Lecture | An Institutional and Cultural Perspective of the Chinese Economy and Society


Lecture Information:

Speaker: Yan Se (颜色)

Host: David Moser (莫大伟)

Theme: An Institutional and Cultural Perspective of the Chinese Economy and Society

Time: 19:00 – 20:30

Date: May 8 (Wednesday), 2019

Venue: Room B101, Second Gymnasium, Yenching Academy, Peking University

Language: English


The Chinese economy grew at a staggering speed in the past 40 years. However, it is slowing down substantially in the past several years. In the meantime, the new technology has profoundly changed the Chinese society, creating new opportunities and risks. What are the deep roots of the Chinese economic miracle?  How to understand the failures of modernization movements before 1949 and the success after 1978? In this seminar, Dr.Yan will present an institutional and cultural framework to understand the Chinese experience from a long-run perspective. He argues that the following historical factors has contributed significantly to the Chinese economic miracle: Confucius culture, the Civil Service Exam system, and the centralized Imperial political structure. However, rapid technological progress in recent decades has changed social institutions and culture drastically, casting new challenges to the Chinese economy and society in the future.


Dr. Yan Se is an associate professor at the Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, and deputy director of Institute of Economic Policy Research, Peking University (IEPR-PKU). He was also a senior economist at the Standard Chartered Bank, heading mainland China macro research. He completed his PhD in Economics at UCLA, and his B.A. and M.A. in economics at Peking University. 

Dr. Yan's research specialties are macroeconomics, economic history and Chinese economy. Dr. Yan's dissertation, "Real Wages and Wage Premia in China, 1860 to 1936" was awarded "the Best Dissertation Prize" at the 15th World Economic History Congress. His other papers have been published at "International Economic Review", “Journal of International Economics”, "Explorations in Economic History" and other international journals. Yan Se leads the IEPR-PKU, where he is responsible for a number of projects on economic policy studies and providing research reports to the central government. Yan Se has been recently invited to give seminars at various renowned universities, including Harvard Business School and Wharton School. He has also received various research grants, such as the US National Science Foundation.  

At Guanghua, he teaches Macroeconomics, Chinese Economy, Economic History and Economic Growth at undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. levels. He has won several teaching awards, including the “Outstanding Teaching Award of Peking University”.

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