AREC Assistant Professor Receives Sun Yefang Award

Award is One of China's Highest Honors in Economics

August 30, 2018

Jing Cai, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, was named a recipient of the prestigious Sun Yefang Economic Science Award for her research on firm growth in developing countries.

The research is evaluated in her paper, “Industrial Policy and Competition,” which shows that industrial policies that are competition friendly may enhance productivity growth effectively. The paper was published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

The Sun Yefang Award was established in 1984 by the Sun YeFang Economic Science Foundation in honor of Chinese economist Sun Yefang, and is now considered one of China’s highest honors in the field of economics. The award is distributed biennially to economists both abroad and locally  who make contributions that strengthen and promote China’s economic science. Professor Cai’s analysis suggests that the proper selection criteria together with good guidelines for governing sectoral support can make a significant difference in terms of growth and innovation performance for China.

“I feel really excited,” Professor Cai says about receiving the award. “This is the highest award for economists in China and the selection process was very competitive. There were over 200 applications, about 10 percent of them were selected for final round review, then 29 [of the] most prestigious economists in China voted to make the final decision.”

Jing Cai received her PhD from University of California Berkeley in 2012 and then moved on to be an assistant professor of economics at the University of Michigan before joining the University of Maryland. She now serves as a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an affiliated professor of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

Today, Professor Cai is working with a bank in China to study the impact of improved access to credit on small and medium enterprise growth. Through randomized sampling, she hopes to identify the impact of credit. In addition, she is working with a car factory on several projects to study ways to improve worker productivity and reduce turnover rate.

Congratulations Jing Cai!