Interview with Dr. Belton Fleisher

Belton Fleisher serves as the Executive Editor for China Economic Review. His research has focused on China’s economy since 1990, and he has authored and co-authored over 40 articles in professional journals. One of his books, “Labor Economics: Theory and Evidence” (1970) is considered by many to be the first modern labor economics textbook. He is currently a professor of economics at the Ohio State University (OSU), where he has been working on faculty since 1965.

Dr. Fleisher received his PhD in economics from Stanford University (1961), and has worked at the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics, and Renmin University of China in Beijing, as well as OSU. He is also a Senior Fellow and Special Term Professor of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Belton Fleisher 担任《中国经济评论》的执行主编。自1990年以来,他的研究主要集中在中国经济领域,并且撰写和合作撰写了40余篇专业期刊文章。他编著的《劳动经济学:理论与实证》(1970)一书是公认的第一部现代劳动经济学教程。他从1965年起在俄亥俄州立大学(Ohio State University)担任教职,目前是该大学的经济学教授。

Fleisher教授1961年在斯坦福大学获得经济学博士,并且曾经在芝加哥大学、伦敦经济学院、中国人民大学(北京)以及俄亥俄州立大学任职。此外,他还是中央财经大学中国人力资本与劳力经济研究中心(北京)的资深研究员和特聘教授。

Lua: Can you tell us a bit about the China Economic Review? What makes it different from other economic journals?

Lua:您能否简单介绍一下《中国经济评论》?与其它经济学期刊相比,《中国经济评论》有哪些不同?

Dr. Fleisher: China Economic Review (CER) is the first journal to detail solely with topics on the Chinese economy rather than more general topics on China or Asia or East Asia with a mixture of other subjects such as history/sociology, etc. It remains the only journal dealing exclusively with the Chinese economy with an editorial board that is located principally in centers outside China.

Fleisher博士:《中国经济评论》是第一个深入并且完全关注中国经济相关主题的学术期刊,而不像其它杂志那样宽泛地介绍中国、亚洲或东亚地的一系列混合话题,诸如历史、社会等领域。时至今日,《中国经济评论》依然是唯一的编辑委员会主要位于中国以外研究中心的、专门介绍中国经济的期刊。

Lua: How has CER grown over the last ten years, particularly with the popularity of economic research coming out of China?

Lua:在过去十年中,特别是随着来自中国的经济学研究的盛行,《中国卫生评论》的成长情况如何?

Dr. Fleisher: I don’t have any data in my files on this, but my recollection from the annual reports provided by Elsevier is that the number of submissions has perhaps doubled in 10 years, and the rejection rate has grown from approximately 80% to 90% or so. The number of articles published per year has grown, too, possibly doubling, with each issue becoming larger. I recall that 15 years ago, we had a low point, with difficulty in assuring there would be enough papers for the next issue.

Fleisher博士:关于这个问题,我手头没有任何数据。但我印象里,Elsevier提供的年度报告显示,在过去十年中,期刊收到的投稿数量增加了大约一倍,我们的拒稿率大约从80%增加到90%左右。每年发表的文章数量也有所增加,可能增加了一倍,每一期的刊载量都更大。我记得在15年之前我们曾经有过低谷,当时我们都很难保证有足够的文章用于下一期发表。

Lua: What do authors need to pay attention to when submitting a paper on economic policies to China Economic Reviews? Where do people typically get their data from (secondary data, surveys, etc.)?

Lua:当作者向《中国经济评论》提交有关经济政策的稿件时,需要注意哪些方面?他们获取数据的来源通常有哪些(二手数据、调查等)?

Dr. Fleisher: Non-native English writers must get substantial help from professional language and scientific writing experts or obtain co-authorship with a scholar who is expert in these tools. Data most frequently are from published sources (secondary data) with perhaps 30% coming from authors’ surveys or access to original survey data.

Fleisher博士:非英语母语的作者必须从专业的英文学术写作专家那里得到实质性的修改帮助,或者与熟悉英语写作规范的学者合作。数据主要来源于公开的数据库(二手数据),大约30%的数据来源于作者的调查研究或者原始的调查数据。

Lua:  With regards to the Chinese economic system especially in the area of economic health policy, what is China Economic Review most interested in?

Lua:关于中国经济体制特别是卫生经济政策方面,《中国经济评论》最感兴趣的话题有哪些?

