Xiao “Betty” Wang

Xiao “Betty” Wang
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    419C Vance Hall 3733 Spruce St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Applied Microeconomics, Urban and Real Estate Economics, Housing Economics and Finance, Chinese Economy

Links: Personal Website


I am a doctoral candidate in Applied Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. I am an applied microeconomist with research interests in urban economics, housing economics and finance, and Chinese economy. My research focuses on the micro-foundations of housing markets and how urban markets affect broader economic outcomes in general. Prior to Wharton, I obtained B.A/B.S. in International Development Studies, Mathematics and Economics from Washington University in St Louis in 2015.

I am on the economics job market 2020-2021 and available for interviews.

My dissertation committee includes:

Gilles Duranton (Dissertation Chair), (215) 898-2859, duranton@wharton.upenn.edu

Joseph Gyourko, (215) 898-3003, gyourko@wharton.upenn.edu

Tim Landvoigt, (215) 898-9749, timland@wharton.upenn.edu

Maisy Wong, (215) 898-5390, maisy@wharton.upenn.edu


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“Housing Market Segmentation” (Job Market Paper)

This paper documents and explains segmentation patterns of house price dynamics within local housing markets. With housing transaction data on 188 U.S. cities from 2000 to 2015, this paper is the first to characterize long-run uneven price growth patterns and show it is persistent and robust across different cities and times. I develop an assignment model with endogenous housing supply and derive new theoretical insights that match key empirical moments from the data. The market clearing process in the assignment model generates within-city cross-segment mismatch in demand and supply. I structurally estimate the price premium coming from mismatch and show the price premia generated by assignment frictions drives house price segmentation. These findings provide new insights on how housing policies that target only one segment within a local market could have spillover effects on other segments.


“The Political Economy of Chinese Industrial and Residential Land Markets” (joint with Joseph Gyourko and Jing Wu)

Chinese real estate market has been characterized by a puzzling divergence in prices across different property sector’s land values within the same city land market. This paper finds that the strategic interplay between local governments is the key driver in high local residential land prices and low industrial land prices. Local governments have incentives to offer industrial land to firms at a hugely discounted rate in order to attract them at the expense of limiting residential land thus pushing up residential land prices. The political strategic play has economic effects well beyond the immediate land revenue that the local government targets, and have long-lasting impacts for city, regional and national industrial compositions and structural economic changes.


“Information Highway, Telecom Infrastructure and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activities”

This paper explores the effect of telecommunications infrastructure within cities on the growth of population and employment from 1990 to 2010 in the U.S. The backbone infrastructure that enables the deployment of these technological advancements plays an important role in shaping economic geography. We use a novel instrumental variable to deal with the endogeneity issues that uses 1909 long-haul telecommunications infrastructure map. Preliminary results show that the initial stock of “information highway” does have a positive effect on where people are located in 2010.


Summer 2018, 2019 Managerial Economics for EMBAs, Wharton, Recitation instructor for Prof. Kent Smetters
Fall 2018, Spring 2019 Risk Management, Wharton, TA for Prof. Olivia Mitchell, Deniz Selman
Summer 2018 Corporate Finance, Wharton, TA for Prof. Ronel Elul
Summer 2018 Financial Derivatives, Wharton, TA for Prof. Ronel Elul
Spring 2018 Microeconomics, Wharton, TA for Prof Mike Abito

Awards and Honors

2020 UPenn Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Teaching Certificate
2020 Mack Institute for Innovation Management Research Grant
2018 Wharton Travel Award George James Term Fund
UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China Research Grant


Mack Institute for Innovation Management Research Grant

Wharton Doctoral Program Fellowship


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