Successful thesis defense for Xueping Sun

On Monday 13 June, Xueping successfully defended her thesis "Essays on China’s Economic Development: Innovation, Public Debt and Social Connections".

Overview of Xueping's defense

What is your thesis about? What are the most important findings?

- My thesis is about China’s economic development on three topics: innovation, public debt and social connections. In the chapter on innovation, I investigate the effect of bureaucrat’s incentive on innovation-led growth and find that fast promotion leads to the policy pursuit of sacrificing innovation for short-term growth. Next, in the chapter on public debt financing I study the effect of public debt financing on firms’ financing and find that bank loan and bond issuance as two public debt financing alternatives have opposite impact: while bank debt crowds out firms’ borrowing, bond issuance improved credit allocation among firms. In the last chapter I study how social connections can be used to study the spread of COVID-19 in China in the early 2020 and find that social media connections is not only a better measure of social interaction proximity but also a conduit of information compared with travel connections.  

Xueping Sun. Photo: Viktoria Garvare Mahdessian/Stockholm University

What are your plans for the near future? Any particular research agenda you will embark on?

- I will work as a Lazear-Liang postdoctoral scholar at Stanford GSB from this September. I will continue my current research on the political economy of China development. I am looking forward to resuming my work on understanding the political selection process using machine learning methods, industrial policies and how freedom and democracy matters for science. I am also interested to study the political incentives behind the zero-covid policy in China since 2020.  

How do you feel now that you have successfully defended your thesis? 

- It feels great! I had the best opponent I can possiblely ask for. She (Ekateria Zhuravskaya) did a great job in summarizing my dissertation and  asking questions. I felt I had a much better understanding on my dissertation after the defense. 

We are immensely grateful for Ekaterina Zhuravskaya's (Paris School odf Economics) time and comments as opponent at Xueping's defense!

Click here to download and read Xueping's thesis