Liu Shucheng, male and from the Han ethnic group, member of the Communist Party of China, was born in Shanghai in October 1945. He is the Vice-Director of the Academic Division of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In August 1967, he graduated from the department of economics of China’s Renmin University. In August, 1981, he graduated from the department of economics of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences with a master’s degree. He has been a director, researcher and PhD student advisor of the Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, chief editor of the Economic Research Journal, and consultant of the Chinese Association of Quantitative Economics. His academic expertise is macro-economics. Since 1992, he has started to enjoy a special allowance awarded by the State Council. In 1998, he won the “Young and Mid-aged Expert with Outstanding Contribution” Award.
Liu Shucheng, male from the Han ethnic group, and member of the Communist Party of China, was born in
Major Academic Works
The Periodic Fluctuation of Chinese Economy, Chinese Economy Publishing House, 1989
The New Stage of The Periodic Fluctuation of Chinese Economy,
Prosperity and Stability—Study on Chinese Economic Fluctuation,
Economic Cycle and Macro-control--Prosperity and StabilityⅡ, China Social Sciences Documentation Press, 2005
Commodities--currency balance sheet and its mathematical model, in Jinyang Study Journal, 1981.6
The application of input-output extended model on social production, in Socialist Reproduction, System of Ownership and Commodity Value Problems, Shandong Renmin Publishing House, 1982
Study of the application of macro-economics metric model—analysis and adjustment of certain critical parameters, in Study of Quantitative Economy and Technical Economy, 1984.4
The promotion and application of the input-output law, in The Application of the Input-output Law in
Attempts at Chinese fixed assets investigation periodicity, Economics Study, 1986.2
Study of the functional application of Chinese industry and agriculture, in Effect of Economic Model on our National Economy, Economic Science Publishing House, 2000.1
On Chinese Philips Curves, in Management World, 1997.6
On the latest situation of Chinese economic growth and fluctuation, in Chinese Social Science, 2000.1
On consolidation and improvement of macro-control, in People’s Daily, 2004.12.14
Devoted to Research with Great Perseverance
Chang Xin (Chang for short below): Hello, Mr. Liu, I feel honored to have such a precious opportunity to have an extensive interview with you and learn something from you.
Liu Shucheng (Liu for short below): I am also glad to have the chance to share my study experience of many years with young scholars and explore ways of scholarly pursuit together.
Chang: As far as I now, you are among the earliest scholars who studied Chinese economic fluctuation problems and has been studying continuously such a critical subject for more than 24 years since the latter half year of 1984. I would like to begin with how you chose and started to research such an important subject.
Liu: Let’s start from my graduate years and the time I went to work after graduation. I was an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Economics of
Chang: Then how was the periodical fluctuation of the Chinese economy put forward as a new subject?
Liu: In the second half of 1984, in order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the magazine Economic Studies, Wu Jiapei (the head of the quantitative economics and technical economics research institution of CASS, and the director-general of Chinese quantitative economics research institution at that time) and I together wrote an article titled Economic Quantitative Relation Studies for 30 Years which was finished in January 1985 and published in June the same year. In this article, after reviewing the history of Chinese economic quantitative relation studies, some new subjects were listed for future research and the topic socialist economic periodical fluctuation was put forward for the first time in domestic public academic journals. It was written like this in this article: “whether there is a periodical fluctuation in socialist economic growth or not; what on earth is the specific quantitative restriction relation between those factors that influence the acceleration, the slowdown and even the decline of economic growth; to what extent has our decision-making influenced economic fluctuation for 35 years after the birth of the new China; do any other objective factors exist, except our decision-making, that have played a part in influencing the fluctuation and if any, what are the quantitative relations; and how to understand and make good use of the laws underlying socialist economic growth in the process of reaching our ambitious goal for 2000, so on and so forth. Some of these, for us, were new questions that have not been dealt with.”
Chang: How did you specify your research on the economic fluctuation phenomena after the subject was put forward?
Liu: I wrote my first paper titled Attempt at Chinese Fixed Assets Investigation Periodicity on probing Chinese economic fluctuation problems in the second half of 1985, taking into consideration national economic fluctuations over 30 years, especially the effects of inflation on our nation’s fixed assets investigation for consecutive years which showed a trend of decline. The paper was published on the second issue of "Economic Studies" in 1986 after scrutiny and instruction by Liu Guoguang [the then vice-president of CASS] gaining his encouragement and support. In this paper, a curve was drawn to show the seven periodical fluctuations in accordance with the table I made on the fluctuations of our nation’s fixed assets investigation growth from 1953 to 1984. Afterwards, I published consecutively in such journals as Economic studies and Quantitative Economic Studies and Technical Economic Studies 3 papers on the periodicity of our nation’s fixed assets investigation, that is the second, the third and the forth of my fixed assets investigation series, all together 4 papers.
Chang: Was your first book on Chinese economic periodical fluctuation problems finished during this period, too?
