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Call for Paper

Rethinking the Economic Role of the State: New Structural Economics and its Critics   

Jun 3, 2017, Beijing, P.R. China


The Market, the State, and the Economy: What Do We Learn from China?


Modern economics was born in England in 1776, with the publication of the Wealth of Nations. A central and lasting message of Adam Smith concerns the role of the state vis-à-vis the market in the working of a free economy. Over the past two hundred and forty years, economics has gone through many revolutions (Ricardian, Marxian, marginal, Marshallian, Keynesian, Austrian, Samuelsonian, Robbins-Beckerian, and neo-institutional). Since the 1940s, the epicenter of economic research has shifted across the Atlantic. Since the end of the Cold War, modern economics ,with a common set of basic concepts, principles and analytical tools, has been taught all over the globe. Despite such revolutions in economic knowledge and changes in the production and consumption of economic knowledge, the economic role of the state remains a central point of debate and inquiry.


Nowhere is this debate more central and this inquiry more demanding than in China. After nearly four decades of “reforms and opening up”, the Chinese government is strong in taxation and investing but weak in regulation and governance. Despite decades of liberalization, the market has not yet assumed the “decisive” role in the economy. What is the proper role of government vis-à-vis the market in the economy as China furthers its economic and political reforms? The current debate on the economic role of the state in China echoes and is inevitably influenced by the ancient contention between Confucianism, which calls for benevolent meritocracy, and Taoism, which cherishes “governance through inaction” (无为而治).At the center of this ongoing debate stands New Structural Economics (NSE), which advocates a “facilitating state”(因势利导型政府)in the process of structural transformation distinguished from the “developmental state” of Structuralism and a "limited state" of the Neoliberalism.From the perspective of NSE, a facilitating state is to help enterprises to overcome externality and coordinating issues in the process of structural transformation. Critics of NSE, however, question on both theoretical and practical grounds the viability of the state in facilitating economic development without undermining entrepreneurship or crowding out market forces.


In order to sharpen the focus of this debate and clarify the market-state relation in economic development, with particular reference to China, we’d like to call your attention to a forthcoming academic workshop in Jun. 2017, organized by the Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University, in collaboration with Man and the Economy: the Journal of the Coase Society. Founded by Ronald Coase, Man and the Economy aims to work with students of economies across disciplines and all over the world, and bring diversity and competition into the marketplace for economics ideas.


At the workshop, selected authors have the opportunity to share their preliminary draft and present key arguments of their paper. We hope the workshop will help them sharpen their viewpoints and revise the paper. The best papers will be included in a special issue of Man and the Economy, to be published by December 2017.


We welcome submissions on the following and other closely related topics:

· Industrial policies in developing and developed countries
· Political economics
· Role of government in the history of economic thought
· Role of government in market-oriented reforms

Paper Submission

Authors are invited to submit detailed abstracts via email (jingyu@nsd.pku.edu.cn) by March 15, 2017. The deadline for submitting full papers is June 30, 2017. Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication while being evaluated for this conference.


1. Working Language: English

All Papers or abstracts should be submitted and presented in English

2. Paper type options

Full paper (up to 20 double-spaced pages with a one page single-spaced abstract), or abstract only (2-4 single-spaced pages, clearly stating your (1) Research Question, (2) Method & Data used (not applicable for non-empirical papers), (3) Summary of Findings, and (4) Key Contributions)

3. File Types: Microsoft Word or PDF

4. Personal information:

To assure a blind review, authors must avoid revealing their identities in the body or reference section of the paper. Authors should do the following:

1) Do not include a front page with author-identifying information.

2) Remove author identifying information from the document's file properties.

After acceptance notification, the contributors of accepted papers willbe asked to submit papers including a front page with author-identifying information. Complete contact information for all authors including name, affiliation, mailing address and phone number will be required. 

5. Subject of Email: Paper submission-Workshop on Jun 3

Contact us

Jing Yu, Research Secretary of the Center for New Structural Economics


Phone: 86-10-18811728768

Fax: 86-10-62768932

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline:March 15, 2017

Announcement of Accepted Submission:March 20, 2017

Final Manuscript Due:June 30, 2017

The workshop will be held in Beijing on Jun 3, 2017. Planned invited speakers include – 

· Professor Roger Myerson, University of Chicago;
· Professor Joseph Stigliz, Columbia University;
· Professor Justin Yifu Lin, Peking University;
· Professor Gerard Roland, University of California Berkeley
· Professor Pranab Bardhan, University of California Berkeley
· Professor Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago
· Professor Kaushik Basu, Cornell University

The organizer will explore publishing selected conference papers as a special issue in ME.


An economic class air travel (or second class train for local participants) and accommodation will be covered by the organizer.

The Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University

                             October 2017

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