One scholar's story
Lu Ming, an economics professor at Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University, grew up in Ma’anshan, an industrial city in the eastern province of Anhui.
“The Beijing- and Shanghai-born undergraduates don’t want to do research or pursue PhDs,” he laughs, commenting on the small-city origins of most of his academic peers. “In research, you face pressures but the pay is not very high, and economics is a demanding subject.”
But Lu Ming is clearly energized by the challenges of the field, including the effort to understand his country’s complicated dynamics as he pursues research aimed at informing its public policies.
“We keep moving toward the goal of understanding what has happened in China’s development and transition, because this is a huge country,” he says. “We really have a very complex structure in China, with enormous regional differences and rural-urban dualism, and we want to incorporate these dimensions into our studies.”
Lu Ming credits the Poverty Research Network with playing a part in his appointment as a full professor in 2007, at the relatively young age of 34. “The network certainly helped me expand my view of international academia, and to know what’s happening in different corners of the world,” he says.
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