Profile

Wing Thye Woo is Distinguished Professor of Economics at University of California in Davis, and Research Professor at Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur where he heads the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia and Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development. He also holds academic appointments at Fudan University in Shanghai, Penang Institute in George Town, and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He is an expert on the East Asian economies, particularly, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. His current research focuses on designing efficient, equitable pathways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with projects on Green Finance, Middle Income Trap, and Global Economic Architecture for the Multi-Polar World.

Wing’s article “The Monetary Approach to Exchange Rate Determination under Rational Expectations: The Dollar-Deutschemark Case,” Journal of International Economics (JIE), February 1985, was identified by JIE in 2000 to be one of the twenty-five most cited articles in its 30 years of history. His article “China Meets the Middle-Income Trap: The Large Potholes in the Road to Catching-Up,” Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies (JCEBS), November 2012, was awarded the Best Paper Prize at the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Chinese Economist Association (UK/Europe) in 2018.

Wing Woo has advised several governments and international organizations. In early 1990s, he advised several centrally-planned economies on their transition strategies to market economy (Economies in Transition: Comparing Asia and Europe, MIT Press, 1997); and Indonesia on growth strategies and exchange rate management (Macroeconomic Crisis and Long-Term Growth: The Case of Indonesia,1965-1990, World Bank Press, 1994). He advised China’s Ministry of Finance on the comprehensive tax and exchange rate reforms implemented in January 1994 (Fiscal Management and Economic Reform in the People’s Republic of China, Oxford University Press, 1995), and the U.S. Treasury in 1997-98 on the Asian Financial Crisis (The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons for a Resilient Asia, MIT Press, 2000). From 2002-2005, Wing was the Special Advisor for East Asian Economies in the Millennium Project of the United Nations; in July 2005, he was appointed to the International Advisory Panel to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia; and in 2008, he became the economic advisor to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of Penang State. From 2009-2015, Wing was the Convener of “The Shadow G-20 Workshop” co-sponsored by the Asian Development Bank and Earth Institute at Columbia University; and selected proceedings of these workshops will be published as A New Global Financial Architecture for a Multi-Polar World, MIT Press (forthcoming). He was a coordinator of the ADB Intitute project, Financing Green Development, 2017-2019, and the outcome is Handbook of Green Finance: Energy Security and Sustainable Development, Tokyo: Springer, 2019.

Wing Woo has been the convener of the Asian Economic Panel (AEP) since 2001, a forum of specialists on Asian economies which meets tri-annually and publishes the Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press (of which Wing is the Editor-in-Chief). He was President of the Chinese Economists Association of North America (CEANA) in 2002, and President of the Chinese Economists Society (CEA) in 2016. Wing is active in the East Asia Economic Association (serving as Director since 2015); the Chinese Economist Association (UK/Europe), serving as Editor of Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies since 2003; and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), serving as a Member of the Networks Strategy Council (governing board) and the Co-Chair of its Southeast Asian Leadership Council.

University of California, Davis awarded Wing its Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award in 2004 and appointed him Distinguished Professor in 2019; the Ministry of Education of China appointed him Chang Jiang Professor in 2006; the Governor of Penang conferred on him the title Dato in 2009; and the Thousand Talents Program of China appointed him a National Distinguished Expert in 2016. In 2020, The University of Cambodia awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Sustainable Development, and conferred on him Honorary Membership of the Board to Trustees.

Wing was born in 1954 in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1976 with a B.A. (High Honors) in Economics, and a B.S. in Engineering; and received an M.A. in Economics from Yale in 1978, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard in 1982.

Profile (long version)- English, Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese

Curriculum Vitae (download)

Affiliations

  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Economics, University of California
  • National Distinguished Expert by the Thousand Talents Program (Qian Ren Jihua) of China, 2016- present
  • Convener of the Asian Economic Panel (AEP), and Editor-in Chief of the AEP journal, Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, 2011- present
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Sunway University, 2014- present
  • Adjunct (Te Bing) Professor, School of Economics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 2012- present
  • Adjunct Research Fellow, Institute of Population and Labor Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2016- present
  • Distinguished Fellow, Penang Institute, George Town, Malaysia, 2014- present
  • Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University, 2002- present – Director of the East Asia Program in the Center for Sustainable Development

Current Projects

Selected Publications

Selected Talks and Presentations

  • 14 Nov 2018: “One Belt One Road: Spheres of Influence or Spheres of Connectivity” invited keynote lecture, 44th Convention of the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors’ Associations (IFAWPCA), Strategic Alliance with Innovation & Human Capital, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia
  • 12 Nov 2018: “Common Key Lessons from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis” conference on A Decade after the Global Financial Crisis, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China
  • 1 Oct 2018: “Defusing the US-China Trade War” at East Asia Studies Distinguished Forum US-China Trade War: Global Prosperity and Cooperation Under Threat, DeCarli Room, Memorial Student Union, University of California, Davis
  • 16 Sept 2018: “A New Economy for a New Malaysia” Malaysiaku Celebrations 2018 Forum, Key Economic and Political Reforms for Malaysia Baharu
  • 8 Aug 2018: “External Trade and Investment in China’s Economic Development and Global Role” Shanghai Academy Forum, Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening-Up, Shanghai University
  • 23 June 2018: “Defusing the US-China Trade War,” invited keynote lecture, 30th Anniversary of Chinese Economic Association UK-Europe, conference, China’s Path to a New Era, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 27 April 2018: “Malaysia’s Economy 60 Years After Merdeka” Yong Peng, Malaysia
  • 27 April 2018: “Raising Income in Malaysia Faster and Fairer” Kluang, Malaysia
  • 26 April 2018: “Stabilizing the Tumultuous New International Normal: The Options” Joint Malaysia Institute of Malaysia – China Institute for International Strategic Studies conference Belt and Road Initiative and Promoting Regional Security, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • 24 April 2018: “Can Malaysia beat Singapore in Economic Governance” Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 29 March 2018: “Chinese Corporate Debt and Credit Misallocation” Asian Economic Panel conference, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Seoul, South Korea
  • 17 Feb 2018: “Geopolitical Ramifications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative” Aspen Institute, Colorado
  • 26 Jan 2018: “Regulatory Issues on Crypto-Currencies” Shadow Finance Committee seminar, Digital Currencies, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand

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What Is Happiness? A Provocative Conversation

Under what conditions do human beings experience the highest levels of happiness, life-satisfaction or subjective well- being? A panel of experts, including Prof Woo Wing Thye, answers from their respective perspectives.

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2020-03-06T16:30:17+08:00