Scott Rozelle and Qin Gao Discuss How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise

November 13, 2020

China’s rapid growth has relied heavily on unskilled labor. On November 2, 2020, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations hosted a conversation between Scott Rozelle and Qin Gao on the implications of China’s rural human capital crisis for the future of China and the world.

Scott Rozelle, the Helen C. Farnsworth Professor in International Agricultural Policy at Stanford University, presented findings from his new book, Invisible China, co-authored with Natalie Hell. Dr. Rozelle argued that the limited education of so many rural workers may leave them unable to find work in the formal workplace as China’s economy changes. He referred to this not only as an urgent humanitarian concern but also as a potential economic crisis that could upend economies and foreign relations around the globe.

Qin Gao, Professor and founding director of the China Center for Social Policy at Columbia University lauded the importance and timeliness of this book. She raised questions about education policies and practices in rural China to address the human capital challenge as well as the need to reconstruct the care economy in China and globally in the future.

You can watch the video of this event here.

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy