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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


I was raised in Inner Mongol in Northern China and trained as a statistician in Hong Kong; I work with economists in Cambridge University and colleagues in Land Economy and live in the social democratic UK. Such a background determines the nature of my research – multidisciplinary and multifaceted.  I feel right at home in the Department of Land Economy. 


I believe in free, competitive markets; however, I recognise that markets do not work all the time and everywhere. Consequently, my research focuses on government policy and interventions that facilitate market operations and mitigate market failures in urban settings, such as sustainable urbanisation and housing affordability. On the technical front, I specialise in the application of behavioural insights and hedonic price modelling in land and housing markets. 


Some examples of my research projects are

ESRC - NSFC Grant: Nudging towards a better financial future: applying behavioural insights in the development of financial systems in rural China (2017 – 2021)

Workshop and Symposium on Behavioural Sciences and Urban Rural Development in China (24 - 26 January 2018)

Behavioural Sciences and Urban Rural Development Seminar Series 2018


Key publications: 



  1. Helen X. H. Bao and Charlotte Chunming Meng (2023). Housing Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Residential Satisfaction. Regional Studies,


  1. Helen X. H. Bao and Guy Robinson (2022). Behavioural Land Use Policy Studies: Past, Present, and Future. Land Use Policy, Volume 115, Article ID: 106013.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and Yi Lim (2022). Behavioural Interventions for Micro-mobility Adoption: Low-hanging Fruits or Hard Nuts to Crack? Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 84, 423 – 441.
  3. Helen X. H. Bao and Joelle Ng (2022). Tradable Parking Permits as a Transportation Demand Management Strategy: A Behavioural Investigation. Cities, Volume 120, Article ID: 103463.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao (2022). The Permanence of Temporary Urbanism: Normalising Precarity in Austerity London. (Book Review). Cities, Volume 120, Article ID: 103456,
  5. Helen X. H. Bao and Yuna Song (2022). Improving Food Security through Entomophagy: Can Behavioural Interventions Influence Consumer Preference for Edible Insects? Sustainability, 14(7): 3875.
  6. Christina Ling Li, Helen X. H. Bao and K. W. Chau (2022). On the Strategic Timing of Sales by Real Estate Developers: To Wait or To Presale? Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, forthcoming.
  7. Jie Liu, Boya Gao, Helen X. H. Bao, and Zhenwu Shi (2022). Isolating the net effect of multiple government interventions with an extended Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) framework: Empirical evidence from the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in China. BMJ Open, 12:e060996. https://doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-060996.


  1. Helen X. H. Bao and Rufus Saunders (2021). Reference Dependence in the UK Housing Market. Housing Studies, forthcoming.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao, Charlotte Chunming Meng, and Jing Wu (2021). Reference Dependence and Loss Aversion in Residential Property Development Decisions: Evidence from Beijing.  Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol. 36:1535–1562.
  3. Helen X. H. Bao (2021). Urbanization, Environmental Externalities, and House Prices in China. In Raymond T. Abdulai and Kwasi G. B. Awuah edited, Sustainability and Real Estate in the Developing World. Emerald. ISBN: 9781838678388.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao, Johan Larsson and Vivien Wong (2021). Light at the end of the tunnel: The impacts of expected major transport improvements on residential property pricesUrban Studies, Vol. 58(14): 2971–2990.
  5. Qianyu Zhao, Helen X. H. Bao and Zhanlu Zhang (2021). Off-farm employment and agricultural land use efficiency in ChinaLand Use Policy, V101, Article number: 105097.
  6. Helen X. H. Bao (2021). The Fall and Rise of Social Housing: 100 Years on 20 Estates (Book Review). Economic Geography, V97(2): 210-212.
  7. Helen X. H. Bao (2021). Understanding Affordability: The Economics of Housing Markets (Book Review). Journal of the American Planning Association. 87(4): 588 - 590. Article ID: RJPA 1956258.


  1. Helen X. H. Bao (2020). Behavioural Science and Housing Decision Making: A Case Study Approach, London, Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-367-13576-8 (paperback), 978-0-429-02725-3 (ebook) and 978-0-367-13575-1 (hardback).
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and Steven H. Li (2020). Housing Wealth and Residential Energy ConsumptionEnergy Policy, V144, August 2020, Article number: 111581.
  3. Ling Li, Helen X. H. Bao and Guy M. Robinson (2020). The Return of State Control and Its Impact on Land Market Efficiency in Urban ChinaLand Use Policy, V99, December 2020, Article number: 104878.
  4. Zhongqi Deng, Qianyu Zhao and Helen X. H. Bao (2020). The impact of urbanization on farmland productivity: Implications for sustainable management and conservation of farmland resources in ChinaLand, 9(9): 311.
  5. Jie Liu, Jingyu Hao, Zhenwu Shi and Helen X. H. Bao (2020). Building the COVID-19 Collaborative Emergency Network: A Case Study of COVID-19 outbreak in Hubei Province, China. Natural Hazards, 104: 2687 - 2717.
  6. Helen X. H. Bao and Steven H. Li (2020). Investor Overconfidence and Trading Activity in the Asia Pacific REIT MarketsJournal of Risk and Financial Management, 13(10), 232.
  7. Helen X. H. Bao and Doris Ka Chuen Mok (2020). A Link between East and West: How the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link Affects Property Prices in Hong KongInternational Real Estate Review, 23(3): 993 – 1021. 
  8. Helen X. H. Bao and Saul Shah (2020). The Impact of Home Sharing on Residential Real Estate Markets. Journal of Risk and Financial Management. V13(8), 161.
  9. Helen X. H. Bao, Adam Brady and Ziyou Wang (2020). Pricing Efficiency and Bounded Rationality: Evidence Based on the Responses Surrounding GICS Real Estate Category CreationInternational Real Estate Review, 23(1):663 – 689.


  1. Helen X. H. Bao, Christina Ling Li and Colin Lizieri (2019). City Profile: Chongqing (1997 – 2017). Cities, 94: 161-171. 
  2. Cynthia M. Gong, Colin Lizieri, and Helen X. H. Bao (2019) “Smarter Information, Smarter Consumers”? Insights into the Housing Market, Journal of Business Research, 97: 51-64.


  1. J. Yan and Helen X. H. Bao (2018). A Prospect Theory-Based Analysis of Housing Satisfaction with Relocations: Field Evidence from China. Cities, 83: 193–202.
  2. Sally Monson, Helen X. H. Bao, and Colin Lizieri (2018). A Behavioral Interpretation of the NAV Discount Puzzle in Listed Real Estate Companies. Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, 24(2): 151-165.
  3. Y. Deng, Helen X. H. Bao, and P. Gong (2018). Increased Tail Dependence in Global Public Real Estate MarketsInternational Real Estate Review. 21(2): 145 – 168. 
  4. Y. Xu, X. Huang, Helen X. H. Bao, X. Ju, T. Zhong, Z. Chen, and Y. Zhou (2018). Rural Land Rights Reform and Agro-environmental Sustainability: Empirical Evidence from China. Land Use Policy, 74: 73 - 87. 
  5. M. Wang and Helen X. H. Bao (2018). Mega-event Effects on the Housing Market: Evidence from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Cities, 72: 207 - 216.


  1. Helen X. H. Bao and Charlotte C. Meng (2017). Loss Aversion and Housing Studies. Journal of Real Estate Literature, 25(1):49 - 75.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and Cynthia, M. Gong (2017). Reference-dependent Analysis of Capital Structure and REIT Performance. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 69: 38–49.
  3. Helen X. H. Bao, Charlotte C. Meng and Jing Wu. (2017). Are We Humans or Are We Econs? - The Effect of Sunk Cost Fallacy in Real Estate Development DecisionsJournal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 20(1): 51-62.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao and Steven H. Li. (2017). House Price Determinants: The Roles of Fundamentals and SentimentsJournal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 20(1): 63-77. 
  5. Md Morshed Alam, Helen X. H. Bao, P.X.W. Zou, and Jay Sanjayan (2017). Behavior Change of Building Users and Energy Consumption, in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Ed. Scott A. Elias), Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-12-409548-9. 


