Globalisation & Governance Network Academic Talk with Professor Christine Wong

Globalisation & Governance Network Academic Talk with Professor Christine Wong

Globalization and Governance Network (GGN) & School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney

Academic Talk

Local Finance under Siege:  Is it time for Tax Sharing System Reform 2.0?

  • Speaker: Professor Christine Wong, National University of Singapore
  • Time: 2-3:30pm, Tuesday, November 28, 2023
  • Where: Morven Brown building room 310
  • Zoom:

Stories of local government financial problems are legion: from looming debt crises to pay arrears to teachers and across-the-board pay cuts to public employees, cancelled or curtailed bus services, to auctioning off exclusive rights to supply school cafeterias and hospitals, etc. 

In this seminar, Professor Christine Wong will discuss the crisis in local finance and trace its roots to a bigger crisis in China’s fiscal system, of growing deficits and addiction to land revenues and debt.  An overhaul of the tax system and a radical realignment of central-local relations on the scale of the 1994 Tax Sharing System Reform is urgently needed to resolve the crisis and restore functionality to fiscal policy.

Speaker bio

Christine Wong is Visiting Research Professor at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore; and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne.  She held the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Visiting Chair in International Finance at the Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, in 2020-2022 and is continuing to teach on the program.

During 2013-2020 Christine was the Founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne.  Before that she was Director of Chinese Studies and Professor of Chinese Public Finance at the University of Oxford from 2007 to 2013, and Henry M. Jackson Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington during 2000-2007.  She has also taught economics at the University of California campuses in Santa Cruz and Berkeley; and Mount Holyoke College.

An international authority on China’s public finance and public sector reform, Christine has held senior staff positions in the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and has been a consultant for the IMF, OECD, and UNDP.  She is a member of the OECD Advisory Panel on Budgeting and Public Expenditures and the Academic Advisory Board at the Center for Industrial Development and Environmental Governance at Tsinghua University.

Christine has published widely on China’s public finance and public sector reform.  Her research focuses especially on the impact of fiscal decentralization on policy implementation in education, health, social welfare, environmental protection, and urbanization.

Feature image: Photo by Wan San Yip on Unsplash

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