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What can economists learn from contract lawyers?

A Law and Economics Perspective

Qi Zhou

This chapter aims to stimulate a debate on the role played by lawyers in law and economics scholarship. It is argued that traditional legal scholarship is unfairly undervalued in the current law and economics movement. By using examples in English contract law, this chapter argues that lawyers can make three invaluable contributions to law and economics research. First, lawyers can improve economists’ understanding of contractual activities and the application of law in practice. Second, lawyers can assist economists in finding the flaws and limitations in their economic models. Third, lawyers can transfer proposals made by law and economics scholars into legal reform. It is argued that the success of law and economics in the future is dependent upon mutual respect and productive collaboration between lawyers and economists.

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Tianshu Zhou and Wenjing Li

This chapter makes two important contributions to insider trading research in China. First, from a purely legal perspective, it remains unclear whether recklessness constitutes sufficient grounds for the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to punish corporate insiders who leak inside information to tippees without an interest-exchange, or whether the CSRC can punish only de facto conspiracies in which the tipper deliberately provides material information to benefit a tippee. Second and more importantly, beyond these sophisticated technical issues, research on the enforcement strategy of tipper liability has important implications for China’s regulatory and legal institutions. Are the courts meant to act as a check on the CSRC’s power through judicial review? Is the regulator equipped with sufficient resources to address the wide range of insider trading activities in China? Finally, is the regulator under the control of powerful insiders or otherwise corrupt?

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Yuzhuo Cai and Fengqiao Yan

The chapter provides an account of the major structural changes in Chinese higher education since 2000. It focusses on governance, finance, and priorities and responsibilities to serve the social and economic modernization of the country. It concludes that enhancing Chinese universities’ social engagement and international research and development profiles is a necessary if China is to integrate with a global knowledge-based economy.

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Zhiqun Zhao and Xueping Wu

The chapter provides an account of the historical and current development of technical and vocational education. The modernization and reform of the system has shown the importance of technical and vocational education to skills development in the labour market. The authors conclude, however, that Confucian inspired prejudice continues to constrain public participation and engagement in technical and vocational education, irrespective of the central government’s policy commitment and interventions.

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Ping Zhao, Jun Zhou and Qiong Li

The chapter provides an account of the transition of teacher education from a single-purpose teacher preparation system to the current system where the responsibility of preparing future teachers is shared between normal universities and general-purpose (or comprehensive) colleges and universities. This has improved the qualification profiles of teachers in China. However, quality issues and regional disparities remain to be addressed.

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Xianan Hu and Fengliang Li

The chapter introduces the structure, governance and finance of the Chinese education system. The chapter explains the ways in which elementary, secondary and higher education in China relates to the politics, economy and culture of society, and the various issues that each phase needs to address if it is to achieve educational fairness and equality.

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Sarah Dauncey

The chapter provides a comprehensive examination of the development of special and inclusive education. It draws upon detailed analyses of the conditions for the development of an inclusive system, and provides convincing evidence that China has made great strides towards providing enhanced educational opportunities for its disabled population through state-led initiatives and policy making. It concludes, however, that multi-level and multi-form barriers remain to be overcome.

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Yu Zhang

The chapter provides an account of the structure and functional purpose of secondary education, which is to prepare a qualified labour force and educate high-performing students so that they may enter tertiary education. It highlights regional inequalities, especially between rural and urban areas. It concludes that central government recognition of the importance of secondary education will ensure a commitment to addressing issues of equity and quality in a systematic way.

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Su Wang

The chapter provides a detailed description of the latest curriculum change in science, technology and mathematics education in both formal and non-formal settings. It concludes with observations on the need to improve efficiency and coherence in national planning, in the consistency of curriculum standards and in the quality of teachers.

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Jiye Hu and Yang Chen

Could institutional investors contribute to the stability of capital markets? The recent 2007–2008 American subprime mortgage crisis and the 2009 European sovereign debt crisis provided a good answer. Although the impact of the two financial crises is still felt across their respective geographies, European debt crisis countries, especially Greece, continue to lag behind; at the same time the US stock market recovered rather quickly from the subprime mortgage crisis. What explains the different performances in these countries? There are a large number of academic explanations; this chapter explores the factors that help to explain the difference in the recovery paths by using data from some OECD countries, and aims to explain what role institutional investors (or the lack thereof) play in the respective recovery paths of the US and European debt crisis countries. From the OECD countries data we can see that institutional investors played an important role in constructing a mature capital market, maintaining capital market stability and preventing a potential financial crisis. China has published several state normative documents to promote the development of institutional investors. It is expected that this will lead to a smoothing of the volatility of China’s capital markets.