Institute for Economic and Social Research

2021 HCEO–IESR Summer School & Best Paper Competition Successfully Concluded


2021 HCEO–IESR Summer School & Best Paper Competition took place online on July 12 - 17, 2021.

It has been the 5th Summer School that IESR and HCEO (Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group) jointly held since the two sides started the collaboration in 2016.

The 5-day Summer School on Socioeconomic Inequality and the Best Paper Competition were co-directed by HCEO Co-Director Steven Durlauf and IESR Dean Shuaizhang Feng. Moreover, IESR held contemporarily a summer camp for students interested in pursuing Master’s degree at the Institute.


The mission of this HCEO–IESR summer program is to equip students with a fundamental understanding on various economic topics, provide them with necessary tools to study inequality and to communicate a sense of the research frontier on this topic both nationally and internationally. The program also aims to encourage undergraduates to immerse themselves into the research field they feel passionate about by competing for the Best Paper Award.


28 students from institutions worldwide including Peking University, New York University, Renmin University of China, Wuhan University, Zhejiang University and Jinan University participated in the 2021 HCEO–IESR Summer School where Steven Durlauf (University of Chicago), Lawrence Blume (Cornell University),  Chao Fu (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Raji Jayaraman ( University of Toronto), Li-an Zhou (Peking University) and Zhao Chen (Fudan University) gave introductory lectures on a wide array of economic topics and held office hours for students.



Steven Durlauf (University of Chicago)

Lawrence Blume (Cornell University)

Chao Fu (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Raji Jayaraman (University of Toronto)

Li-an Zhou (Peking University)


Zhao Chen (Fudan University)

Office hours

Best Paper Competition

On top of the series of distinguished lectures, the Summer School featured the presentation of papers before a panel of leading experts (Steven Durlauf, Lawrence Blume, Raji Jayaraman, Chao Fu, Zhao Chen and IESR Associate Professor Wei Shi and Assistant Professor Jun Hyung Kim) who thereafter provided each student with constructive feedback.

There were a total of 6 students who presented their research, all coming from various universities in China including Beijing Normal University, Wuhan University, China Agricultural University, Jinan University, and others.

The winner of the 2021 Best Paper Competition was Zhihan Liu (Wuhan University), second prize winners were Chenrui Wang (IESR, Jinan University) and Yuxuan Xiang (Beijing Normal University) and third prize winners were Yi Li (Beijing Normal University), Yiran Zhang (Renmin University of China) and Yuzheng Wang (joint undergraduate of Huazhong Agricultural University and China Agricultural University).



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