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Department of Economics

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About

The Department of Economics at the University of California, Davis offers nationally and internationally recognized graduate and undergraduate programs. The Department of Economics has 25 permanent faculty members, all active in research, and by various ranking criteria the department consistently ranks between number 25 and 35 in the country. The department specializes in macroeconomics, applied microeconomics, public finance/labor economics, economic theory, economic history, econometrics, and industrial organization.

Department of Economics

There are 75 publications in this collection, published between 1999 and 2021.
Recent Work (2)
Open Access Policy Deposits (73)

What is the price of tea in China? Goods prices and availability in Chinese cities

We examine the price and variety of a sample of consumer goods at the barcode level in cities within China. Unlike the position in the United States, in China the prices of goods tend to be lower in larger cities. We explain that difference between the countries by the more uneven spatial distribution of manufacturers' sales and retailers in China, and we confirm the pro-competitive effect of city size on reducing markups there. In both countries, there is a greater variety of goods in larger cities, but that effect is more pronounced in China. Combining the lower prices and greater variety, the price indexes in China for the goods we study fall with city size by around seven times more than in the United States.

Women in Economics: Stalled Progress

Women are still a minority in the economics profession. By the mid-2000s, just under 35 percent of PhD students and 30 percent of assistant professors were female, and these numbers have remained roughly constant ever since. Over the past two decades, women’s progress in academic economics has slowed, with virtually no improvement in the female share of junior faculty or graduate students in decades. Little consensus has emerged as to why, though there has been a renewal of widespread interest in the status and future of women in economics and of the barriers they face to professional success. In this paper, we first document trends in the gender composition of academic economists over the past 25 years, the extent to which these trends encompass the most elite departments, and how women’s representation across fields of study within economics has changed. We then review the recent literature on other dimensions of women’s relative position in the discipline, including research productivity and income, and assess evidence on the barriers that female economists face in publishing, promotion, and tenure. While differences in preferences and constraints may directly affect the relative productivity of men and women, productivity gaps do not fully explain the gender disparity in promotion rates in economics. Furthermore, the progress of women has stalled relative to that in other disciplines in the past two decades. We propose that differential assessment of men and women is one important factor in explaining this stalled progress, reflected in gendered institutional policies and apparent implicit bias in promotion and tenure processes.

How Much Will China Save? Projecting China's National Savings Through 2040*

This paper projects China's national savings through 2040 based on China's national account data, demographic data, and data on rural and urban life-cycle income and consumption. Our baseline projections show that China's national saving in 2040 will be 16 times the current national saving. The annual growth rate of wealth will decline from 16.3 percent in 2012 to 9.5 percent in 2040. Lowering the growth rate of wealth accumulation to the current rate of return to wealth increases consumption through 2040; lowering the growth rate of wealth further may increase consumption more in the short run, but less in the long run.

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