Faculty Member

Prof. Heiwai Tang

Job Title

Associate Dean (External Relations)
Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics
Director, Asia Global Institute
Director, APEC Study Center
Associate Director, Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy

Heiwai Tang is Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics, Director of the Asia Global Institute and HKU APEC Study Center, as well as the Associate Director Institute of China Economy and the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Prior to joining HKU, he was tenured Associate Professor of International Economics at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. He is also affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (U.S.), the Center of Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESIfo, Germany), the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany) and the Globalization and Economic Policy Center (U.K.) as a research fellow. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations, and the Asian Development Bank; and held visiting positions at the IMF, Stanford, MIT, Harvard. He is currently an associate editor of the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Comparative Economics and the China Economic Review. Since 2021, he has served on a number of public bodies, including the Currency Board Sub-Committee of the HKMA’s Exchange Fund Advisory Committee and the Minimum Wage Commission in Hong Kong.

Heiwai holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from UCLA. His research interests span a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics in international trade, with a specific focus on production networks, global value chains, and China. His research has been published in leading journals in economics, including American Economic Review and Journal of International Economics. His research and opinions have been covered by BBC, Financial Times, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, and various think tanks such as the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Academic & Professional Qualification
Bachelor: UCLA (B.S.)

Columbia-LBS-HKU EMBA: The New World Order
HKU-PKU DBA: Frontiers in Economics Research
Fudan-HKU IMBA: The New World Order
HKU: Undergraduate Common Core – China in the Global Economy; MBA – Global Economy; Master of Economics – Economic Policy

Research Interest
International Trade, Global Value Chains, Development Economics

Selected Publications
“Currency Carry Trade by Trucks: The Curious Case of China’s Massive Imports from Itself”, Review of Finance, forthcoming. (with Xuepeng Liu, Zhi Wang, and Shang-Jin Wei)
“Do Multinationals Transfer Culture? Evidence on Female Employment in China”, Journal of International Economics, 133, Nov 2021, 103518. (with Yifan Zhang)
​“Domestic Segment of Global Value Chains in China under State Capitalism”, Journal of Comparative Economics, 2020, forthcoming (w/ Fei Wang and Zhi Wang)
“Excessive Entries and Exits in Export Markets”, Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, forthcoming. (w/ Hiro Kasahara)
“Why is China Investing in Africa? Evidence from the Firm Level”, World Bank Economic Review, 32 (3), Oct 2018, 752-752. (w/ Wenjie Chen & David Dollar)
“Are Foreign Firms Favored in China? Firm-level Evidence on the Collection of Value Added Tax”, Journal of International Business Policy, 1(2), Inaugural Issue, Jun 2018, pp. 71-91. (w/ Yasheng Huang)
“Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China”, American Economic Review, 106(6), Jun 2016, pp. 1402-1436. (w/ Hiau Looi Kee)
“Scale, Scope, and Trade Dynamics of Export Processing Plants”, Economics Letters, 133, Aug 2015, pp. 68-72. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
“Learning to Export from Neighbors”, Journal of International Economics, 94(1), Sep 2014, pp. 67-84. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
“Factor Intensity, Product Switching, and Productivity: Evidence from Chinese Exporters”, Journal of International Economics, 92(2), Mar 2014, pp. 349-362. (w/ Yue Ma & Yifan Zhang)
“International Politics and Import Diversification”, Journal of Law and Economics, 56(4), Nov 2013, pp. 1091-1121. (w/ Sergey Mityakov & Kevin Tsui)
“Exchange Rates and the Margins of Exports: Evidence from Chinese Exporters”, CESIfo Economic Studies, Symposium on China’s Trade Performance, 58(4), Dec 2012, pp. 671-702. (w/ Yifan Zhang)
“Determinants of Vertical Integration in Export Processing: Theory and Evidence from China”, Journal of Development Economics, 99(2), Nov 2012, pp. 396–414. (w/ Ana Fernandes)
“Labor Market Institutions, Firm-specific Skills, and Trade Patterns”, Journal of International Economics, 87(2), Jul 2012, pp. 337–351.

Awards and Honours
Hong Kong RGC Grant, Co-PI, HKD 418,975, 2022-2024
Committee of 100 Next Generation Leader, 2018
Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy Grant, Columbia University, Co-PI, USD 14,500.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Insight Grant, Co-Investigator, CAD 78,736
Student-Elected Best Professor of the Master of International Econ and Finance Program, JHU SAIS, 2016-2017
Alcoa Foundation Grant, Co-PI, USD 500,000, 2016-2019
Hong Kong RGC Grant, Co-PI, HKD 364,378, 2017-2019
Outstanding Referee Journal of International Economics, 2014-2017.
Hong Kong RGC Grant, Co-PI, HKD 336,462, 2011-2013
The Nuffield Foundation Social Science Grant, SGS/36581, Co-PI, £12,000, 2009-2011
MIT Presidential Fellowship, 2002-2003
Service to the University/Community
Journal of International Economics, Associate Editor, 2019 –
China Economic Review, Associate Editor, 2018 –
Journal of Comparative Economics, Associate Editor, 2017 –
China Economics Summer Institute, Academic Committee Member, 2017 –
International Finance Corporation (IFC), Consultant, 2017 –
United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Consultant, 2016 – 2017
Asian Development Bank, Consultant, 2016 – 2017
IMF, Research Department, Visiting Scholar, 2015 – 2016
World Bank, Consultant, 2013 – 2017