Dwight H. Perkins

Harold Hitchings Burbank Research Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus; former Director of the Fairbank Center


Dwight H. Perkins (德懷特 • 珀金斯) is the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Previous positions at Harvard include Director of the Harvard University Asia Center, Associate Director of the East Asian (now Fairbank) Research Center, Chair of the Department of Economics, and Director of the Harvard Institute for International Development. Perkins has authored, coauthored, or edited 20 books and numerous articles on economic history and economic development, with special references to the economies of East and Southeast Asia. Topics include the transition from central planning to the market, long-term agricultural development, industry policy, the underlying sources of growth in East Asia, and the role of economic and legal institutions in East Asian growth. He has served as an advisor or consultant to the governments of Korea, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. He has also been a long-term consultant to the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, and various U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Perkins is a member of the American Philosophical Society. He received his BA from Cornell and his MA and PhD in economics from Harvard.

Selected Publications


  • East Asian Development: Foundations and Strategies (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013) (Chinese translation, China CITIC Press, 2015))
  • Agricultural Development in China, 1368-1968 (Chicago:  Aldine, 1969).  (Chinese translation by Song Haiwen and Wu Danke, Shanghai Cuwen Press, 1984) (Republished by Aldine Transaction Press [Brunswick, New Jersey) 2013 with an added introduction to this edition by the author).
  • The Economic Transformation of China (Singapore: World Scientific, 2015) [Republished essays on China with a new introduction]
  • (editor with Gregory Chow) Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Economy (London: Routledge, 2015)
  • Guest editor (with Masahiro Kawai) Asian Development Review: Special Issue on the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 32, No. 1, March 2015                     
  • (with Shahid Yusuf and Kaoru Nabeshima) Under New Ownership: Privatizing China’s State-Owned Enterprises (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006)
  • Innovative East Asia: The Future of Growth (with Shahid Yusuf and others) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • China: Asia’s Next Economic Giant? (Seattle:  University of Washington  Press, 1986) (paperback edition, 1989).  (Chinese translation, Overseas Chinese Publishers, 1989)
  • Rural Development in China (with Shahid Yusuf) (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) (a World Bank Publication), 1984.
  • (Co-author and editor) Rural Small Scale Industry in the People’s Republic of China (University of California Press, 1977).
  • (Editor) China’s Modern Economy in Historical Perspective (Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 1975).
  • Market Control and Planning in Communist China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966).
  • Communist China and Arms Control (with  M.H. Halperin) (New York: Praeger, 1965)
  • (Co-editor with Borje Ljungren) Vietnam: State, Economy and Society in Shifting Global Environment (forthcoming in 2021)
  • The Korean Economy: From Miraculous Past to a Sustainable Future (with Barry Eichengreen, Wonhyuk Lim, and Yung Chul Park) (Cambridge: Harvard Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2015)
  • From Miracle to Maturity: The Growth of the Korean Economy (with Barry Eichengreen and Kwanho Shin) (Cambridge: Harvard Asia Center, Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2012)
  • Industrialization and the State: The changing role of the Taiwan government’s policy toward development, 1945-1998  (with Li Min Hsueh and Chen-Kuo Hsu)(Cambridge: Harvard Institute for International Development, 2001).
  • (Editor) The Korean Economy 1945-1995: Performance and Vision for the 21st Century (with Dong-Se Cha, Kwong Suk Kim) (Seoul: Korea Development Institute, 1997).
  • Industrialization and the State:  Korea’s Heavy and Chemical Industry Drive (with J. Stern, Ji-Hong Kim and Jung-Ho Yoo) (Cambridge: distributed by Harvard University Press, 1995)
  • (Editor) In Search of the Dragon’s Trail:  Economic Reform in Vietnam (with D. Dapice, J. Haughton) (Published in the Vietnamese language only, Hanoi:  1994).
  • Rural Development in Korea (with S.H. Ban and P.Y. Moon) (Cambridge: Council on East Asian Studies, distributed by Harvard University Press, 1980).
  • The Economic Modernization of Korea (with E. Mason, D. Cole, K.S.Kim, and M.J. Kim) (Cambridge:  Council on East Asian Studies, distributed by Harvard University Press, 1980).
  • Economics of Development (with Malcolm Gilles, Michael Roemer and Donald Snodgrass) (New York:  W.W. Norton, 1983) (second edition, 1987; third edition 1992; fourth edition, 1996; fifth edition, 2001; sixth edition, 2006, with Steve Radelet and David Lindauer, seventh edition same as 2006 but with addition of Steven Block 2012, (Chinese translation, Economic and Science Publishers, 1989 and 2006, Vietnamese translation 1990, French translation, Nouveaux Horizons, 1990). (6th edition awarded the Chang Peikang Prize in Development Economics, 2010)
  • Assisting Development in a Changing World: The Harvard Institute for International Development, 1980-1995 (editor with R. Pagett, M. Roemer, D.R. Snodgrass, J.J. Stern) (Cambridge: HIID, 1997).
  • Social Capability and Long-Term Economic Growth (editor with Bon Ho Koo) (New York: St. Martins Press, 1995).
  • Reforming Economic Systems in Developing Countries (Editor with M. Roemer) (Cambridge:  Distributed by Harvard University Press, 1991).

