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Real Estate (Business) & Economics—Joint Degree

About the Program

The joint Wisconsin PhD Program in urban/real estate and economics trains researchers for tenure-track positions at the nexus of these two fields. Specializing in this area will provide you with the opportunity to expand your academic career path to both economics and real estate departments at top universities.

The program stresses high-quality research with a focus on developing the core basics of economics, then specialization in areas of real estate and economics. Students in the joint program are required to take a common curriculum and to meet all requirements of both the Economics and Real Estate PhD programs.

Core areas of research

Student research is supported by faculty in the following core areas:

  • Urban economics
  • Market microstructure
  • Household finance
  • Real estate finance
  • Environmental economics
  • Public economics
  • Financial economics
  • Industrial organization

Academic Requirements

All students must meet the general PhD requirements of the UW–Madison Graduate School, the Department of Economics, and the Wisconsin School of Business. Students should have the following background to be admitted:

  • Completed and performed well in basic undergraduate economics or real estate courses
  • Mathematics preparation should include multivariate calculus, elementary probability, statistics, and regression analysis
  • One course in linear algebra
  • Three-course sequence in calculus, including multivariate calculus*
  • One course in mathematical statistics*
  • Any additional background in mathematics and graduate-level economics courses can ease the transition into the program

Program Coursework

Year 1

  • Economics core: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics

Summer

  • Economics micro and macro comprehensive exams

Year 2

  • Urban economics and real estate finance
  • Real estate workshops where each student presents their preliminary research in front of the real estate faculty
  • Three other classes in economics
  • Presentation of preliminary research in front of the economics faculty

Summer

  • Real estate comprehensive exam

Year 3

  • Two classes in economics and additional workshops with a focus on completing a research paper on an urban, real estate or economics topic. The topic may be either theoretical or empirical, and should contain elements of original research that extend the existing literature.

Advancement to Dissertator Status – Requirements

  1. Successful completion of both economics and real estate comprehensive exams.
  2. Successful completion of a sole-authored paper requirement.

Milestone Requirements

Each milestone requirement–field paper, three-signature proposal, and dissertation committee—must include at least one faculty member from both the economics and the real estate department. A single dissertation, approved by members of both departments, is sufficient to fulfill the dissertation requirement.

Program Faculty

Real Estate

Alina Arefeva

Alina Arefeva

Research interests:

  • Real estate economics
  • Finance
  • Macroeconomics
  • Search frictions on housing prices
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Yongheng Deng

Yongheng Deng

Research interests:

  • Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets
  • Mortgage and Asset-Backed Security
  • Competing Risks of Mortgage Prepayment and Default
  • Economics of Sustainable Development
  • Asian Real Estate and Housing Market
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Lu Han

Lu Han

Research interests:

  • Real estate market microstructure
  • Empirical industrial organization
  • Urban and environmental economics
  • Housing and mortgage policies
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Tim Riddiough

Timothy Riddiough

Research interests:

  • Mortgage finance and securitization
  • Real estate valuation and investment
  • Capital structure and contracting
  • REITs
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Chris Timmins

Research interests:

  • Environmental Economics
  • Urban Economics
  • Public Economics
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Abdullah Yavas

Abdullah Yavas

Research interests:

  • Mortgage contracts
  • Brokerage
  • Economics of information and uncertainty
  • Experimental economics
  • Monetary policy
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Dayin Zhang

Dayin Zhang

Research interests:

  • Household Finance
  • Financial Intermediation
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Macroeconomics
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Economics

Panle Barwick

The Todd E. and Elizabeth H. Warnock Chair Professor

Fields: Industrial Organization, Environmental

Carter Braxton

Assistant Professor

Fields: Macroeconomics, Labor Economics, Consumer Finance

Jesse Gregory

Associate Professor

Fields: Labor Economics, Urban

Jean-Francois Houde

Juli Plant Grainger Chair Professor

Fields: Industrial Organization, Banking

John Kennan

Juli Plant Grainger Distinguished Chair in Economics

Fields: Labor, Migration

Paolo Martellini

Assistant Professor

Fields: Macroeconomics, Labor, Urban

Fernanda Rojas-Ampuero

Assistant Professor

Fields : Public Economics, Urban

Finance

Dean Corbae

P. Dean Corbae

Research interests:

  • Consumer credit
  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosures
  • Banking industry dynamics
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Anthony DeFusco

Anthony DeFusco

Research interests:

  • Household Finance
  • Financial Regulation
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Applied Microeconomics
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Erik Mayer

Erik Mayer

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Erwan Quintin

Erwan Quintin

Research interests:

  • Growth and development economics
  • Financial economics
  • Macroeconomics
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Connect With Current Students

We encourage you to contact our doctoral students in real estate and urban land economics to hear their perspectives on the Wisconsin PhD Program.

View current student profiles

Contact Us

Lu Han

Lu Han

Professor
Real Estate and Urban Land Economics