Event Feb/16
Li Gan: “Ghost” Towns?: Why 50 Million Housing Units in China are Vacant


2/16/2017, Thursday, 14:30-16:00
9-326(STL Hub)

Despite much attention on “ghost towns” in China, no official vacancy rates exist in the country. This talk uses data from the China Household Finance Survey, which collects expansive micro-level information about household wealth from a nationally representative sample of over 40,000 households. Professor Gan will discuss how to determine the latest vacancy rate for China, and suggest some causes for the phenomenon.

Professor Li Gan, Clifford Taylor Jr. Professor in Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University and Research Associate at National Bureau of Economic Research, is a specialist in econometrics and applied microeconomics. He holds a Master of Science in statistics and PhD in economics from University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Engineering from Tsinghua University. He has published extensively in areas such as econometric theory, economics of aging, public economics, and the Chinese economy. In 2009, he initiated and has been directing the China Household Finance Survey at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China.

Professor Siqi Zheng  is the Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship for MIT CRE and DUSP and faculty director of the Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab is Faculty Director of the MIT Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab. Previously, Professor Zheng was Professor and the Director at the Hang Lung Center for Real Estate and the deputy head of the Department of Construction Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She specializes in urban economics and China’s housing market, particularly green cities, housing price dynamics, and low-income housing policies. Professor Zheng pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard Graduate School of Design after receiving her Ph.D. in urban economics and real estate economics from Tsinghua University.