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China’s Age of Abundance: Origins, Ascendance, and Aftermaths

November 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Feng Wang, Professor of Sociology
University of California, IrvineWang Feng, Professor of Sociology University of California, Irvine

This in-person event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to help with COVID protocols

Please register in advance here

In the last four decades, especially the last two, China’s integration into the global economy has created one of the greatest and most transformative economic miracles in human history. China is now basking under an age of abundance. This talk traces the origins of this transformation, summarizes the paths of China’s rise to material abundance, and revisits its underlying driving forces. China’s ascendance was in essence an industrialization process with the special Chinese characteristics, chief among them a healthy and literate population under exploitation of an urban-rural divide social arrangement. The surplus created during this age of abundance is beginning to shrink and the Chinese state is facing increasing fiscal challenge as this age nears its end. Rapid population aging, persistent inequalities, and a return to political rigidity are among the major headwinds that are likely to accelerate the end of this era.

Feng Wang is professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and an adjunct professor of sociology and demography at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He has done extensive research on global social and demographic changes, comparative population and social history, and social inequality, with a focus on China. He is the author of multiple books, and his research articles have been published in venues including Population and Development Review, Demography, Science, The Journal of the Economics of Aging, The Journal of Asian Studies, The China Journal, and International Migration Review. He has served on expert panels for the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and as a senior fellow and the director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy. His work and views have appeared in media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Guardian, Economist, NPR, CNN, BBC, and others.

Cosponsored by the UB Departments of Sociology and History, Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, and Confucius Institute


November 3
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


509 O’Brian Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260 United States