Past Event


October 27, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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The Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business are pleased to announce the Thirteenth Annual N.T Wang Distinguished Lecture “The Impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act on the U.S. Economy” featuring Nancy Qian, James J. O’Connor Professor of Kellogg MEDS and Dept. of Economics by courtesy appointment at Northwestern University, and moderated by Shang-Jin Wei, N. T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Professor Nancy Qian will speak about her research on the long-run impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration to the United States in 1882. Her research shows that the Act reduced the size of the Chinese population and labor supply across all major economic sectors, and worsened the economic outcomes of not only the Chinese who remained but also those of the other ethnic groups in the United States.. She will connect the historical study with the present-day development in the country.

What you'll learn:

  • Why the implications of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration to the United States in 1882, are still being felt today
  • How the act reduced income for non-Chinese workers (the opposite of what was intended!)
  • What the impact was on manufacturing, mining, and agriculture
  • Why the overall economic development of the United States was dampened in subsequent decades


5:00-6:00PM - Lecture
6:00-7:00PM - Reception


To register to attend this event in-person, please register HERE. *Please note that attendees will need to show proof of their primary series and one booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

Speaker Bios: 

Nancy Qian is the James J. O'Connor Professor at Kellogg MEDS and a professor of the Department of Economics by courtesy appointment. She is a co-director of Northwestern’s Global Poverty Research Lab and a founding director of China Econ Lab. She is a Fellow of the Econometrics Society, and a former Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and Harvard Academy Scholar. Nancy is a native of Shanghai, China, holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT, was a Harvard University Academy Scholar post-doctoral fellow, and an Associate Professor at the Dept. of Economics at Yale University prior to Kellogg.

Professor Qian's research uses data to understand the determinants of economic development, especially in relation to political economy and long-run growth. Her work examines the economic determinants and consequences of formal institutions, such as elections, and cultural norms, such as gender preference and racial identity. She uses economic frameworks and empirical evidence to resolve historical puzzles, such as the causes of the Great Chinese and Soviet Famines, or the presence of local democracy within autocratic regimes. Her work spans a large number of current and historical contexts such as China, the former Soviet Union, the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

Her research has been published in top academic journals and featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. She serves in several editorial positions and has consulted for agencies such as The World Bank, the Global Development Network and the China Development Bank.

She is working on her first book, which is planned for publication in 2023 with the University of Chicago Press.

Dr. Shang-Jin Wei is N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and School of International and Public Affairs. During 2014-2016, Dr. Wei served as Chief Economist of Asian Development Bank and Director General of its Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department. He was ADB’s chief spokesperson on economic trends and economic development in Asia, advised ADB’s President on economic development issues, led the bank’s analytical support for regional cooperation fora including ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and Korea) and APEC, growth strategy diagnostics for developing member countries, as well as research on macroeconomic, financial, labor market, and globalization issues.

Prior to his Columbia appointment in 2007, he was Assistant Director and Chief of Trade and Investment Division at the International Monetary Fund. He was the IMF’s Chief of Mission to Myanmar (Burma) in 2004. He previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, the New Century Chair in Trade and International Economics at the Brookings Institution, and Advisor at the World Bank. 

Dr. Wei is a noted scholar on international finance, trade, macroeconomics, and China. He is a recipient of the Sun Yefang Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Economics (for the invention of the Competitive Saving Motive published in Journal of Political Economy), the Zhang Peifang Prize for Contributions to Economics of Development (for pioneering work on measurement of global value chains published in American Economic Review), and the Gregory Chow Award for Best Research Paper; some of his research was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Dr. Wei’s research has been published in top academic journals including American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of International Economics, and Journal of Development Economics, and reported in popular media including Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Business Week, Times, US News and World Report, Chicago Tribune, South China Morning Post, and other international news media. 

He holds a PhD in economics and M.S. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

This event is hosted by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business, and cosponsored by the China and the World Program at Columbia University.

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