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China Program

China’s status as a global power makes it a key player in alleviating poverty—at home and beyond. With that leadership comes challenges: China itself faces a number of obstacles, including a deteriorating environment, widening inequality, corruption, and political uncertainty. Identifying the roots of these and other challenges in order to craft meaningful solutions requires unbiased, state-of-the-art research.

The China Program at the Stanford King Center on Global Development provides crucial insights into these challenges and necessary remedies through its network of researchers within Stanford and strategic collaborators in government, the private sector, and educational institutions across China and the globe.

Research and Collaboration

The China Program brings together leaders in a variety of disciplines to generate actionable, data-driven analyses that can inform real-world solutions. Program-supported research by Stanford scholars and their partners is helping to advance the understanding of key issues facing China, including:

  • Management and productivity. Stanford scholars find that manufacturing productivity is 30 to 50 percent lower in China than in the United States due to resource misallocation. The China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES) gives academics and policymakers access to one of the most comprehensive surveys of Chinese manufacturing firms and their employees. This large-scale data source provides a key platform for evidence-based studies of the Chinese economy.
  • Environment. Stanford faculty and their collaborators have shown that pollution in north China due to winter heating shortens the life expectancy of inhabitants by more than five years.
  • Education. Stanford researchers estimate that, by underinvesting in rural education and limiting competition, China’s lagging human capital development will slow economic growth substantially over the next two decades.


To foster the sharing of ideas, the China Program regularly hosts conferences, meetings, and lectures held at Stanford and in China with partners in the U.S., China, and the rest of the world.

Student Opportunities

The China Program enhances the Stanford student experience through research grants, conferences and other events, and experiential learning via on-the-ground programs led by affiliated faculty and scholars.

For more information, please contact Hongbin Li at