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Department of Economics

Seminar on "Genetic Diversity, Trust and Innovative Activities: Evidence from Chinese Provinces"

Speaker Professor LI Tingting, Associate Professor
International School of Business & Finance
Sun Yat-sen University
Date 11 July 2018 (Wednesday) 
Time 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue WYL314, Dorothy Y. L. Wong Building 


This paper examines whether the genetic patterns among Chinese provinces are good predictors of provincial prosperity. Asfraf and Galor (2013) found genetic diversity has two offsetting impacts on prosperity. It lowers the interpersonal trust, which weakens collective actions. But it also brings a variety of ideas and ability that are conducive to innovation. Asfraf-Galor found a hump-shaped relationship between genetic diversity and prosperity. Our paper finds genetic diversity has a negative impact not only on trust but also on innovative activities among Chinese provinces. Hence, only part of Ashraf-Galor’s predictions is supported. In China, gene diversity is not positively correlated with innovation as expected, it may be not true that diversity can bring about new idea. Although gene diversity is negative correlated with innovation, but innovation can enhance per capita real GDP. A collectivist culture might explain this difference. Furthermore, the present research finds that only the enrollment rate of university can significantly improve the innovation performance. Moreover, only investment in science can truly improve China’s innovation capability while pure investment in education contributes little to China’s technical innovation. 


LI Tingting is an Associate Professor at Sun Yat-sen University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from City University of Hong Kong in 2016. Her research interests include Economic Growth and Development, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Environmental Economics, Applied Econometrics.