Dennis Tao Yang is Professor of Business Administration at Darden School of Business of University of Virginia (UVA). Prior to joining UVA in 2012, he served on the economics faculty at Duke University, Virginia Tech, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A native of China, he obtained his undergraduate degree from UCLA and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Professor Yang’s research focuses primarily on issues in human resources, development and growth, economics of transition, and the Chinese economy. His work has covered a wide range of topics including: household behavior, education, agriculture and long-term growth, analysis of famines in centrally planned economies, China’s population policies, wage growth, trade and labor markets, savings and income distribution. Professor Yang has published in the leading economics journals such as American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Economic Journal, Journal of European Economic Association, Journal of Monetary Economics, and Journal of Development Economics. He is also the co-editor of three books on economic reforms in China, the president of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies, and has served on the Editorial Boards of China Economic Review, Comparative Economic Studies, Journal of Demographic Economics and Pacific Economic Review.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in June 2010.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10924

We present a global production sharing model that integrates the organizational choices of offshoring into the determination of relative wages in developing countries. The model shows that offshoring through foreign direct investment contributes more prominently than arm's length outsourcing to the demand for skill in the South, thereby increasing the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7611

This paper presents theory and evidence showing that institutional reforms in developing countries can effectively expand their product varieties in export. Our model demonstrates that relaxing foreign ownership controls and improving contract enforcement can induce multinational companies to produce new products in host developing countries, and that a combination of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7223
published in: Shenggen Fan, Ravi Kanbur, Shnag-Yin Wei and Xiaobo Zhang (eds): Oxford Companion to the Economics of China, 2014, 190-193

This paper analyzes the causes of rising savings rates for the corporate, government, and household sectors, which have jointly contributed to the upsurge in aggregate savings in China in the past two decades. Government policies to rebalance the Chinese economy are also explored.

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7026

Using combined data from population censuses and Urban Household Surveys, we study the effects of demographic structural changes on the rise in household saving in China. Variations in fines across provinces on unauthorized births under the one-child policy and in cohort-specific fertility influenced by the implementation of population control policies...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6964
published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2012, 26 (4), 125–146.

Over the last decade, the internal and external macroeconomic imbalances in China have risen to unprecedented levels. In 2008, China's national savings rate soared to over 53 percent of its GDP, whereas its current account surplus exceeded 9 percent of GDP. The current paper presents a unified framework for understanding...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6492
published in: Journal of European Economic Association, 2014, 12 (2), 300-336

Using a national sample of Urban Household Surveys, we document several profound changes in China's wage structure during a period of rapid economic growth. Between 1992 and 2007, the average real wage increased by 202 percent, accompanied by a sharp rise in wage inequality. Decomposition analysis reveals 80 percent of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6054

We study the effects of policy reforms in the South on the decisions of intrafirm and arm's length production transfers by Northern firms. We show theoretically that relaxing ownership controls and improving contract enforcement can induce multinational companies to expand product varieties to host developing countries, and that a combination...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5465
published in: Joseph Fan and Randall Morck (eds.), 2012, Capitalizing China. University of Chicago Press, 249-282

In this paper, we define "The Chinese Saving Puzzle" as the persistently high national saving rate at 34-53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the past three decades and a surge in the saving rate by 11 percentage points from 2000-2008. Using data from the Flow of Funds Accounts...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5377
published in: China Economic Review, 2011, 22 (4), 611-625

This paper assesses the applicability of two alternative theories in understanding labor market developments in China: the classical view featuring a Lewis turning point in wage growth versus a neoclassical framework emphasizing rational choices of individuals and equilibrating forces of the market. Empirical evidence based on multiple data sources fails...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5239
published in: Journal of Monetary Economics, 2013, 60 (3), 367–382

This paper develops a two-sector model that illuminates the role played by agricultural modernization in the transition from stagnation to growth. When agriculture relies on traditional technology, industrial development reduces the relative price of industrial products, but has a limited effect on per capita income because most labor has to...