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A Center for Collaborative Research & Education on Greater China
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Penny Prime

Founding Director, China Research Center
Managing Editor, China Currents
[email protected]

Expertise: Chinese economy & business environment

Beginning with her first visit to China in 1976, Dr. Prime has more than four decades of experience studying the dynamic Chinese economy. After majoring in Chinese studies and studying Mandarin as an undergraduate, she earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. She was one of the first U.S. graduate students to visit China for dissertation research after the U.S. and China normalized relations.

Dr. Prime is the Founding Director of the China Research Center and Managing Editor of China Currents. She was clinical professor at the Institute of International Business, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University from 2012 to 2020; professor at Mercer University, 2006 to 2012, earning tenure; and professor at Kennesaw State University, 1991 to 2006, earning tenure.  Between 1987 and 2009, she co-developed and led eight eleven-week, student-focused seminars with Carleton College to Asia and China.  She has also taught at Emory University and Duke Kunshan University as a visiting professor.

Dr. Prime’s experience includes directing study abroad programs, taking over 400 students to China; conducting field research in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong; traveling across China and living in Nanjing and Beijing for extended periods of time; analyzing China’s economy for the Center for International Research at the U.S. Bureau of the Census from 1991-1998; and working with companies on China strategy, business environment, negotiations, and cultural understanding.

Dr. Prime’s research focuses on China’s economy and business environment, including topics such as China’s foreign trade and investment, industrial and technological progress, and provincial development, as well as applied business and economics cases on China and Asia. Her books include Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game? (co-edited with Eva Paus and Jon Western, Palgrave McMillan, 2009) and Taiwan’s Democracy: Economic and Political Challenges (co-edited with Robert Ash and John W. Garver, Routledge, 2011).

Her articles have been published in Growth & ChangeEconomic Development Quarterly, Applied Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, China Economic Review, The Chinese Economy, Pacific Economic Review, Osaka Economic Papers, and Business Economics, among others. She serves on the editorial boards of China Economic Review and Eurasia Geography & Economics, and Routledge’s China Belt and Road Initiative project, and has received numerous grants, including from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Scholarly Communications with the PRC, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

In 2001, Dr. Prime launched the China Research Center. This non-profit organization is a center of expertise focusing on contemporary China, whose mission is to promote research and education about greater China. Dr. Prime is also a member of the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations.

Guest Appearances

Podcast: 2020 China Economic Review & 2021 Outlook with Dr. Penelope Prime

Selected Articles

“The U.S. & China signed the phase one trade deal: What next?” The Asia Dialogue, Feb. 24, 2020;

“US-China trade pact President Trump just signed fails to resolve 3 fundamental issues,” The Conversation, Jan.16, 2020;

US-China trade deal: 3 fundamental issues remain unresolved,” The Conversation, Dec.13, 2019;

“What China wants: 3 things motivating China’s position in trade negotiations with the U.S.” The Conversation, May 21, 2019;

“What China’s ‘export machine’ can teach Trump about globalization,” The Conversation, Nov. 27, 2016;

Book Publications

Book Publisher Date Purchase
China Currents 2021 Special Edition China Research Center 2021 China Currents 2021 Special Edition
China Currents 2017 Special Edition China Research Center 2017 China Currents 2017 Special Edition
China Currents 2015 Special Edition China Research Center 2015 China Currents 2015 Special Edition
China Currents 2012 Special Edition China Research Center 2012 China Currents 2012 Special Edition
Taiwan’s Democracy: Economic and Political Challenges, Edited by Robert Ash, John Garver and Penelope B. Prime (London and New York). Routledge 2011 Taiwan’s Democracy: Economic and Political Challenges
Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game? Palgrave Macmillan 2009 Global Giant: Is China Changing the Rules of the Game?
China Currents 2010 Special Edition China Research Center 2010 China Currents 2010 Special Edition
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