Xia Xingyuan, a 83-year-old retired professor in ZEUL, is still concerned about the economic life around him. Today he is still the invited economist of “ Hundreds of Economists Confidence Surveys in China ” of China Economic Monitoring& Analysis Center of the National Bureau of Statistics and gives opinions and suggestions on China’ macroeconomic market and other aspects. In addition, he was also one of the earlier scholars who studied Underground Economics in a systematical way .
Unshaken Faith in Academic Research
Xia Xingyuan had interest in academic research during his undergraduate studies in Zhongnan Institute of Economics. Xia Xingyuan was chosen to work on his master degree in the university after finishing his undergraduate studies in 1956 when ministry of higher education selected some undergraduate universities to cultivate postgraduates in the whole country on the background of “Marching towards Science” encouraged by the state. He worked as a teacher of history of economic theory in the university after graduation. During the time, he systematically dug into British mercantilism, French physiocracy and British classical political economy as well as some works of vulgar school and Keynes.
It was not until in 1979 that Xia Xingyuan really began his academic research. “Our country, at that time, shifted the focus from ‘class struggle’ to ‘economic growth’, which made it possible that I could be absorbed in teaching and research.” he said. And distribution according to work was his earliest study field.
Research on Economic Issues in Life
Xia Xingyuan’ studies in economic field were in line with economic growth tendency of New China. The Third Plenary Session of 12th CPC Central Committee proposed that
There was imbalance between social supplies and social demand in
Xia Xingyuan has in-depth studies on the goals, means and methods, policy instruments, connections between direct regulations and indirect regulations of macroeconomic regulations and transformation of both macroeconomic regulations and government economic function and other problems in view of
Afterwards,considering the practical needs of building socialist economy, Xia Xingyuan studied socialist distribution according to work, socialist economic benefits, socialist commodity economy, socialist macro-control, socialist reform of state-owned enterprises and underground economy.
The Pioneer of Researching “Underground Economy”
Economic growth has given rise to the spread of smuggling, counterfeit, usury and other problems after reform and opening up. “It is hard to grasp the operation of social economy if we neglect these economic activities which have a great impact on resource allocation, income distribution, currency circulation, market order and other economic activities as well as social climate.” Xia Xingyuan said, they were labeled as “underground economy” in view of their evasion of supervision and management of government.
He carried out related studies after successfully applying for the research project of National Social Sciences Fund with a paper entitled Research on China’s Underground Economy in1990. The research group members conducted research in Shenzhen, Hainan, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wenzhou and other areas for this project and collected an enormous amount of information from customs, public security, business administration and other departments.
Underground economy, which is not the special situation of any country, is very easy to breed during economic transition for seeking economic interests and evading state supervision. He combined the analytical methods of traditional economics with the analytical methods that of ethical economics, institutional economics and game theory, treated underground economy as a kind of economic behavior of economic men, discussed underground economic behavior during the exchange of different economic entities and put forward the treatment methods for underground economic behavior of different economic entities.
Xia Xingyuan and his group members, based on the in-depth research, wrote Research on China’s Underground Economy, An Introduction to Underground Economics, Underground Economy Series and other books, among which Research on China’s Underground Economy won the second prize of excellent achievements in humanities and social sciences of national universities.