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Edwin L. -C. Lai



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.


  • “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.