Published on: 2015-06-01
Edwin L. -C. Lai
PhD, Stanford University
Professor, Department of Economics
Tel (852) 2358 7611
Personal Home Page
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
International trade, industrial organization, technological change, growth, Chinese economy, Internationalization of renminbi
Before joining HKUST in 2009, Edwin Lai was Senior Research Economist and Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Federal Reserve System, USA, from August 2007 to June 2009. Before that he was Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University, USA, Associate Professor (with tenure) at City University of Hong Kong and Associate Professor (with tenure) at Singapore Management University. Prof. Lai has been a consultant to the World Bank, a visiting scholar with Boston University, Kobe University and University of Munich, visiting fellow (twice) with Princeton University and visiting research fellow with the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research. He is a fellow of the CESifo Research Network. He is an associate editor of the journal Review of International Economics. He got his B.Sc. in engineering from University of Hong Kong and A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, USA.
Prof. Lai has published in American Economic Review, RAND Journal of Economics, International Economic Review, Journal of International Economics and other respected journals in economics. Prof. Lai has published intensively and extensively on the topic of intellectual property protection in the international economy.
SELECTED PAPERS & PUBLICATIONS
- “Invoicing Currency in International Trade: An Empirical Investigation and Some Implications for the Renminbi,” (with Charles Xiangrong YU), World Economy, January 2015.
- "Would Global Patent Protection be too weak without International Coordination?” (with Isabel K.M. Yan) Journal of International Economics, January 2013, pp.42-54.
- “Outsourcing of Innovation,” (with Ray Riezman and Ping Wang), Economic Theory, Volume 38, Number 3, March 2009.
- “Parallel Imports and Price Controls,” (with Gene M. Grossman), RAND Journal of Economics, vol. 39, issue 2 (Summer), 2008.
- “International Protection of Intellectual Property” (with Gene Grossman), American Economic Review, December 2004, pp.1635-1653.
- “The North’s intellectual property rights standard for the South?” (with Larry D. Qiu), Journal of International Economics, 59 (2003), pp.183-209. The paper will also appear in Keith E. Maskus (ed.) The WTO, Intellectual Property Rights and the Knowledge Economy, Edward Elgar, United Kingdom (2004).
- “Adjustment Costs and Gradual Trade Liberalization,” (with Taiji Furusawa) Journal of International Economics, December 1999, pp. 333-361.
- “International Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Rate of Product Innovation,” Journal of Development Economics, February 1998, pp. 133-153.
- "Patent Length and the Rate of Innovation,” (with Andrew Horowitz) International Economic Review, November 1996, pp. 785-801.
- “The Product Cycle and the World Distribution of Income: A Reformulation,” Journal of International Economics, November 1995, pp. 369-382.
[IEMS Academic Seminar]The Potential of the RMB to be a Major Invoicing Currency in the Asia-Pacific Region
Watch Prof Lai explain the key takeaways from the Brief
View full brief (PDF)
By exploring the determinants of various invoicing currencies around the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, Prof. Lai projects the potential of the RMB to be used for inter-regional trade invoicing in the Asia-Pacific, and compared this to the actual amount of RMB used for invoicing. His most surprising finding is that, as of the most recent trade invoicing data available (2012), only RMB 84 billion is actually used in trade invoicing, whereas conservative estimates of the RMB’s potential indicate that RMB 760 billion should be used for such invoicing. This represents an 89% gap between actual usage and potential usage.
Prof. Lai goes on to provide policy recommendations to assuage the large discrepancy between actual and potential RMB usage, and points to a relaxing of state capital controls, allow more convertibility of the RMB, and reform its financial sector much more deeply, amongst other suggestions.
[Bio] Edwin Lai
Photo credit: Close Up of 100 Yuan Note, by David Dennis, BY-NC-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/4mSRzt
Tags: china, currency, internationalization, invoicing, renminbi, RMB, trade