Carl Riskin

Distinguished Professor, Economics

Powdermaker 306-I
Queens College, City University of New York
Flushing, NY 11367

Professor Riskin's CV.

Background and current research:

Carl Riskin received his B.A. from Harvard College and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Columbia University before coming to Queens College. His research interests include the modern economic history of China, the economics of development and environmental economics. In recent years he has focused on contemporary social development problems in China, including poverty reduction and the growth of income inequality. In addition to his academic work, he has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme in China and elsewhere.

Works in Progress:

"The Changing Nature of Urban Poverty in China," (with Qin Gao).

"China and the (Human) Development State: in Honor of Amiya Kumar Bagchi."

"Generosity and Participation: Variations in Urban China's Minimum Livelihood Guarantee Policy," (with Qin Gao).

"Property Rights and the Social Costs of Transition and Development in China."


The Macroeconomics of Poverty Reduction: The Case of China (with Nathalie Bouche et al.), Beijing, UNDP-China, 2004.

Inequality and Poverty in China in the Age of Globalization (with A.R. Khan), New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. 158 pp. plus endnotes, bibliography, index.

China's Retreat from Equality (editor, with Zhao Renwei and Li Shi), Armonk, NY and London, M.E. Sharpe, 2001. 344 pp. plus index.

Zhongguo Jumin Shouru Fenpei Zai Yanjiu (New Research On the Distribution of Income in China) (edited, with Zhao Renwei and Li Shi), Beijing, China Finance & Economic Press, 1999 (in Chinese). [Contains original Chinese versions of many of the articles in China's Retreat from Equality.]

The China Human Development Report, 1997, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press (for UNDP), 1999. 93 pp. plus statistical appendix and bibliography. On behalf of UNDP Beijing.

The China Human Development Report, 1999, Hong Kong, Oxford University Press, 1999. 114 pp. plus bibliography and statistical appendix. [Editor and part author]. On behalf of UNDP Beijing.

China's Political Economy: The Quest for Development since 1949, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987. 379 pp. plus bibliography & index. Available for Download: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-11, Chapters 12-15


"China and the (Human) Developmental State," in Manoj Sanyal, ed., Development, Inequalities and Economic Reforms: Essays in Honor of Professor Amiya K. Bagchi, forthcoming Sage (New Delhi), 2008.

"Growth and Distribution of Household Income in China between 1995 and 2002," (with A. R. Khan), in Bjorn Gustfasson, Li Shi and Terry Sicular, eds., Inequality and Public Policy in China, New York Cambridge University Press, 2008

"Explaining China's Changing Income Inequality: Market vs. Social Benefits," with Qin Gao, in Deborah Davis and Wang Feng, eds., Creating Wealth and Poverty in Post-Socialist China, Univ. of California Press forthcoming 2008.

"Has China Reached the Top of the Kuznets Curve?," in Vivian Shue and Christine Wong, eds., Paying for Poverty Reduction in China, Stanford University Press, 2007.

"Amartya Sen and Development Studies," chapter in D. A. Clark, (ed.) The Elgar Companion to Development Studies (Edward Elgar, 2006).

"The Fall in Chinese Poverty: Issues of Measurement, Incidence and Cause," in James Boyce, Stephen Cullenberg, Prasanta Pattanaik and Robert Pollin, eds. Human Development in The Era of Globalization: Essays in Honor of Keith Griffin, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, Edward Elgar, 2006.

"Household Income and its Distribution in China, 1995 and 2002" (with A.R. Khan), China Quarterly no.182, June 2005.

"The Retreat from Equality: Highlights of the Findings" (with Zhao Renwei and Li Shi), in Riskin, Zhao and Li, China's Retreat from Equality, pp. 3-22.

"Income Distribution in Urban China during the Period of Economic Reform and Globalization" (with K. Griffin and A.R. Khan), in Riskin, Zhao and Li, China's Retreat from Equality, pp. 125-132.

"Chinese Rural Poverty Inside and Outside the Poor Regions" (with Li Shi), in Riskin, Zhao and Li, China's Retreat from Equality, pp. 329-344.

"Guest Editor's Introduction," The Chinese Economy, 3, 4 July-August 2000, pp. 3-8.

"Mitigating the Human Impact of the Asian Crisis: The Role of UNDP," pamphlet prepared for UNDP, New York, with collaboration of Kanni Wignaraja. 35 pp.

"Income and Inequality in China: Composition, Distribution and Growth of Household Income, 1988 to 1995" (with A.R. Khan), China Quarterly, 154, June 1998. Pp. 221-253. Reprinted in R. Garnaut and Y. Huang, eds., Growth without Miracles, Oxford and New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 2001, pp. 363-384.

"Income Distribution in Urban China During the Period of Economic Reform and Globalization" (with A.R. Khan and K. Griffin), Amer. Economic Review, May 1999, pp. 296-300.

"Seven Questions About the Chinese Famine of 1959-61", special issue of Chinese Economic Studies, 9, 2, Fall 1998, pp. 111-124.

"Social Development and China's Changing Development Strategy", in Dharam Ghai, ed., Social Development and Public Policies, Macmillan, 1998, pp. 103-138.

"Behind the Silk Curtain", The Nation, November 10, 1997, pp. 11-17.

