About the center

2018-11-04

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The Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance is a non-profit academic institute of survey and research established in 2010 by the Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. It consists of three databases respectively on China Household Finance, Micro-and-small Enterprises and China Grassroots Governance, providing references for academic research and policy making in related areas. The Center has an excellent reputation at home and abroad, and is one of the social sciences bases of the Higher Education Discipline Innovation and Talents Introduction Plan (“111” Plan).


China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) is the Center’s first nationwide survey, aimed at collecting micro-level information on household income, expenses, assets, liabilities, insurance and securities, population and employment, etc. Four rounds of the survey have been conducted so far. In 2011, data from a nationally representative sample of 8438 households was collected; in 2013, a nationally and provincially representative sample of 28141 households collected; in 2015, a nationally, provincially, and sub-provincially representative sample of 37289 households collected; in 2017, a nationally, provincially, and sub-provincially representative sample of 40011 households collected.


Simultaneously carried out with CHFS, China Grassroots Governance Survey aims at gathering information on China’s grassroots units (residential committees and village committees) about public service facility, community politics, social organization, environment, health, social security, education, culture, the rule of law at the grassroots level, etc. It respectively surveyed 320 communities in 2011, 1048 in 2013, 1396 in 2015 and 1428 in 2017.


China Micro-and-Small Enterprises Survey (CMES) is the Center’s new nationwide field survey initiated in 2015, aimed at collecting specific information on MSE’s operation, management, entrepreneurship, innovation, investment, financing, tax and dues, etc. The Center has collected so far data from over 120,000 corporate MSEs and individual businesses, which addresses MSEs data gaps in China.


The project employs a stratified three-stage probability proportion to size (PPS) random sample design integrated with field trips and quarterly follow-up calls. To ensure successful implementation, the Center creates a survey software solution enjoying intellectual property rights inspired by computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), a universal interviewing technique. The solution applies to the entire work stages of survey operation, i.e. questionnaire design, sample distribution, data generation, real-time monitoring, and quality control. The independently-developed software substantially boosts survey efficiency and effectiveness. Up to now, there have been 7 patents granted or under examination.


The Center has built a top-level research team that takes the initiative to apply the first-hand data to academic research and policy making in related areas. Dr Li Gan, Founder and Director of the Center, received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and studied with Nobel Prize winner Daniel McFadden. Dr Gan is granted Chair Professor of “Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) Scholar Program” by the Ministry of Education of P.R.C. As one of the “111” Plan bases, the Center has built a first-class overseas expert team led by academic master Changtai Hsieh, which contributes greatly to talent team construction and academic innovation.


Utilizing abundant survey data, the Center carries out dynamic research on income distribution, fiscal policy, and governance reform. It has made significant progress in investigating China’s income distribution reform, household finance, asset allocation, real estate market, urbanization, micro-and-small enterprise innovation and development, grassroots governance, rural inclusive finance, etc. The Center’s vast portfolio of research capabilities has resulted in its cooperations with a variety of well-known organizations across China. The national institution collaborators include the People’s Bank of China, Ministry of Finance of P.R.C, State Council Research Office, Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of P.R.C, and Agricultural Bank of China; higher learning bodies include Beijing University, Beijing Normal University, Zhejiang University, Nanjing Audit University, and Jinan University; enterprises include Alibaba and ChinaPnR.


In recent years, the Center has produced over 165 reports catching the attention of people from academia, industry and government, such as the Report on China Household Finance Survey • 2012, Report on China Household Finance Survey • 2014, Report on the Development of Household Finance in Rural China • 2014, The Vacancy Rate of Urban Housing and Trend in the Housing Market • 2014, Report on the Development of Micro-and-Small Enterprises in China • 2014, and Report on the Tax Policy for MSEs in China • 2015. Such English publications sell well overseas as the Data you need to know about China: Research Report of China Household Finance Survey • 2012, and Report on the Development of Household Finance in Rural China • 2014. In addition, the research team has published over 70 papers in top-ranked academic journals at home and abroad, including the Economic Research Journal, China Economic Quarterly, Management World (Monthly), Journal of Financial Research, Journal of Econometrics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Health Economics, and Journal of International Economics, and over 110 columns in international and national media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Sina, NetEase, and Caijing. Dr Li Gan has delivered keynote speeches in international conferences initiated by JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, CLSA, Jefferies and other global investment firms, and provided consulting services for financial institutions worldwide. Up to now, the Center has organized 8 large and medium-sized news conferences respectively on “Gini Coefficient and Unemployment Rate”, “ChinaPnR-SWUFE MSE’s Development Evaluation Index”, “The Vacancy Rate of Urban Housing and Trend in the Housing Market”, and so forth, and nearly 40 international and national academic conferences, receiving positive feedback from people of all walks of life. Overall, remarkable progress has been made by the Center in think-tank construction, academic development, and social service.


Adhering to the motto “Let China Know Herself, Let the World Know China”, we will strive to make the Center a top research and consulting institute featuring world-class academic research and nationally-leading policy studies with great social impact and public trust.