan and Oxford University, and has consulted frequently for the World Bank.

Seminar Series Moderators:

Headshot of Dr. Scott Rozelle

Scott Rozelle holds the Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professorship at Stanford University and is Senior Fellow in the Food Security and Environment Program and the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies. For the past 30 years, he has worked on the economics of poverty reduction. Currently, his work on poverty has its full focus on human capital, including issues of rural health, nutrition and education. For the past 20 year, Rozelle has been the chair of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In recent years Rozelle spends most of his time co-directing the Rural Education Action Project (REAP). In recognition of this work, Dr. Rozelle has received numerous honors and awards. Among them, he became a Yangtse Scholar (Changjiang Xuezhe) in Renmin University of China in 2008. In 2008 he also was awarded the Friendship Award by Premiere Wen Jiabao, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a foreigner. 

hongbin li headshotHongbin Li is the James Liang Director of the China Program at the Stanford King Center on Global Development, and a Senior Fellow of Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). Hongbin obtained his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 2001 and joined the economics department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where he became full professor in 2007. He was also one of the two founding directors of the Institute of Economics and Finance at the CUHK. He taught at Tsinghua University in Beijing 2007-2016 and was C.V. Starr Chair Professor of Economics in the School of Economics and Management. He founded the Chinese College Student Survey (CCSS) in 2009 and the China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES) in 2014.

Hongbin’s research has been focused on the transition and development of the Chinese economy, and the evidence-based research results have been both widely covered by media outlets and well read by policy makers around the world. He is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics.