- PhD: University of Cambridge
- Master of Philosophy: University of Cambridge
- Bachelor of Arts: University of Guelph
James Kung joined the HKU Business School at the University of Hong Kong in 2018. Before that he was the Yan Ai Foundation Professor of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science of Technology (HKUST), where he had taught for many years. He was twice the winner of the School of Humanities and Social Science's teaching award while at HKUST.
- Economic Development of China
- Capstone Seminar
- Empirical Analysis of China
Kung's research interests are steeped in the economic history of China, its institutions and its political economy of development. Currently, Kung is studying both the origins of China's meritocratic civil exam system (keju) and its long-term persistent effects on human capital development. At the same time, he is examining issues related to the political exchange between firms and officials, and corruption more broadly in contemporary China.
- Political Elites and Hometown Favoritism in Famine-stricken China"
(with Titi Zhou). Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming.
- "Long Live Keju! The Persistent Effects of China's Civil Examination System"
(with Ting Chen and Chicheng Ma). The Economic Journal, forthcoming.
- "Busting the 'Princelings': The Campaign Against Corruption in China's Primary Land Market"
(with Ting Chen). The Quarterly Journal of Economics 134 (1): 185-226, 2019.
- "Do Land Revenue Windfalls Create a Political Resource Curse? Evidence from China"
(with Ting Chen). Journal of Development Economics 123: 86-106, 2016.
- "Of Maize and Men: The Effect of a New World Crop on Population and Economic Growth in China" (with Shuo Chen). Journal of Economic Growth 21 (1): 71-99, 2016.
- "Diffusing Knowledge while Spreading God's Message: Protestantism and Economic Prosperity in China, 1840-1920" (with Ying Bai). Journal of the European Economic Association 13 (4): 669-698, 2015.
- "The Tragedy of the Nomenclature: Career Incentives and Political Radicalism during China's Great Leap Famine" (with Shuo Chen). American Political Science Review 105 (1): 27-45, 2011.
- "Climate Shocks and Sino-nomadic Conflict"
(with Ying Bai). The Review of Economics and Statistics 93 (3): 970-981, 2011.
Kung is elected as a member of the executive committee of the Association of Comparative Economics and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Economics and Explorations in Economic History.