Sam Tang


  • The University of Western Australia (M251), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


I graduated from the University of Tasmania in 1999 with a PhD degree in economics. My doctoral thesis studied the measurement and estimation of productivity change for Singapore’s industries. I published a number of articles jointly with my supervisor relating to using the cost function approach to estimating productivity change. During this early part of my academic career, most of my research is related to industrial economics and productivity measurement. In January 2005, I started my lectureship position at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and since then my research interests have focused on institutional quality, democracy, and macroeconomic volatility. I published a number of articles on the topic of institutional change and economic growth in Hong Kong and Asia. These articles have had a number of citations in the literature. During the first five years at UWA, I also collaborated with my colleagues Nicolaas Groenewold and Yanrui Wu whose research interests are more in finance and financial economics, in particular relating to emerging economies of Asia. My publications on the areas of finance and financial economics are the results of collaboration with my colleagues in this period.
From 2009, there has been a major shift of my research focus. Since then, I have become keenly interested in the issues of migrant domestic workers and the impacts of their migration on their own families, home countries and destination countries. These issues have largely been neglected by economists and I strongly feel there is a need to fill the literature gap in this area. More importantly, the basis of my research interests on the topic is driven by the general lack of recognition for the contributions made by unskilled migrant workers from low-income countries. It is hoped that my research on this area will increase awareness about the issues of unskilled migrant workers in the wealthier countries.
I am also deeply interested in the fundamental determinants of economic volatility. These fundamental determinants include time-invariant or slow-changing factors such as geography, democratic transitions, and history of state-level political institutions.

Funding overview

2014 UWA Business School Research Development Award $8,000. The Effects of Migration Revisited: Incorporating a Curse of Unskilled Migration

UWA (2005-2006): Business School Research Grant, “The Role of Technical Change and Institutions in Real and Financial Crises: Event and Panel Data Analysis”, A$4,296.

UWA (2007): UWA Research Grant (with Nic Groenewold), “Technical Change and the Business Cycle: International Inter-industry Evidence, A$21,500.

UWA (2007): Business School Teaching and Learning Grant, “Enhancing Students’ Understanding of Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics”, A$5,500.

Previous positions

Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, January–May, 2012.
Visiting Research Fellow, Business School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, April 2008.

Current projects

I am working on a paper that addresses the issue of how democratic transitions and the history of state-level political institutions interact with each other to affect economic volatility.
Another project which I am working on is “The Effects of Migration Revisited: Incorporating a Curse of Unskilled Migration”.

Teaching overview

ECON1111 Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics
ECON2234 Macroeconomics: Policy and Applications
ECON5503: Economic Management and Strategy
ECON5540: Economic Analysis and Policy
ECON5541: Economics for Business: Applications and Policy


Economic volatility, Migrant workers, Education economics, Development economics

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Macroeconomic Volatility
  • Economic Development And Growth
  • Determinants Of Democratic Institutions
  • Deep Historical Roots Of Development
  • Cultural And Economic Changes
  • Empirical growth models
  • Institutions and macroeconomic volatility
  • Measurements of productivity growth and technical change


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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