Balancing China's Economy CEA 2013 Conference, 30-31 August The Hague

Leiden University - Campus The Hague
Location Schouwburgstraat
Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague

Conference website:


Register via the conference website.

The conference is jointly organized by:
- Leiden University, Research Profile Area Asian Modernities and Traditions (AMT)
- Erasmus University Rotterdam
- International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (ISS)

Keynote presentations of the conference include:

  • Christine Wong, University of Oxford
  • Jeroen Lamers, Dutch Embassy in Beijing
  • Eric Thun, University of Oxford
  • Ling Chen, Zhejiang University
  • Gang Fan, China Growth Foundation
  • Hans Timmer, Director of the Development Prospects Group at The World Bank 
  • Yongping Wu, Tsinghua University

Balancing China's Economy

Three decades of economic reform and opening up have laid a basis for China’s economic prosperity. China started from a low level of income and high levels of poverty in the early 1980s  but through unprecedented growth re-emerged as a prosperous economy. The Chinese government did not only ‘open the door’ to inward foreign investments but also promoted a ‘going out’ strategy. The past three decades have strengthened China’s international competitiveness and many Chinese companies have seen either the limitations of the domestic market or the attractiveness of foreign markets. However catching up has been at breakneck pace  with substantial economic and social transformations.

Recent uprisings of workers demanding higher wages, unsustainable growth with severe environmental consequences and a rigid financial system, indicate that it may be difficult for China to maintain its position as the world’s low-cost manufacturer. Rather, a shift may be necessary from export-dependence towards domestic development and consumption, and moving up on the global value chain and upgrading of industrial infrastructure. China’s economic development led to imbalances in the economy which ask for adjustment of long term structures rather than a quick change in economic policy. The fact that some of these imbalances have been acknowledged in the 12th Five Years Plan is however no substitute for a thorough examination of those factors which might impede sustainable development in the future.

Conference themes

Within the overall theme of the conference we particularly invite papers that investigate one or more of the challenges to China’s economy and continued economic growth:

• Middle income trap and new drivers of China’s innovation
• Low domestic consumption and high savings rate
• Unequal income distribution
• Lack of independence of the financial sector
• Unsustainable use of natural resources (energy, water, land)
• Lack of transparency of fiscal and budgetary systems
• Ageing and upgrading of a shrinking workforce and brain drain and brain gain
• China’s inward and outward foreign direct investment
• corporate governance and institutional environments
• comparative studies with other emerging economies

Some of these areas remain under-researched, while others lack a solid micro-economic base for research. Many of these challenges are beyond the scope of ‘pure’ economic reasoning and require research that includes institutional analysis, political economy, or a firm-perspective. We therefore in particular invite applied micro-economic research which aims at modelling and testing the behaviour of firms, families or social groups.


Selected conference papers will be published in the Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies and an edited book.

If you wish your paper to be considered for inclusion in the conference publication, please send your full paper to before 15 July 2013.

The abstract submission is closed.

Academic committee

The academic committee of the conference is made up of Frank Pieke (Leiden), Barbara Krug (Erasmus), Mark Greeven (Erasmus/Zhejiang) and Meine Pieter van Dijk (ISS).

Chinese Economic Association (CEA) UK/Europe

The CEA (UK/Europe) was launched in 1988 and has since become one of the leading organizations in Europe promoting research on China. Its past annual conferences have attracted wide-ranging attention from academic institutions, government organizations, banks and industries, alongside the media in the UK and China. Prominent speakers have included the Prime Minister of Ireland, Ministers from the Chinese and British governments, Chinese ambassadors, and eminent academic figures of international repute including Nobel laureates of economic sciences. Papers from these conferences have been published in leading economics and business journals, edited books and the CEA (UK)’s official journal, the Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, published by Taylor & Francis.

Last Modified: 27-08-2013