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 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.
Curriculum Vitae (download)
- 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
- Goh Chun Sheng, Amanda Ahl and Wing Thye Woo, ‘Sustainable Transformation of Land-Based Economic Development in the Era of Digital Revolution’. Trends in Biotechnology 17 (2021): 192-200.
- Derek Kok and Wing Thye Woo, The Wide Range of National Reactions to the Common COVID-19 Shock: Observations on Causes and Effects, JCI-JSC Policy Briefs (2020).
- Wing Thye Woo, Koh Hock Lye and Teh Su Yean, ‘Achieving excellence in sustainable development goals in Sunway University Malaysia’, In Walter Leal Filho et al. (Eds.), Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, World Sustainability Series. (Switzerland AG: Springer Nature, 2020).
- Liu, Tao; Xiaosong Wang; & Wing Thye Woo. (2019). “The Road to Currency Internationalization: Global Perspectives and Chinese Experience,”. Emerging Markets Review, Vol. 28 Issue 1, pp. 73-101.
- Liu, Tao; Dong Lu; & Wing Thye Woo. (2019).”Trade, Finance and International Currency,”. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 164, pp. 374-413.
- Wing Thye Woo. (2019). “An Introduction to the First Principles for Macro-Stability and Sustainable Growth in China’s New Normal”. China Economic Review, Vol. 57.
- Wing Thye Woo. (2019). “China’s Soft Budget Constraint on the Demand-Side Undermines Its Supply-Side Structural Reforms,” China Economic Review, Vol. 57.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs; Wing Thye Woo; Naoyuki Yoshino; & Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary. (2019). “Importance of Green Finance for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Energy Security”. Handbook of Green Finance: Energy Security and Sustainable Development, Tokyo: Springer.
- DL Swenson; & Wing Thye Woo. (2019). “Understanding the US-China Trade War”, Asian Economic Papers, Vol. 18 No. 3, Fall 2019.
- “JCI-WP-2018-03: ASEAN at 50: Achievements in Regional Integration and the Agenda for Future Regional Economic-Financial Architecture”, JCI-JSC Working Paper.
- “JCI-WP-2018-02: Explaining Malaysia’s Past Economic Growth and Future Prospects”, JCI-JSC Working Paper.
- Wing Thye Woo. (2018). “Understanding the Major Threats to China’s Economic Growth” in Hui-Chiao Huang and Huizhong Zhou (editors), The Impacts of China’s Rise on the Pacific and the World, 52nd Werner Sichel Lecture Series 2015-2016, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Wing Thye Woo. (2018). “A U.S. Perspective on China’s External Economic Disputes in the Past 40 Years and in the Coming 40 Years,” in Ross Garnaut, Ligang Song and Cai Fang (editors), China’s 40 Years of Reform and Development: 1978–2018, Australian National University Press.
- Wing Thye Woo. “A Realistic Architecture for the Asian Economic Union: Viable Forms of Macroeconomic and Trade Cooperation,” Chapter 10 in Wing Thye Woo, Masahiro Kawai, Jong-Wha Lee, and Jeffrey D. Sachs (editors), A New International Monetary System for a Multi-Polar World, MIT Press, forthcoming
- Liu, Tao; & Wing Thye Woo. (2018). “Understanding the U.S.-China Trade War”. China Economic Journal, 11(3: Special Issue), 319–340.
- Wing Thye Woo. (2018). “Decentralization of Decision-Making Is Key to Better and Fairer Economic Outcomes in Malaysia”. The Round Table, 107(6), 815–816.
- Teh, Su Yean; Koh, Hock Lye; Lee, Elizabeth; Wing Thye Woo; & Tan, Wai Kiat. (2017). “Faecal Coliform Simulation on Sewage Discharge for an Environmentally Sustainable Township in Medini Iskandar Johor Malaysia”. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1905, 040028.
- Fu, Xiaolan; Wing Thye Woo; & Hou, Jun. (2016). “Technological Innovation Policy in China: The Lessons, and the Necessary Changes Ahead”. Economic Change and Restructuring, 49(2-3), 139–157.
- Li, Shiyu; Kotlikoff, Laurence J.; Lin, Shuanglin; Wing Thye Woo; & Jiang, Yunyun. (2016). “How much will China save? Projecting China’s national savings through 2040”. Asian Economic Journal, 30(3), 255–274.
- Yuyan Tan; Yiping Huang; & Wing Thye Woo. (2016). “Zombie Firms and the Crowding-Out of Private Investment in China”, Asian Economic Paper, Volume 15, Issue 3, Fall 2016 p.32-55.
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
News & Op/Eds
Prof. Woo Wing Thye comments on the upcoming 2021 Malaysian budget and hopes to see a direct infusion of purchasing power through government spending.
JCI President Prof. Woo calls for “emergency room economics” to be implemented while the MCO is in force, with aid given to those earning low incomes.
Malaysia’s burgeoning middle class has high expectations for future economic development...
With the change in government in May 2018, Malaysia has once again been given the chance to re-make itself...
US investigates Malaysia’s Jho Low over alleged Trump-linked donation, but experts say it won’t speed up justice in 1MDB case
Fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho – the man believed to be at the heart of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad...
Malaysia has once again been given the chance to re-make itself...