CICER strives to become a world-renowned hub for rigorous and impactful economic research on China.
By bringing together scholars from Cornell and elsewhere, CICER conducts cutting-edge economic research to understand the most important economic and social issues in China and their global impact. By engaging policymakers and educating future leaders, CICER seeks to promote evidence-based governance in China while enhancing international collaboration.
As the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China depend on each other now more than ever and have common interests in addressing major global challenges. Over the past three decades, China's embrace of reform has produced an extraordinary rate of economic development, with its GDP growth rate averaging about 10 percent a year: its per capita GDP increased from $200 in 1980 to nearly $7000 in 2014. The economic growth in China has lifted more than 500 million people out of poverty and dramatically improved the quality of life for its nearly 1.4 billion residents. China became the world’s largest exporter of goods in 2009 and the largest trading nation in 2013.
China’s economic growth has had a profound impact on the world economy and the global environment. As the world’s largest manufacturer, China competes with major economies in the international market for selling final products and buying raw materials and energy. Economic growth in China affects the industrial activity and economic wellbeing of other countries, while exerting significant influence on the environment locally and globally. It is important to understand the forces that drive this economic growth, as well as the domestic challenges and international implications that result from such growth.
As "an institution where any person can find instruction in any study", Cornell University has a long and distinguished history of engagement with China. Its contribution to the social and economic development of modern China is widely recognized. Cornell was the alma mater of many influential scholars and scientists in early twentieth century China, including Hu Shih (Class of 1912), the father of Chinese liberalism and language reform, and Mao Yisheng (Class of 1917), the pioneer of China’s modern bridge engineering. The Cornell-Nanjing Crop improvement program in the 1920s trained China’s first generation of plant breeders and led to major progress in food output for participating areas. Over the following two decades, Cornell agricultural economist John Buck conducted a remarkably extensive survey of Chinese farms and established the field of agricultural economics in China.
Cornell has considerable expertise on various dimensions of the Chinese economy, including agricultural development, migration, industrial growth, monetary policy, real estate, trade, energy, and the environment. CICER helps coordinate the efforts of scholars (faculty and students) across campus and supports research to understand economic growth in China (past, present and future) and its impact on the world economy.
Initially supported by the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, the Department of Economics and the Institute for the Social Sciences, the institute is now jointly sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.