Dr. Fleisher: We look for papers that draw useful policy implications from appropriately designed empirical studies.  “Treatment effects” as spelled out in the econometric literature are valued highly as are studies of the impact of organization of the health-care industry on health-care delivery.

Fleisher博士:我们比较期待能够从合理设计的实证研究中获取对政策建议有帮助的文章。例如我们对计量经济学文献中阐述的“干预效果”高度重视,因为这是关于医疗卫生行业的组织方式对医疗卫生行业产出影响的研究。

Lua: How does China Economic Review choose reviewers, especially when the paper is from Chinese researchers?

Lua:《中国经济评论》如何选择审稿人,尤其审理那些来自中国研究人员的投稿?

Dr. Fleisher: Every editor has his/her own technique.  An obvious first choice is to select reviewers who have published papers in China Economic Review, because they “owe” us some service. Personally I don’t distinguish my reviewer search regarding the nationality of the author.

Fleisher博士:每个编辑都有各自的专长。很明显,第一选择是以前在《中国经济评论》上发表过文章的学者,因为这是他们“欠”我们的服务。个人而言,我并没有针对作者的国籍来区别选择审稿人。

Lua: Do you have specific suggestions for researchers from China regarding article topics and research projects?

Lua:对于中国的研究人员,您有没有关于文章主题和研究项目的具体建议?

Dr. Fleisher: Try to avoid applications of an “off the shelf” technique to Chinese data, with this application to Chinese data as compared to data from somewhere else being the only distinguishing feature of the research. Try to find topics that use the situations in China as analogous to a laboratory for general research in economics.

Fleisher博士:尽量不要将一种“现成的”方法应用到以中国为背景的数据,即与其他研究相比,唯一的区别是将该方法应用到了中国的数据上。应当尽可能发现以中国的情况为主题的研究,做类似实验室的一般性经济学研究。

Lua: Many journals are using social media to promote findings and call for submissions. Can you tell us about CER’s social media presence, including Chinese social media?

Lua:很多期刊都在利用社交媒体来推广研究发现和征稿。您能告诉我们《中国经济评论》正在使用的社交媒体,包括中国的社交媒体吗?

Dr. Fleisher: Calls are distributed through the Chinese Economists Society and other research organization with which we have connections. I also have my own mailing list.

Fleisher博士:征稿是通过中国留美经济学会以及其它与我们有联系的机构进行的。我也有我自己的相关邮件组。

Lua: Does the journal face potentially politically contentious issues? How does it face a possibly controversial conclusion?

Lua:《中国经济评论》是否会面临潜在的政治性争议?如何对待可能有争议的结论?

Dr. Fleisher: We have not received manuscripts that deal with potentially inflammatory topics that would, for example, point fingers at politically connected agents.  We publish papers generally dealing with corruption, inefficiency, political economy, etc., and to my knowledge have never considered political sensitivity.  Our publisher’s home is in Amsterdam and our publisher has never conveyed any message regarding possibly controversial topics/conclusions (which I assume you mean to refer to politically sensitive, not scientifically controversial).

Fleisher博士:我们还没有收到过具有政治冲突话题的投稿,比如说将矛头指向相关政策机构。我们发布的政策性文章通常会涉及腐败、低效率、政治经济学等方面,并且就我所知,从来没有需要考虑政策敏感性的情况出现。我们杂志刊发的总部位于阿姆斯特丹,我们的发行商从来没有表达对可能会引发争议的话题或结论的担心(我认为这里指的是政治敏感,而非学术争议)。

Lua: China's economy seems to be changing at lightning speed. How do you make sure that your articles are timely and up-to-date?

Lua:中国经济正在以迅雷之势发生改变。您如何确保您刊载的文章是有时效性并且与时俱进的?

Dr. Fleisher: We are pro-active in attempting to organize and solicit manuscripts for topics that the editors believe are important for the rapidly changing Chinese economy.  We tend to reject papers that are mainly replication of off-the-shelf topics and methods to Chinese data, with the change in data being the only distinguishing characteristic.

Fleisher博士:我们积极主动地组织并根据一些我们的编辑认为对反映快速变化的中国经济极为重要的话题来征稿。我们倾向于拒绝那些基本上只是将现成的话题和方法复制到中国的数据上、数据的改变是唯一的区别的文章。

Interviewed by Ms. Lua Wilkinson  

   
  
 
 
  
  Dr. Belton Fleisher

Dr. Belton Fleisher