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UB Confucius Institute To Host Conference on Human Capital and Economic Development in China, October 5-6

While numerous factors have contributed to China’s phenomenal growth performance of roughly 10% annually for over three decades, investment in physical capital and adoption of existing technology have been two major driving forces. However, as China joins the ranks of other middle-income countries, continued economic growth will depend critically on technological innovation, which in turn depends on the quality of its labor force.

On October 5-6, scholars from the United States and China will assemble at the University at Buffalo (UB) to present their research on a wide range of issues concerning human capital investment in China. The conference is cosponsored by the UB Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development, UB Department of Economics, and UB Confucius Institute.

The conference will be held in 509 O’Brian Hall on UB’s North Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Presentations will examine interactions between migration and education decisions, gender and income inequalities, higher education system, and the role of social and family environments in human capital production. The conference also features a keynote speech by a leading scholar in the field of human capital, Isaac Ehrlich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Economics, founding editor of the Journal of Human Capital (published by the University of Chicago Press), and Director of UB’s Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development.

UB Confucius Institute Director and Professor of Economics Zhiqiang Liu, PhD, says, “Scholars from the United States and China who have conducted significant research in the area of human capital will discuss economic and social issues in China that have important policy implications. This conference is particularly timely in light of the recent growth slowdown in China.”

Professor Liu adds, “The Confucius Institute is very pleased to collaborate on this project with UB’s Center of Excellence on Human Capital, which under the direction of Professor Ehrlich organizes an internationally-recognized program of research, data gathering, and publications in this field.”

Sessions on Saturday, October 5, will address the topics of “Migration and Human Capital Investment” and “Human Capital Investment and Inequality.” Presentations on Sunday, October 6, will examine “College Access and Admission” and “Human Capital Investment: Environment and Spillovers.”

For a full and updated conference program, visit