Academic journal article World Review of Political Economy

The Academic Career and Economic Thought of Yifeng Wu

Academic journal article World Review of Political Economy

The Academic Career and Economic Thought of Yifeng Wu

Article excerpt

As a Marxist economist, Yifeng Wu is a distinguished Rank-A Professor at Renmin University of China (RUC). In his lifetime, Professor Wu has assumed many prominent academic and professional positions. For example, he has been elected the President and Honorary President of China Foreign Economics Research Association, Vice President of the National Marxist Economics History, and Chief Expert in Western Economics Research Group in the grand project of the Marxist Theoretical Research and Construction. Due to the acknowledgment of his academic achievement, he also sits as a part-time professor or guest researcher in many famous universities and research institutes across China. His academic contributions spread into a wide range of fields, such as theoretical sources of Marxism, Marxist economics, contemporary Western economics, neo-liberalism, comparative analysis of theoretical economics, and major issues of both domestic and international economies. His academic works and publications have made significant contributions to every field that he has studied.

Due to his lifetime of distinguished contributions and high recognition, Professor Wu has won numerous titles and awards, such as the National Award for Outstanding Teaching Achievement, National Award of the Excellent Chinese Publications, Yuzhang Wu Award for outstanding achievement in scientific research, the top prize in the Outstanding Achievement of National Humanities and Social Science Research, the first prize of Outstanding Social Science Research Achievement of Beijing, the Beijing Higher Education Quality Books Award, the first prize of the Beijing Municipal Education Teaching Achievement Award, the first prize of outstanding achievements in scientific research of RUC. He is also a senior translator appointed by the National Association of Translators, and was awarded the National Outstanding Teacher title.


Wu was born on April 21, 1932, in a family of poverty in a village named Jishui in Gaoyou County, Jiangsu Province. With few resources to support his education during his childhood, Wu only managed a few years of study at subsidized schools, and formally attended a primary school for just half a year. Between 1947 and 1950, he studied at Jieshou Rural Normal School first, and then at Yangzhou Normal School. From 1950 to 1955, he engaged in adult education. During this period, he studied Knowledge in Economic Construction, which also developed his strong interest in the field of economics. In 1955, Wu was enrolled by Renmin University of China, majoring in Political Economy at the Department of Economics. After graduation in 1959, he stayed at RUC and taught History of Economic Thought. During this period of time, Professor Hongye Gao, who earned his PhD in Economics in the United States in 1956, returned to China. The two were assigned to the same teaching department. From then on, they benefited each other by learning from each other in research and teaching. Their long-term cooperation, which lasted nearly half a century, has become a beautiful story in the academic circle of China.

During the "Cultural Revolution," the normal teaching and research work was stopped at Renmin University of China (RUC). Wu was forced to labor in rural villages in a campaign called "Reformation of intellectuals." When RUC resumed its normal operations in 1978, Wu returned and started to teach in this university again. In addition to the teaching of History of Economics Thought, he began to teach courses in Western Economics and Mathematical Economics.

From 1989 to 1990, Professor Wu, as an invited senior visiting scholar, visited several US universities in Los Angles, Boston, and New York, and updated himself with the latest developments in Western economics as an academic discipline. In 1995, he was invited by the Russian Academy of Sciences to engage in academic exchanges in Moscow and St. Petersburg. After returning home, he published the report The Russian and Chinese Economies from the Perspectives of Russian Economists, with an attempt to call upon China to learn the lessons from the painful experiences of Russia, and to warn against falling into the trap of "privatization" and "liberalization" advocated by neo-liberalism. …

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