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Faculty Insights

Meet New Real Estate Faculty Member Lu Han

By Wisconsin School of Business

September 18, 2020

Professor Lu Han, submitted photo

The Wisconsin School of Business welcomes Lu Han, the Nathan F. Brand Chair in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics and a professor in the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. Prior to joining the faculty at WSB, Han was a professor of economic analysis and policy and the Premier’s Research Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She has also served as chief scientist for 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 on the board of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. She currently serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals. Han received a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

Han’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.”
In the Q&A below, Han shares more about her research and why she is looking forward to being a part of the UW–Madison community.

WSB: What attracted you to UW–Madison?

Han: Excellent reputation as a research institution, world-class faculty, highly motivated students, a rich and distinguished history in urban land economics and real estate that goes back to Richard Ely, and of course, beautiful lakes and trees.

WSB: What are your research interests?

Han: 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, mortgages, and financial industries by combining institutional knowledge and rigorous empirical analysis with insights from theoretical models.

WSB: What started your initial interest in real estate?   

Han: 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 test bed for many economic theories.

WSB: Do you have favorite hobbies or other interests?

Han: Reading, traveling, watching movies, and spending time with my family.