  1. Helen X. H. Bao and Steven H. Li (2016). Overconfidence and Real Estate Investment: A Critical Review of the Literature. The Singapore Economic Review, 61(4):1650015.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and Cynthia, M. Gong (2016). Endowment Effect and Housing Decisions. International Journal of Strategic Property Management, 20(4):341-353.
  3. F. Xia, Y. Shen, J. Yan, and Helen X. H. Bao (2016). On the Potential of Urban Three-dimensional Space Development: The Case of Liuzhou, China, Habitat International, 51:48-58.
  4. F. Xu, Helen X. H. Bao, H. Li, Mei-Po Kwan, and X. Huang (2016) Land Use Policy and Spatiotemporal Changes in the Water Area of an Arid RegionLand Use Policy, 54:366-377.


  1. J. Yan, F. Xia and Helen X. H. Bao (2015). Strategic Planning Framework for Land Consolidation in China: A Top-level Design Based on SWOT Analysis, Habitat International, 48: 46 – 54.
  2. M. Wang, Helen X. H. Bao and P. Lin (2015). Behavioural Insights into Housing Relocation Decisions: The Effects of the Beijing Olympics, Habitat International, 47: 20-28.
  3. H. Li, X. Huang, M. Kwan, Helen X. H. Bao and S. Jefferson (2015). Real Changes in Farmers’ Welfare from Land Requisition in the Process of Rapid Urbanization, Land Use Policy, 42: 635 – 641.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao, P. Gong and B. Yang. (2015). Real Estate Investment Trust Returns: Predictability and DeterminantsJournal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 18(1): 107 – 115.


  1. L. Feng, Helen X. H. Bao and Y. Jiang (2014). Land Reallocation Reform in Rural China: A Behavioral Economics Perspective, Land Use Policy, 41: 246 – 259. 
  2. Helen X. H. Bao, J. L. Glascock, S. Z. Zhou & L. Feng (2014). Land Value Determination in an Emerging Market: Empirical Evidence from China, International Journal of Managerial Finance, 10(2): 180-199.
  3. Helen X. H. Bao and L. Feng. (2014). Land Market in Beijing: Goldmine or Landmine? Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 17(1): 79 – 86.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao(2014). Regression Analysis in Planning Research, in The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods (Eds. Elisabete Silva, Patsy Healey, Neil Harris and Pieter Van den Broeck), Taylor and Francis, ISBN: 978-0-415-72795-2.

2004 - 2013: 

  1. L. Brogan.and Helen X. H. Bao (2011). Real Estate Investment in Guernsey’s Two-tiered Housing Market, Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 2011, 14(2): 155 – 166. 
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and M. Wang. (2010). The Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Residential Property Prices in Wangjing, Beijing, Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 13(1): 71-86.
  3. J. Yan, L. Feng and Helen X. H. Bao (2010). Housing Price Dynamics: Evidence from Beijing, Frontiers of Economics in China, 5(1):52-68.
  4. Y. Tu and Helen X. H. Bao (2009). Property Rights and Housing Value: the Impacts of Political Instability, Real Estate Economics 37(2):235-257.
  5. S. Z. Zhou and Helen X. H. Bao (2009). Modeling Price Dynamics in the Hong Kong Property Markets, Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management Journal, 1S: 8-26.
  6. Helen X. H. Bao and S. Z. Zhou (2008). The Land Market in Hong Kong: Price Index and the Relationship with the Property MarketJournal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 11(2): 187 – 204. 
  7. Helen X. H. Bao  and P. D. Sweeney. (2008). Hedonic Valuation of Schooling in UK: The Case of Hertford Town, Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, 11(1): 75 – 94.
  8. Helen X. H. Bao and A. T. K. Wan (2007). Improved Estimators of Hedonic Housing Price Models, Journal of Real Estate Research, 29(3): 267-301.
  9. Helen X. H. Bao and A. T. K. Wan (2004). On the Use of Spline Smoothing in Estimating Hedonic Housing Price Models: Empirical Evidence Using Hong Kong Data, Real Estate Economics, 32 (3): 487 - 507.


Teaching and Supervisions



Paper 3: Quantitative and Legal Methods for Land Economists

RM01: Mixed Research Methods

SSRMC (Advanced Module): Time Series Analysis 

Contact Details

Email address: 
(01223) 337116