Liu: It was in April, 1988 that I finished my first book entitled The Periodical Fluctuation of Chinese Economy, published by Chinese Economy Press in November, 1989. And this book once had the honor of being awarded the first session of the CASS (1977-1991) Award for Outstanding Scientific and Researching Achievements.
Chang: As far as I know, fluctuations in the Chinese economy have gradually become a relatively independent research area since the second half of the 1980s.
Liu: That’s right. Except for my deep probing into the fluctuation problems, other scholars in academic circles also published their papers on this subject during this period. As a result, periodical fluctuation of the Chinese economy, as a new study area, was put forward.
Chang: So the new study area must have drawn attention from national academic circles, right?
Liu: Yes. A commentary was published on the 10th issue of the journal Economics Trend entitled Comment on the Recent Study of Chinese Economic Periodical Fluctuation Problems in 1987. It was said in this article: “For quite a long time, people were not willing to deal with the problem of socialist economic fluctuation. However, quite a few young and middle-aged scholars stepped into this forbidden area boldly in recent years and the discussion on Chinese economic fluctuation problems came into fashion, especially after the production slowdown following exceedingly high speed development in 1984 and 1985. From the published works, the first people who put forward the subject of periodical problem were Wu Jiapei and Liu Shucheng and so on and they put forward the socialist economic fluctuation problem as a critical subject in 1985. Closely following that, Liu Shucheng became the first to demonstrate China’s investigation cycle and at the same time the long wave motion and short wave motion of the Soviet Union economic growth was put forward, “In just a few years, it is encouraging that magnificent breakthroughs have been achieved in domestic theoretical circles on such a significant theoretical subject as socialist economic growth; meanwhile, it is satisfying that many young and middle-aged scholars in our country demonstrated keen insights and creative abilities. ”
Chang: What has the response been from international academia besides domestic commentary?
Chang: What else did you do after the proposal of Chinese economic periodical fluctuation problem, as a brand new study area?
Liu: I began by taking pains to promote this theoretical study for practical use, including promoting and organizing the project of analysis and prediction work of Chinese economic situations and the creation of the corresponding economic Blue Book.
Chang: As for the economic Blue Book, I only came to know about it after I entered the Economic Institution and I am not that familiar about its history. Would you please give us a brief review of it, and put the focus on how the Blue Book came out?
Liu: The economic Blue Book was the first to came out among the most popular and influential large series Books throughout the world. The first economic Blue Book was published in November, 1990 entitled China in 1991: Analysis and Prediction of the Economic Situations [editor: Liu Guoguang, subeditor: Li Jingwen, Liu Shucheng]. From 1990 to 1998, an economic blue book was published in the fall of every year as a predictive book; while from 1999 up to now, two have been published every year, a predictive book in spring added besides the predictive book in fall. During the past 17 years, we continue to publish the economic blue book and now there are all together 25 books published. It contains the hard work of the organizers, authors, editors and publishers. Many experts like Liu Guoguang, Wang Luolin, Li Jingwen, Zhang Shouyi and Wang Tongsan made painstaking efforts on the economic blue book. I was then the deputy director of the quantitative and technical economics Institute and the specific executive on economic blue book in its initial period. In the spring of 1989, Liu Guoguang, Li Jingwen [the then chairman of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of quantitative and technical economics], Zhang Shouyi [the then director of Chinese Association of quantitative economics] and me had a discussion and agreed to use the Chinese macroeconomic model successfully developed at the Institute of quantitative and Technical Economics for a few years from the early 80s to 1989 as a basis to carry out the analysis and prediction of our country’s economic situations, combined with the research on Chinese economic periodical fluctuation problem in the 80s. This idea, however, was postponed temporarily for special reasons.
Liu: The first and second economic blue books were awarded CASS’s first [1977~1991] outstanding research achievement award. The publishing of the economic blue book was listed to be the number one of the top ten big events in publishing circles in 1992 by the Press and Publication Newspaper sponsored by the State Press and Publication Administration. Among the Best Ten National Economical Reads in 1993 made by the Economic Daily there was the economic blue book. In 1996, the Chinese economic situation analysis and prediction project was awarded the second prize of the National Scientific and Technological Progress award.
Chang: These papers together formed a study series about the problems of Chinese economic periodical fluctuation and macro-control. And the series proved the dedication and perseverance of your scholarly pursuits in the subjects of Chinese economic periodical fluctuation and macro-control for 24 years.
Liu: I feel so flattered. I like very much one paragraph quoted from the Chapter Advice on Studying by Xunzi: “A journey of thousands of miles may not be achieved through accumulation of each single step, just as the enormous ocean may not be formed gathering every brook or stream. The superior horse takes one jump and can not get ten steps afar; the slow horse can reach the final destination with insistent running. Carve but give up half way, even a decayed piece of wood will not break; carve without stopping, even metal and stone can be engraved.” Let’s encourage one another with this paragraph.
