Li Yang graduated with a BA in political economy from Anhui University in 1981, obtained a Master's degree in money and banking at Fudan University in 1989, and completed his Ph.D in public finance at Renmin University of China in 1989. He was a visiting professor at Columbia University in 1998-1999.
Professor Li is the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and member of the Leading Party Group of CASS. Prof. Li currently serves as a member of the Academic Division of CASS; Director-General of the Institute of Finance & Banking (IFB) and the Finance Research Center (FRC) of CASS; Research fellow and Ph. D supervisor; and Adjunct Professor at Renmin University of China, Fudan University in Shanghai, Nanjing University, and China University of Science and Technology in Anhui. He also serves as Vice President of the China Society for Finance & Banking; a member of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC); a member of the China Academic Committee; Executive Director of the China Society for International Finance & Banking, China Urban Financial Society and China Society of Public Finance; and a member of the Research Center for Interdisciplinary Study in the Natural and Social Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Honorary Title of "National Outstanding Specialists with Remarkable Contributions to the Country" by the State Council in 1992. Professor Li has published 23 monographs and over 400 articles and working papers, and has organized or participated in around 40 State-Level Research Projects and International Cooperative Studies. He has been awarded the Sun Yefang Economics Prize, the most distinguished prize for economics in China, no less than five times.