Author Archives: Mike

About Mike

Prof of Economics, Wms School of Commerce, Washington and Lee University, Lexington VA

Foreign Exchange

We analyzed key motives for purchasing foreign exchange. These are: speculation imports portfolio considerations (purchasing US$ assets) direct foreign investment (developing oilfields and building factories and purchasing companies to operate them, eg, not “portfolio”) earn returns (eg, interest) We focused … Continue reading

Posted in Home | 4 Comments

Cell Phones, Value Chains and Technology

A popular meme inside the Beltway is that China is stealing us blind. In the background is the assumption that domestic technological capabilities are minimal, and that anything and everything incorporating technology or design must be stolen or counterfeit. In … Continue reading

Posted in Home | 9 Comments


It’s an exciting time to study the world’s largest economy, with 1.4 billion people and a middle/upper class almost double the size of those of the US or Europe. If you’re a global company such as GM or VW, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

China’s Future

Today’s powerpoint Chinas Future. I left in the agriculture elasticities slide and other details that we covered earlier in the term. I added details to the open economy savings-investment balance (S-I) + (T-G) = (X-M) to the end.

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Environmental Issues: Sources

This is the Urban China book in the link on the right – at 550 pages it was too much to assign in class, this chapter alone is 100 pages. Most of the “green” part is on air pollution, including … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Shanzhai innovation

Posted on by Mike | 3 Comments

Paper for Guest Speaker

Download Murphree & Breznitz

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Proofreading your own stuff

You – like this post author – are “…almost incapable of reading anything that [you’ve] written before. It’s just too boring when you already know what the next sentence is going to say; at best [you] can skim. So it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

News Links

I use to create a list of news items relevant for the course. You can find those on the right – I use a pre-made “widget” that includes an ad. (A second version should be at the bottom of … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Exchange rates: Updated

An early topic this term will be foreign exchange rates. After all, we need/want to be able to compare China to other countries, and to understand trade and international finance issues. So here’s a bit of perspective. We also need … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Texts: Will Update With 1-2 more

Peter Hessler, 2010. Country Driving. NY: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-180409-0 but also in other formats.

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Winter 2017: MWF 2:30-3:25 pm

This course is targeted at students who have had Economics 101 and 102 (the “Principles” sequence) though in the past motivated students with an interest in China but little economics background have done well. China’s growth is slowing from real … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

The Panama Papers

There is a fascinating web site put up by the consortium of journalists working with the Mossack Fonseca papers. The home page is at with a signup page for new updates. The files they have go back 40 years, … Continue reading

Posted in Home | 2 Comments

Recent IMF resources

March 21, 2016 Press Release: IMF Managing Director Concludes Visit to China March 20, 2016 Opening Remarks at the 2016 China Development Forum: China in the New Five-Year Plan March 20, 2016 Accelerating Reforms to Establish a Risk Prevention System … Continue reading

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Followup on Ghost Cities

See this 2013 snippet in which the author is visiting a “ghost city” publicized on 60 Minutes. He shows the program segment to bemused residents – the same day it first aired! It’s not just an exercise in debunking, because … Continue reading

Posted in Home | 1 Comment