Areas of interest

  • Economic development
  • Economic history
  • Chinese economy


Main Bio

Loren Brandt is the Noranda Chair Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto specializing in the Chinese economy. 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 been involved in extensive household and enterprise survey work in both China and Vietnam. With Thomas Rawski, he recently completed Policy, Regulation, and Innovation in China’s Electricity and Telecom Industries (Cambridge University Press, 2019), an interdisciplinary effort analyzing the effect of government policy on the power and telecom sectors in China. He was also co-editor and major contributor to China’s Great Economic Transformation (Cambridge University Press, 2008), which provides an integrated analysis of China’s unexpected economic boom of the past three 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 in China, inequality dynamics, and economic growth and structural change.

Select publications

  • Tasso Adamopoulos, Loren Brandt, Jessica Leight, Diego Restuccia, "Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China", Econometrica 90 (3) (2022), 1261–1282. (Freely available.)
  • Loren Brandt, Johannes Van Biesebroeck, Luhang Wang, Yifan Zhang, "WTO Accession and Performance of Chinese Manufacturing Firms", American Economic Review 107 (9) (2017), 2784–2820.
  • Loren Brandt, Debin Ma , Thomas Rawski, "From Divergence to Convergence: Re-evaluating the History Behind China's Economic Boom", Journal of Economic Literature 521 (1) (2014), 42–123.
  • Loren Brandt, Johannes Van Biesebroeck, Yifan Zhang, "Creative Accounting or Creative Destruction: Firm Level Productivity Growth in Chinese Manufacturing", Journal of Development Economics 97 (2) (2012), 339–351.
  • Loren Brandt and Xiaodong Zhu, "Redistribution in a Decentralized Economy: Growth and Inflation in Reform China", Journal of Political Economy 108 (2000), 422–439.

Awards & recognition

  • Visiting Professor, University of Oslo, 2017.
  • Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 2008.
  • National Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford University, 1986.


The Economics of Modern China