Xiaoying Liu received her Ph.D. in Economics from University College London. Her main research areas are in development economics and environmental and resource economics, with an emphasis on formal and informal institutions. Her PhD dissertation examines the impact of parents' migration on the education attainment of migrants' children who are left behind in rural China. She has also worked on projects examining the economic impacts of several environmental programs in China, such as Grain-for-Green and the natural forest conservation projects. As a main researcher, she also studied the biodiversity governance in China, by examining the industry structure, government regulations and land property rights in the case study of Liquorice regulation in Xinjiang, Northwest China.