Xiaobo Zhang

Xiaobo Zhang

Chair Professor
National School of Development, Peking University, China
Economy, regional inequality

Xiaobo ZHANG is a distinguished chair professor of economics at the National School of Development, Peking University in China, and senior research fellow of IFPRI. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research fields include agricultural economics, development economics, and Chinese economy. He is the author of five books, and he has published widely in top economics journals. He is the Chief Editor of China Economic Review. He received Sun Yefang Prize for Economics Research in China (the most prestigious award in the field of economics in China) and Zhang Peigang Development Economics Outstanding Achievement Award (the highest award in the field of development economics). He has rich field experience in developing countries and has conducted surveys in China, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Myanmar. He is the principal investigator (PI) of Enterprise Survey for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in China (ESEIC) and co-PI of China Family Panel Studies (CFPS).  He will stay at EURICS from 15th of February to 6th of May 2020.

Research project

I’d like to work on two projects on entrepreneurship and innovation in China during my visit. 
1.    Background paper on Enterprise Survey for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in China (ESEIC). Promoting entrepreneurship and innovations are top national development priorities in China. However, little is known about the vast number of entrepreneurs and their firms’ innovation behavior in large due to lack of data. Starting from 2016, as the PI, I have led the survey for four years. Despite the enormous challenge, ESEIC has been a great success. The 2017 data will be released late this year. However, almost all the documents are in Chinese. I will write a background paper on the survey design, implementation, and major findings of ESEIC in English. We plan to release the ESEIC 2018 data in the mid-2020. The background English paper will be made available to the public.  2.    A paper on patent quality. The number of Chinese patents has exploded in the past decade. China has become the largest producer of patents. However, there has been increasing criticism on the declining quality of Chinese patents. I plan to write a paper on the measurement of Chinese patents. With quality adjustment, I want to investigate whether China has indeed become more innovative or not conditioning on patent quality. The Center for Enterprise Research of Peking University has full access to detailed patent Chinese data. More importantly, we have linked the patent data with some administrative firm databases, such as firm registration. The merged dataset allows us to compute patent quality using seven different indicators, such as number of citations, paying fee on time, renewal status, and relatedness with core business. In the end, we want to answer whether the great leap forward of Chinese patents is real or not.