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Real Estate and Urban Land Economics

About the Program

The Wisconsin PhD Program in real estate and urban land economics prepares individuals for academic careers in research universities and research careers in industry and government agencies.

The program is academically rigorous, highly quantitative, providing a solid foundation in financial and economic theory and advanced empirical methodologies. In addition, through a customized program of elective courses and dissertation research, students will specialize in a particular area of real estate economics and finance.

Core Areas of Research

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

Urban and real estate economics

Affordable housing and policy analysis

Real estate finance and investment

Securitization and real estate capital markets

Investment of commercial property

Household finance

Environmental economics and sustainable development

International real estate markets

Academic Requirements

All students must meet the general PhD requirements of both the UW–Madison Graduate School and the Wisconsin School of Business. Ideal candidates for our program have the following background:

  • Introductory coursework in microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • Three semesters of calculus, two semesters or mathematical statistics, one semester of linear algebra, and one semester of real analysis*
  • A master’s level course in real estate and an audited course in real estate finance

Program Coursework

Students will complete the following courses:

Advanced Real Estate Finance Theory OR Real Estate

Advanced Urban Land Economics

Theory of Finance I & II

Economic Statistics and Econometrics I & II

Microeconomics I & II

Macroeconomics I

During the second summer in the program you will completes a research paper on a real estate economics or finance topic. This paper may be either theoretical or empirical, and should contain elements of original research that extend the existing literature. Real estate faculty members may provide guidance during the paper’s development. Each student also makes an oral presentation of the paper to the real estate faculty.

Year 1

  • Students are encouraged to audit the real estate and finance or economics workshops during their first semester.
  • Starting with the second semester in the program and continuing as long as in residence, students take a finance or economics workshop each semester.

Year 2

  • Students propose a set of three advanced courses that form a coherent package and enhance the student’s research skills. You are free to choose elective courses offered by the economics, finance, mathematics, or statistics departments and may consult with your advisor to determine if courses in other areas are appropriate.
  • Students take the real estate workshop. This workshop is designed to help you make progress toward completion of your second-year paper and your dissertation.

Faculty Research Interests

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

Research interests:

  • Real estate market microstructure
  • Empirical industrial organization
  • Urban and environmental economics
  • Asset management
  • 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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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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Connect With Current Students

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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

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Graduates of our PhD specialization in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics have accepted tenure-track positions at top research universities.

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Contact Us

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Lu Han

Real Estate and Urban Land Economics