Recent Articles and Chapters

  • “Reviving Economic Dynamism in Malaysia,” (with Rajah Rasiah and Wing Thye Woo (Sunway University Jeffrey Cheah Institute of Southeast Asian Studies working  paper) in Rajah Rasiah, Kemal Salih, and Ceong Kee Cheok, Malaysia’s Leap into the Future: The Building Blocks (New York: Springer, forthcoming in 2020)
  • “Measuring China’s economic reform progress,” China Economic Review (online) November 2018
  • “The Complex Task of Evaluating China’s Economic Reforms,” in Ross Garnaut and Ligang Song, editors, Forty Years of Chinese Reform, (Australian National University Press, 2018, pp. 135-154
  • “East Asian Industrial Pioneers: Japan, Korea and Taiwan, (with John P. Tang) in Kevin O’Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson, editors, The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery, (Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • “China’s Struggle with the Soviet Growth Model, 1949-1978,” Forthcoming in Debin Ma and Richard von Glahn, editors Cambridge Economic History of China, Volume 2: 1800-present (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2020)
  • “Hard Landing or Secular Stagnation in China’s Future: False Alarm or Real Threat”, Presented to the Chinese Economic Society Annual Meeting, Shenzhen June 2016, available on line Sept 2017, published by the China Economic Review 2017
  •  “Understanding the Slowing Growth Rate of the People’s Republic of China” Asia Development Review, Vol. 32, No. 1, March 20, 2015, pp. 1-30
  • “The Centrally Planned Economy (1949-1984)” in Gregory Chow and Dwight H. Perkins, Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Economy, 2015, pp. 41-54
  • China’s future performance and development challenges,” in Shenggen Fan, Ravi Kanbur, Shang-jin Wei, and Xiaobo Zhang, editors, The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp.70-74 
  • “New Institutions for a New Development Model”, in Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, and Ligang Song, editors, China: A New Model for Growth and Development (Canberra: Australian National University E Press and Social Sciences Academic Press China, 2013), pp. 17-33.
  • “China’s Investment and GDP Growth Boom: When and How will it End?” in Masahiko Aoki and Jinglian Wu, editors, (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), pp. 35-59       
  • “The Economy, 1949-1978,” Tim Wright, editor, Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies, (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2012)
  • “Rapid Growth and Changing Economic Structure: The Expenditure Side of the Story and its Implications for China,” China Economic Review, Vol. 23 No. 3, September 2012, (also on line through Elsevier), pp. 501-511.
  • “Development Strategies Available to North Korea and Their Political Risks”, in William H. Overhold, editor. North Korea: Peace? Nuclear War? (2019)
  • “Is the Chinese economy headed for a hard landing,” in Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi, editors, The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (Harvard University Press, 2018), pp. 126-13
  • China Development Forum, 2014, “The Challenge of Raising Household Consumption”