"Social Development, Quality of Life and the Environment", in U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee, China's Economic Future: Challenges to U.S. Policy, ed., John Hardt, Washington, DC, US Government Printing Office, 1996, pp. 361-380.

"Rural Poverty in Post-Reform China", in The Third Revolution in the Chinese Countryside, ed. Ross Garnaut, London & New York, Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 63-78.

"Democracy, Authoritarianism and Development in China", in Democracy and Development, ed. Amiya Kumar Bagchi, International Economic Association Conference Volume No. 113, London, Macmillan, and New York, St. Martin's Press, 1995, pp. 215-233.

"Reform and System Change in China", in Capital, The State and Labour, A Global Perspective, ed. Juliet Schor and Jong-il You, Aldershot, UK, UNU Press and Edward Elgar Pub. Co., 1995, pp. 319-344.

"Chinese Rural Poverty: Marginalized or Dispersed?", American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, May 1994, pp. 281-284

"Poverty in China's Countryside: Legacy and Change", in Development and Change: Essays in Honour of K.N. Raj, ed. P. Bardhan and T.N. Krishnan, Bombay and London, Oxford University Press, 1993, pp. 125-145.

"Income Distribution and Poverty in Rural China", in The Distribution of Income in China, eds. Keith Griffin and Zhao Renwei, New York and London, Macmillan, 1993, pp. 135-170.

"Household Income and its Distribution in China" (with A.R. Khan, K. Griffin and Zhao Renwei), in The Distribution of Income in China, eds. Keith Griffin and Zhao Renwei, New York and London, Macmillan, 1993, pp. 25-73.

"Household Income and its Distribution in China" (with A.R. Khan, K. Griffin and Zhao nwei), China Quarterly, 132, Dec. 1992, pp. 1029-1061. This is virtually identical to the chapter listed directly above.

"Sources of Income Inequality in Post-Reform China" (with A.R. Khan, K. Griffin and Zhao Renwei), China Economic Review, 4, 1 1993, pp. 19-34.

"Feeding China: The Experience Since 1949." In Hunger: Economics and Policy, eds. Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen, Oxford & London: Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991. pp. 15-58.

"Neither Plan Nor Market: Mao's Political Economy," in New Perspectives On The Cultural Revolution, William Joseph, Christine Wong and David Zweig, eds., Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 133-152.

"Reform: Where is China Going," in The Chinese Economy And Its Future, Peter Nolan, ed, Cambridge and Oxford, Polity Press and Basil Blackwell, 1990, pp. 41-62.

"Food, Poverty and Development Strategy in the People's Republic of China," in Food Shortage, Poverty & Deprivation, ed., Robert Kates and Lucile Newman, New York, Blackwell, 1990, pp. 331-352.

"A Comment on Professor Brus' Paper," in Development Policies and the Crisis of the 1980s, ed. Louis Emmerij, Paris: OECD, 1987, pp. 164-167.

"Introduction," in D. Solinger, ed., Three Visions Of Chinese Socialism, Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1984, pp. 1-10.

"Market, Maoism and Economic Reform in China," In V. Lippit and M. Selden, eds., The Transition to Socialism in China, Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. and London, Croom Helm, 1982, pp. 300-321.

"Intermediate Technologies in China's Rural Industries," World Development, 6, 11/12, November-December 1978, pp. 1297-1311. Revised and reprinted in E.A.G. Robinson, ed., Appropriate Technologies For Developing Countries, London, Macmillan, 1979, pp. 52-74.

"Political Conflict and Rural Industrialization in China," World Development, Winter 1977-78, pp. 681-692.

"The Symposium Papers: Discussion and Comments," Modern China, 4, 3, July 1978, pp. 359-376.

"East Asia and the World Economy, A Review Essay," Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 10, 3, July-September 1978, pp. 57-61.

"China's Rural Industries: Self Reliant Systems or Independent Kingdoms," The China Quarterly, March 1978, pp. 77-98.

"Worker Incentives in Chinese Industry," Occasional Paper OPS #4, Centre for East Asian Studies, McGill University, 1978, pp. 1-14.

"Judging Economic Development: The Case of China," Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 41, October 8, 1977 (Bombay), pp. 1741-1754.

"China's Economy: At the Crossroads Yet Again?" Contemporary China, I, 3, January 1977, pp. 1-11.

"Surplus and Stagnation in Modern China," In Dwight Perkins, ed., China's Modern Economy In Historical Perspective. Palo Alto, Stanford University Press, 1975, pp. 49-84 plus endnotes.

"Workers' Incentives in Chinese Industry," U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee, China: A Reassessment of the Economy. Washington, D. C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975, pp. 199-224.

"Maoism and Motivation: Work Incentives in China," In Victor Nee and James Peck, ed., China's Uninterrupted Revolution. New York, Pantheon Books, 1975, pp. 415-461.

"Small Industry and the Chinese Model of Development," The China Quarterly 46, April-June, 1971 pp. 245-273.

"Local Industry and Choice of Techniques in Planning of Industrial Development in Mainland China," United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Planning for Advanced Skills and Technologies, Vienna, 1969, pp. 171-180.

"The Chinese Economy in 1967," in Oksenberg, Riskin, Scalapino and Vogel, The Cultural Revolution: 1967 in Review, University of Michigan, Center for Chinese Studies, pp. 45-71.

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