Beginning with her first visit to China in 1976, Penelope Prime has 30 years of experience studying and working within Chinese culture and the dynamic Chinese economy. After majoring in Chinese studies and studying Mandarin as an undergraduate, she earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. She was one of the first U.S. graduate students to do dissertation research in China after the U.S. and China normalized relations in the late 1970s.
Dr. Prime’s experience includes directing study abroad programs, taking over 200 students to China; conducting field research in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, beginning with her dissertation research on Jiangsu Province; traveling across most of China and living in Nanjing and Beijing for extended periods of time; analyzing China’s economy for the Center for International Research at the U.S. Bureau of the Census from 1991-1998; and working with companies on China strategy, business environment, negotiations and cultural understanding.
Dr. Prime is currently Professor of Economics in the School of Economics & Business at Mercer University in Atlanta teaching international economics and business in the MBA and Executive programs. Prior to joining Mercer, Dr. Prime taught at Kennesaw State University in the executive M.B.A. and University System of Georgia Web MBA programs, and economic development, economic theory and global issues in the undergraduate programs. As part of the Web MBA, she developed an international teaming experience to teach MBA students how to manage a major, cross-cultural team project in a virtual environment.
Dr. Prime’s research focuses on China’s economy and business environment, including topics such as China’s foreign trade and investment, industrial and technological progress, and provincial development, as well as applied business and economics cases on China and Asia. Her articles have been published in Applied Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Pacific Economic Review, Osaka Economic Papers, and Business Economics, among others, as well as in journals in China. She serves on the editorial boards of China Economic Review and the Indian Journal of Economics and Business. She has received numerous grants, including from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Scholarly Communications with the PRC, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
In 2001, Dr. Prime launched the China Research Center (www.chinacenter.net). This organization is a center of expertise on contemporary China whose mission is to promote research and education about greater China. The Center engages in numerous outreach activities, advises the Georgia State Government on matters relating to China, produces an online publication, and helps to promote understanding of China within and beyond the academic community.
Dr. Prime is also on the Research Board of the ICA Institute, which focuses on the development and interactions of India, China and America, and is one of the U.S.-based Secretariats of the West China Development Studies Consortium. She serves as a board member for the Georgia China Alliance, the Chinese Economist Society for 2006-07, and the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence.