HONGBIN LI is the James Liang Chair, the faculty co-director of the Stanford Center on China’s Economy and Institutions (SCCEI), and Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). He received his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford in 2001. Before joining Stanford’s faculty, he held the C.V. Starr Chair Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University in Beijing (2007-2016), where he became involved with China’s attempts to reform the college entrance exam, and was a professor of economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2001-2007). Currently, he serves as the co-editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics, a leading economics journal.
Hongbin was born in the midst of China’s Cultural Revolution. Once Deng Xiaoping reinstituted the education system and began reforming China’s economy, Hongbin attended school in his hometown of Jilin, China and unexpectedly went on to receive his undergraduate degree in Beijing. His two children have attended both public and private schools in Beijing, Hong Kong, and California. Realizing that education was one of the most important and hot-button issues among his Chinese friends, colleagues, and students today, Hongbin began expanding his work from China’s development and transition to China’s education system. He is one of the most cited economists in the world studying China and is a co-author of Exam Empire (Harvard University Press).