Loren Brandt

Professor, Department of Economics
Collaborative Master's Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Institute




Department of Economics University of Toronto 150 St. George Street


Loren Brandt is the Noranda Chair Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto specializing in the Chinese economy. He has been at the University of Toronto since 1987. He is also a research fellow at the IZA (The Institute for the Study of Labor) in Bonn, Germany. He has published widely on the Chinese economy in leading economic journals, and has been involved in extensive household and enterprise survey work in both China and Vietnam. He was co-editor and major contributor to China’s Great Economic Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2008), a landmark study that provides an integrated analysis of China’s unexpected economic boom of the past three and a half decades. Brandt was also one of the area editors for Oxford University Press’ five-volume Encyclopedia of Economic History (2003). His current research focuses on issues of industrial upgrading and innovation in China, inequality dynamics, and  China’s long run economic growth and structural change.


Ph D. University of Illinois (1983)
M.A. University of Illinois (1979)
B.A Wesleyan University (1977)

awards and distinctions

Editorial Board, China Quartely, 2012-
Research Fellow, Oxford China Growth Center, 2010
Research Fellow, Institute for Labor Studies (IZA), Bonn, Germany, 2008-
Editorial Board, Explorations in Economics History, 1998-2006
Visiting Professor, University of Washington, Spring 2011
Visiting Professor, Guanghua School of Management, Beijing University, Fall 2008
Visiting Professor, UCLA, Spring 1998
Fellow, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, 1997-2005
Connaught Research Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 1994
National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1986-87
Mellon Language Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, Summer, 1986
Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research, American Council of Learned Societies, 1985

Selected Publications

Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, “Policy, Regulation and Innovation in China’s Electricity and Telecom Industries, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Loren Brandt, Debin Ma and Thomas Rawski, “Industrialization in China”, in Industrialization  and the Periphery,  Jeffrey Williamson and Kevin O’Rourke, editors, Oxford University Press, 2017.

Loren Brandt,  Luhang Wang, Johannes Von Biesebroeck and Yifan Zhang, “WTO and the Effect of Trade Liberalization on Productivity in Chinese Manufacturing”, American Economic  Review, 2017  

Nathanial Baum-Snow, Loren Brandt, Vernon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Qinghua Zhang, “Roads, Rails and the Development of Chinese Cities”, Review of Economics and Statistics , 2017.

Loren Brandt, Debin Ma and Thomas Rawski, “From Divergence to Convergence: Re-evaluating the History Behind China’s Economic Boom.” 2014, Journal of Economic Literature.

Loren Brandt, Johannes Von Biesebroeck and Yifan Zhang, “Creative Accounting or Creative Destruction: Firm-level Productivity Growth in Chinese Manufacturing,” Journal of Development Economics (2012).

Loren Brandt and Eric Thun, “The Fight for the Middle:  Upgrading, Competition, and Industrial Development in China,” World Development (November 2010).

China’s Great Economic Transformation, ed. Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, Cambridge University Press, 2008.  Published in Chinese in China, October 2009.


The Chinese Economy
Intermediate Microeconomics
Intermediate Microeconomics for Specialists in Economics
Economic Development
MA Microeconomics
Topics in Development Economics
The Economy of China

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