一、The Evolution of Economic Research in China
I am glad to be invited to edit “Economics in China-2008”by Unirule Institute of Economics when I have been teaching Economics at the School of Economics in Renmin University of China (RUC) for the past ten years. Honestly speaking, the task is very hard. So many papers have been published in academic journals every year, but only some of them were good. It is easy to find some good papers from many papers for any researcher; however, it is not that easy to choose some which are representative from these good academic contributions. Moreover, it is unreasonable to simply compare one paper with another because the division of economic research is too thin and these papers often deal with more than one field of research. That’s why, after realizing the difficulties of the job, here we, according to the importance of issues, frontier nature of contents, scientificity of methods, specification of writing, and the guidance for future research, could sift some papers which may be representative for economic research in China in year 2008. We, because of the reasons listed above, think that the papers selected are only representatives among the best ones for the academia.
The economic research in China in year 2008 reveals that these economists persist in seeking the true spirit of science and knowledge. The gap between economic research in China and that in advanced countries is, no doubt, big, but so many scholars have gone in for studying economics, since the incentives have been continuously given by the reality that Chinese economy has been rapidly growing for 30 years since the reform and the opening-up in 1978. Nowadays, the economic research in China has reached a delighted situation. Although no “Chinese School of Economics”, or such paradigm, has appeared as Professor Sheng Hong and many wished years ago, improvement and important progress have been made in many aspects. From my own opinion, at least, the economic research in China has already diversified in thoughts and opinions. The Chinese economic academia has learned to tolerate and use competition to embrace theoretical disagreements; it has also opened up in the attitude of research, integrated with international standards in academic norms, and, most importantly, equipped with scientific research methods. Moreover, in the contents of research, the Chinese economists have also progressively broken away from the simple imitation in the past and begun to make innovations. All the phenomena as well as the achievements talked above are the foundations for the future progress of Chinese economic academia.
Among all these changes, the diversification of opinions, the introduction of competition, and the opening-up of minds are the most important.
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