Xing Huang, a graduate of Peking University, is a PhD student in Economics. She has done much research on law and economics in China. Looking at the problem of China's condition of having fast economic growth a poor legal system, Xing concluded that law enforcement benefits private investment, which is the growth engine in China.
Xing reports that China’s economy is a mixture of public and private. Not everything is run by the state. China is learning many business models and management principles from the West. Foreign investors are beginning to take an interest in China’s economy. Thus, there are different styles of business going on at the same time. The Communism in China is more about political style than economics.
XIng has co-authored papers such as, “Games among Large Shareholders and Corporate Performance.” Xing explains that Economics researches human behavior. It considers what strategies people use and how people make decisions. This intersects with what game theory does. Xing specifically looked at problems in equity structure. Some believe, XIng says, that concentrating the power of one primary shareholder may harm a company’s performance because of the agency problem between this primary shareholder and other small shareholders. And a lot of Chinese companies have a big Number 1 shareholder. From the data, she argued that a powerful Number 2 shareholder can improve performance. A Number 2 shareholder can reduce payoff of the Number 1 shareholder by requiring sharing of interests. Number 2 might also successfully hold back the Number 1 shareholder’s expropriation actions. It helps to balance power. Xing used a game theory framework to analyze the problem and to explain the results.
An accomplished musician, Xing plays the accordion, the zhongruan (a Chinese stringed instrument) and the piano. She sees a relationship between her music and her finance work. She says:
I first learned skills and techniques from Western music and applied them to learning an Asian instrument. Now I am learning Western skills in economics, and maybe I can apply them to make sense of Chinese systems. To play music, you need to learn techniques. You need to learn how to play strong or soft, how to play harmony. –but you also need to understand the music, how to express the feeling of it. Economics is the same. You need skills, and you need intuition, too. You need the intuition to find the problems to solve in the real world. Then you need the math skills to prove your ideas to others.