Academic & Professional Qualification
- PhD: MIT
- Bachelor: UCLA (B.S.)
Heiwai Tang is Professor of Economics, as well as Associate Director of the Asia Global Institute, the Institute for China and Global Development and the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Prior to joining HKU, he was tenured Associate Professor of International Economics at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. He is also affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (U.S.), the Center of Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESIfo, Germany), the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany) and the Globalization and Economic Policy Center (U.K.) as a research fellow. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations, and the Asian Development Bank; and held visiting positions at the IMF, Stanford, MIT, Harvard. He is currently an associate editor of the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Comparative Economics and the China Economic Review.
Heiwai holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from UCLA. His research interests span a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics in international trade, with a specific focus on production networks, global value chains, and China. His research has been published in leading journals in economics, including American Economic Review and Journal of International Economics. His research and opinions have been covered by BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, and various think tanks such as the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Columbia-LBS-HKU EMBA: The New World Order
HKU-PKU DBA: Frontiers in Economics Research
Fudan-HKU IMBA: The New World Order
HKU: Undergraduate Common Core – China in the Global Economy; MBA – Global Economy; Master of Economics – Economic Policy
International Trade, Global Value Chains, Development Economics
- “Domestic Segment of Global Value Chains in China under State Capitalism”, Journal of Comparative Economics, 48(4), Dec 2020, pp. 797-821. (w/ Fei Wang and Zhi Wang)
- “Excessive Entry and Exit in Export Markets”, Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 53, Sep 2019, 101031. (w/ Hiro Kasahara)
- “Why is China Investing in Africa? Evidence from the Firm Level”, World Bank Economic Review, 32 (3), Oct 2018, 752-752. (w/ Wenjie Chen & David Dollar)
- “Are Foreign Firms Favored in China? Firm-level Evidence on the Collection of Value Added Tax”, Journal of International Business Policy, 1(2), Inaugural Issue, Jun 2018, pp. 71-91. (w/ Yasheng Huang)
- “Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China”, American Economic Review, 106(6), Jun 2016, pp. 1402-1436. (w/ Hiau Looi Kee)
- “Scale, Scope, and Trade Dynamics of Export Processing Plants”, Economics Letters, 133, Aug 2015, pp. 68-72. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
- “Learning to Export from Neighbors”, Journal of International Economics, 94(1), Sep 2014, pp. 67-84. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
- “Factor Intensity, Product Switching, and Productivity: Evidence from Chinese Exporters”, Journal of International Economics, 92(2), Mar 2014, pp. 349-362. (w/ Yue Ma & Yifan Zhang)
- “International Politics and Import Diversification”, Journal of Law and Economics, 56(4), Nov 2013, pp. 1091-1121. (w/ Sergey Mityakov & Kevin Tsui)
- “Exchange Rates and the Margins of Exports: Evidence from Chinese Exporters”, CESIfo Economic Studies, Symposium on China’s Trade Performance, 58(4), Dec 2012, pp. 671-702. (w/ Yifan Zhang)
- “Determinants of Vertical Integration in Export Processing: Theory and Evidence from China”, Journal of Development Economics, 99(2), Nov 2012, pp. 396–414. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
- “Labor Market Institutions, Firm-specific Skills, and Trade Patterns”, Journal of International Economics, 87(2), Jul 2012, pp. 337–351.
Awards and Honours
- Committee of 100 Next Generation Leader, 2018
- Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy Grant, Columbia University, Co-PI, USD 14,500.
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Insight Grant, Co-Investigator, CAD 78,736
- Student-Elected Best Professor of the Master of International Econ and Finance Program, JHU SAIS, 2016-2017
- Alcoa Foundation Grant, Co-PI, USD 500,000, 2016-2019
- Hong Kong RGC Grant, Co-PI, HKD 364,378, 2017-2019
- Outstanding Referee Journal of International Economics, 2014-2017.
- Hong Kong RGC Grant, Co-PI, HKD 336,462, 2011-2013
- The Nuffield Foundation Social Science Grant, SGS/36581, Co-PI, £12,000, 2009-2011
- MIT Presidential Fellowship, 2002-2003
Service to the University/Community
- Journal of International Economics, Associate Editor, 2019 –
- China Economic Review, Associate Editor, 2018 –
- Journal of Comparative Economics, Associate Editor, 2017 –
- China Economics Summer Institute, Academic Committee Member, 2017 –
- International Finance Corporation (IFC), Consultant, 2017 –
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Consultant, 2016 – 2017
- Asian Development Bank, Consultant, 2016 – 2017
- IMF, Research Department, Visiting Scholar, 2015 – 2016
- World Bank, Consultant, 2013 – 2017
China backs Hong Kong to join RCEP trade deal in potential boost to city’s flagging logistics sector
China’s central government has expressed strong support for Hong Kong joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), after its financial secretary said the city intended to become a member of the 15-nation trade bloc in what could be a boost to its flagging logistics sector.