Chang: Mr. Liu, shall we talk about the Modern Economic Dictionary?
Liu: Oh, the dictionary was composed through the work of all members of the institute since I was appointed president of the economic study institute from quantitative and technical economic institute in 1998. We cooperated with the
Chang: I am wondering if it was your management that made you assign such a stressful and time-consuming work just a short time after you came back to the institute.
Liu: Yes, you are right. There are three features in the institute. One is the great number of human resources; one is the long history and one is the high reputation. There are so many talented scholars in the institute; and the institute has a long history which can be traced back to the independent academic research organization—Social Investigation Institute founded by Tao Menghe, one of the initiators of
Chang: Well, I think it is your scholarly ideas that lead to the compilation of the Modern Economic Dictionary, among which all composers and editors’ wisdom and painstaking efforts as well as your contribution were united. It calls to mind that you made refinements to more than 6000 phrases one by one during these years so as to make the whole composition style stay in tune.
Liu: What we need in our research is just a scrupulous spirit.
Chang: What do you think then are the characteristics of the dictionary?
Liu: They can be summarized into the following three features.
Firstly, the entries included are innovative and accurate. The dictionary contains huge numbers of new words (phrases and sentences), and they were mainly created after our opening-up and they are mostly about such areas as the construction of the socialist market economic system and Chinese featured socialism. What’s more, many come from the development of the international economy and globalization and the latest research fields of the world’s economies. Meanwhile, the words used in the past are also added, summarized and identified according to the new currency. Through dedicated work, accuracy is maintained in the explanation words. During the 6 years’ of composition, we extensively consulted related central files, laws and rules, various existing dictionaries, foreign references, specialized texts and documents and fully took advantage of the search function of the internet.
Secondly, the content is all-inclusive and has great social value. Seen from the special reference of each entry, the dictionary covers the following 20 aspects: economic reform. Economic development, macro economy, industrial economy, urban and rural economy, area economy, micro economy, company management and marketing, finance and accountancy, human recourses, securities and futures, bank and insurance, real estate, finance and tax, international economy, Chinese and western economic history, Chinese and western economic philosophy, basic economic concepts, economic quantitative analysis, etc. these specific aspects refer not only to theories of every branch of domestic and foreign economics, but also to every aspect of our real economic life. Serving the need of readers from every social group, the dictionary plays a very important role in accelerating the innovation and prosperity of our economy and extensively disseminating new knowledge and regulating new concepts.
Thirdly, the compilation is standardized and practical. The content is neat, fluent and coherent. Three kinds of index are given so as to make it convenient for readers to consult, namely Chinese pinyin, characters and topics. What’s more, four very practical appendixes are provided: big economic events since opening-up (1978~2004); a brief introduction of Chinese major economic laws and regulations (1990~2004); works and writers winning the Sun Yifang Economic Scientific Award (1984~2002); brief introduction of all Nobel Economic Prize winners (1969~2004).
Chang: Two presidents of CASS both offered strong support and help with the composition of the Modern Economic Dictionary and wrote the preface in person. What is their viewpoint?
Liu: Li Tieying, vice president of the standing committee of the National People's Congress and previous president of CASS wrote passionately in the preface: “It is an unprecedented great course to opening up and building unique Chinese socialism. For the past
Chan Kuiyuan, vice president of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) and president of CASS also wrote earnestly in the preface: “Shedding sweat in summer days and facing snow in winter days, the Modern Economic Dictionary finally came out after several years of composition. It is a new work made for us under the cooperation of CASS Economic Research Institute and Jiangsu People’s Press. …It is not only distinctly time featured but also quite popular. The explanation words of every term are clear and easy to read and understand. By changing the difficult points to easy ones, the dictionary is composed with the aim of easy accessibility to more possible readers.” President Chen finally wrote: “‘it is history-making to compose a good book and every benefit and loss can be well known by its readers.’ I hope all the readers can receive great benefit from the dictionary and the dictionary can enjoy constant refinement.”
Chang: As far as I know, there was a great social reaction to the dictionary, right?
Liu: Yes! The first publication ceremony of the Modern Economic Dictionary was solemnly held in the Great Hall of the People on 8th of January, 2005. Afterwards, more than a hundred reports and commentary articles were posted in such newspapers and websites as People’s Daily, Chinese Press and Publication, Guangming Daily, Zhonghua reading, Economic References, Economic Studies, Economics Trend, Xinhua news network, Renmin news network, CCTV International network, Sina news network, Sohu news network. In the ceremony, the chief executive of the PRC Press and publication administration warmly expressed his anticipation that the dictionary will one day become the treasure of the publishing house and a long-living work, composed and published forever.
Chang: Mr. Liu, I much appreciate the fact that I have benefited a lot from talking with you. We are waiting for your endless new contributions to the development and prosperity of Chinese economics.
Liu: Let us economic researchers make our efforts.
Chang Xin, female, was born in
(Translated by Xu Xiujun)
Editor: Wang Daohang