We are pleased to announce that Lu Han has joined the Wisconsin Business School as a full professor. Han has been Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy and the Premier’s Research Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness at the University of Toronto. She has also served as Chief Scientist at the Behavioral Economics in Action (BEAR), a Research Fellow at the Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics, a Weimer Fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and the Board of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. She currently serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals. Lu received a PhD in Economics from Stanford University.
Lu’s research examines housing market dynamics and risks, real estate and financial market microstructure and intermediaries, housing and mortgage policies, green amenities and employment networks. Her work has been published in highly regarded economics, finance and real estate journals. She has also contributed to a number of books, including the Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics and Housing Markets and the Financial Crisis.
“Lu brings a breadth of expertise in real estate research, including housing market dynamics, housing policies, and behavioral economics. This makes her a great complement to our current faculty members,” says Department Tim Riddiough. “We know Lu will not only perform cutting-edge research and will also bring fresh viewpoints and new expertise to her interactions with students, real estate professionals and policymakers.”
In the interview below, Han shares some of her specific research pursuits and explains why she is looking forward to being a part of the Wisconsin Real Estate Program.
What attracted you to UW-Madison?
Excellent reputation as a research institution, world-class faculty, highly motivated students, a rich and distinguished history in urban and real estate that goes back to Richard Ely, and of course, beautiful lakes and trees.
And what are your research interests?
I am an applied economist with a particular interest in the microstructure and price dynamics of real estate markets. I seek to answer important yet under-explored questions about real estate, mortgage and financial industries by combining institutional knowledge, rigorous empirical analysis with insights from theoretical models.
What started your initial interest in real estate?
My interest in real estate markets began with a desire to understand how households make their most important financial decision – buying or selling a home – in an uncertain environment. From that initial interest, I have learned that the real estate market is featured with a variety of frictions, including search, informational, spatial, financial, and behavioral frictions as well as agency conflicts, making it a perfect testbed for many economic theories.
Do you have any hobbies or interests that are outside your research?
Reading, traveling, watching movies and spending time with my family.