Heiwai Tang

Heiwai Tang, PhD

Assistant Professor of International Economics
International Economics

1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 709, Washington, DC 20036


  • Asia
  • Culture and Economic Development
  • Economic Development
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Globalization
  • Labor Economics and Outsourcing
  • International Economics
  • Multinational Corporations
  • Chinese (Mandarin)

Background and Education

Heiwai Tang is Assistant Professor of International Economics at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Research Fellow of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Center of Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESIfo) in Germany, as well as the Globalization and Economic Policy Center in the UK He has been a consultant to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and held visiting positions at the IMF, MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard University, and RIETI.

Tang received his PhD in economics from MIT. His research interests span a wide range of theoretical and empirical topics in international trade. His recent research studies how a country’s domestic institutions shape its comparative advantage; how firms learn from their neighbors to export; how China successfully moved up the global value chains; and how exporting and foreign direct investment enhance firm performance. His work has been published in leading journals in economics, including American Economic Review, Journal of International EconomicsJournal of Development Economics, and Journal of Law and Economics.

Google Scholar
Research Statement

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Please check his personal website for the most updated links to the following papers.

Working Papers

Global Sourcing and Domestic Production Networks, with Taiji Furusawa, Tomohiko Inui and Keiko Ito (2017)

Do Multinationals Transfer Culture? Evidence on Female Employment in China, with Yifan Zhang (2016)

Fast Fashion, with Ana Fernandes (2016)

The Domestic Segment of Global Value Chains in China, with Fei Wang and Zhi Wang (2017)

Relational Contracts in Global Sourcing: Evidence from the United States, with Fariha Kamal (2016)

Quality Differentiation and Trade Intermediation, with Yifan Zhang (2014)
R&R - Journal of International Economics

Refereed Journal Articles
(All papers are for individual or academic use only. All copyrights belong to the publishers.)

Domestic Value Added in Exports: Theory and Firm Evidence from China
American Economic Review, 106(6), June 2016, pp. 1402-1436. with Hiau Looi Kee

Why is China Investing in Africa? Evidence from the Firm Level
World Bank Economic Reviewforthcoming, with Wenjie Chen and David Dollar

Economics Letters, 133, Aug 2015, pp. 68-72. with Ana Fernandes
Learning to Export from Neighbors
Journal of International Economics, 94(1), Sep 2014, pp. 87-94. with Ana Fernandes

Factor Intensity, Product Switching, and Productivity: Evidence from Chinese Exporters
Journal of International Economics, 92(2), March 2014, pp. 349–362. with Yue Ma and Yifan Zhang 

International Politics and Import Diversification
Companion Paper: Geopolitics, Global Patterns of Oil Trade, and China’s Oil Security Quest
Journal of Law and Economics, 56(4), Nov 2013, pp. 1091-1121. with Sergei Mityakov and Kevin Tsui

Determinants of Vertical Integration in Export Processing: Theory and Evidence from China
Journal of Development Economics, 99(2), Nov 2012, pp. 396–414. with Ana Fernandes

Labor Market Institutions, Firm-specific Skills, and Trade Patterns
Journal of International Economics, 87(2), July 2012, pp. 337–351. 

Exchange Rates and the Margins of Trade: Evidence from Chinese Exporters
CESIfo Economic Studies, 58(4), Dec 2012, pp. 671-702. with Yifan Zhang

Book Chapters, Special Issues, etc.

​Trade Patterns and Dynamics of Processing Exporters: Evidence from China
in New Development in Global Sourcing, 2016, MIT Press.

​Investment Renaissance
IMF Finance and Development, Dec 2015. with Wenjie Chen and David Dollar
World Trade Review, 13, Oct 2014, pp. 733-735.
World Economy, 35(1), 2012, pp. 91-105. with Yasheng Huang


​Quartz, Sep 2015. with Wenjie Chen

Brookings Institution, Sep 2015 with Wenjie Chen and David Dollar

Brookings Institution, Aug 2015 with Wenjie Chen and David Dollar

CEPR VoxEU, Sep 2014. with Wenjie Chen

2016-10-08 00:00:00 
Fall 2013 
Microeconomics ...
Microeconomics is our entry-level graduate course intended to start you on your way to analyzing economic phenomena on your own. Students will learn how consumers, workers, and firms make decisions while interacting with one another efficiently through markets. They will also learn about the different ways that markets can fail and some possible ways to correct these market failures. A central goal of this course is for students to understand the effects of incentives on the behaviour of these agents and thereby on economic welfare. Topics include: • Consumer choice and demand • Production and cost • Firms and market structure • Economic policy and social welfare • Market failure Together with Macroeconomics, it constitutes the foundation for all other economics courses at SAIS. The course is taught at the intermediate level and uses graphs, algebra, and some differential calculus. Microeconomics is built up cumulatively. Do not skip class or textbook readings; lectures often serve as the foundation for subsequent lectures.