Derek M. Scissors is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Asian economic issues and trends. In particular, he focuses on the Chinese and Indian economies and US economic relations with China and India. Scissors is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he teaches a course on the Chinese economy.
Before joining AEI, Scissors was a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. He has also worked in London for Intelligence Research Ltd., taught economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and served as an action officer in international economics and energy for the US Department of Defense.
Scissors has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate in international political economy from Stanford University.
Adjunct Professor in Chinese Economy, Department of Economics, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, George Washington University, 2000–present
Senior Research Fellow in Economics, Asian Studies Center, Heritage Foundation, 2008–13
Economist Specializing in Chinese Economy, Intelligence Research Ltd., Courcy’s Intelligence Service, London, 1998–2008
Lecturer, Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 1994–97
Action Officer in International Economics and Energy, International Security Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense, 1989–90
Ph.D., international political economy, Stanford University M.A., economics, University of Chicago A.B., economics, University of Michigan
The mid-2014 update of the China Global Investment Tracker sees the first decline in investment since the financial crisis. This is due primarily to a dearth of energy spending and could be reversed by a single large deal. But it is a useful reminder that China is not buying the world.
Newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi does bring heavy baggage into office - he is seen as disinterested in, or even indirectly responsible for the vicious anti-Muslim riots in 2002. But Modi now has the opportunity to improve the lives of all Indians through badly needed economic reform. This is how the Obama administration should view him.
Front page news concerning Chinese economic weakness and accusations of large-scale cyber-espionage against the U.S. both involve the capacity to innovate. Cyber-stealing other people's knowledge, rather than developing it yourself, helps right away but discourages the innovation at home that can contribute to national wealth for the long term.
The Justice Department announced charges against five members of the Chinese military for cyber espionage conducted against US companies and a labor union. This constitutes an escalation of the American response to large-scale, government-sponsored theft of technology and trade secrets by China. However, it is a small step toward meaningful public action by the US, not a big one.
The Indian election is over. Does this mean Indian economic reform will restart? There is no point expecting India to adopt an ideal economic reform program. The country is still full of quasi-socialists and has not made up its mind what it wants, much less how to achieve it. Nonetheless, the election offers a genuine opportunity to initiate high and sustained income growth.
Chinese economic data grabs headlines when GDP is announced, but more interesting material trickles out at other times. April has seen both an encouraging development and a reminder that painful economic reform hasn't yet been undertaken.