Wine and wheat. Lobsters and logs. Beef and barley. If Australia exports it, China has likely put up barriers to entry over the past year, as diplomatic relations between the two countries rapidly deteriorated. Now, one commodity is almost single-handedly keeping the trade relationship afloat: iron ore.
After decades overseeing the outsourcing of electronics production to low-cost destinations in China and Southeast Asia, Roberto Leone has chosen an unlikely location for his latest manufacturing venture: one of Asia’s most expensive cities, Hong Kong. Nirotech Ltd., the company Leone co-founded, has been pumping out 30,000 video door intercoms a month since December from the district of Yuen Long, near the border with mainland China.
Hong Kong’s reindustrialization strategy, announced in 2016, commits over $12.9 billion to a data center, an advanced manufacturing center, applied research, platforms for medical technology and other ambitious projects. However, policy gaps remain to be filled, reports Oswald Chan from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s axing from Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom rankings a gift that will keep on giving
Market failures related to global finance and Covid-19 should have made policymakers realise that to function well, free markets require sound rules. Hong Kong needs to consider how it can achieve a better state-market balance in a post-pandemic world rather than cling to outmoded ideas of the free market.
With neighbour Shenzhen poised to pull ahead, Hong Kong needs an economic transformation of its own: it must end its reliance on the financial industry. The city should focus on creating rewarding, good-paying jobs that benefit more than a few by upgrading its workforce and developing a new manufacturing sector based on science and technology.
The article 《香港第三次經濟轉型，還等什麼?》 was originally published in Hong Kong Economic Journal column 「龍虎山下」
民粹主義近年在多國抬頭，與當前全球經濟和政治變局有密不可分的關係，若要分析國際政經發展，必先理解近年民粹主義冒起的原因。 隨着2008-09年全球金融風暴過後，民粹迅速在各地崛起。在美國，繼茶黨運動在2010年興起，特朗普隨後標榜「美國優先」而在2016年當選總統。此外，法國有右翼政黨國民陣線崛起，英國則有獨立黨在不同選舉中取得佳績；就連一向少受民粹運動影響的瑞典和德國，也漸見到民粹黨派興起。至於發展中國家，委內瑞拉總統查韋斯（Hugo Chavez），厄瓜多爾總統科雷拉（Rafael Correa）、玻利維亞總統莫拉萊斯（Evo Morales），均着眼於資源再分配政策；而極右翼民粹主義領袖，則包括巴西總統博爾索納羅（Jair Bolsonaro）和菲律賓總統杜特爾特（Rodrigo Duterte）。2016年英國公投後脫歐，以及2018年展開的中美貿易戰等，都在此形勢下產生，世界經濟與秩序亦相繼出現不穩定性。
The long-term rivalry between the US and China has since the election of President Trump manifested itself in the form of an economic conflict between the world’s greatest powers. With geopolitical flux now the new normal, Hong Kong citizens’ struggle to maintain their freedoms saw US politicians jump on the bandwagon in 2019; now the COVID-19 is the latest issue that both the US and China are dragging into the general trade war. Who has the upper hand?
Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, was interviewed by SCMP on the future of globalisation after the pandemic
Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, was interviewed by SCMP on China's economy amid coronavirus
Podcast of Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, on Hong Kong stimulus package and whether the government should start reopening the economy
Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, was interviewed by TVB Pearl on the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, was interviewed by BBC World News on the impacts of COVID-19 to the economy of China.
How coronavirus is changing Beijing’s economic strategy; what the coming collapse in global trade means
Podcast by Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, on the business environment when the pandemic is over.
Article by Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, on the business environment when the pandemic is over.
“With millions of workers heading back to the factories, dining in the shared cafeterias and sleeping in the shared dormitories, the risk of a second wave of infections could be substantial,” said Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics.
Article by Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, on US's costly and inefficient health care system in dealing with COVID-19.
China’s return to work is good news for the economy – but it also risks unleashing a second wave of Covid-19 infections
Article by Professor Heiwai Tang, Professor of Economics, on COVID-19 outbreak and Chinese economy.