Shang Jin Wei Headshot

Shang-Jin Wei

N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy

Shang Jin Wei Headshot

619 Uris Hall


Personal Details

Focus areas: International finance, trade, macroeconomics, China

Dr. Shang-Jin Wei is N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Graduate School of Business.

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.

He has been a consultant to numerous government organizations including the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, United Nations Economic Commission on Europe, and United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and to private companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a PhD in economics and MS in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.

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.


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • MS, University of California, Berkeley

Honors and Awards

  • Pushan Prize for Research Excellency on the World Economy, 2016
  • An Zhijian Prize for Research on International Trade, First Prize, 2016
  • Sun Yefang Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Economics
  • Zhang Peifang Prize for Contributions to Economics of Development
  • Gregory Chow Award for Best Research Paper

Research And Publications

The Competitive Saving Motive: Concept, Evidence, and Implications

Oct 2016

Frontiers of Economics in China

Shang-Jin Wei

Xiaobo Zhang

In The Media

Geopolitical Stability

While bribery remains widespread in China, the government’s sweeping anti-corruption measures have been at least partly successful. Professor Shang-Jin Wei examines the country's recent political dynamics.

Sep 20 2023
Project Syndicate

Shang-Jin Wei cites "U.S. large and liquid capital markets" and China's strict capital controls, among other political and economic barriers, as some of the challenges to the renminbi's internationalization.

Apr 06 2023
Project Syndicate

To restore rapid GDP expansion, writes Shang-Jin Wei, Chinese policymakers must break the cycle of COVID-inspired pessimism and recover lost household and corporate confidence.

Jan 04 2023
Project Syndicate

Economist Shang-Jin Wei conducted a cost-benefit analysis of China's zero-covid policy, concluding that the Chinese strategy is more economically sound than many have assumed, but that it's time for the country to adopt a less severe approach.

Oct 12 2022
Project Syndicate

Shang-Jin Wei argues that Prime Minister Liz Truss must reverse her tax cuts and introduce policies to help struggling homeowners, thereby allowing the Bank of England to focus on restoring price stability.

Oct 05 2022
Project Syndicate