Academic profile



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. 








Paper 3: Quantitative and Legal Methods for Land Economists

RM01: Mixed Research Methods

SSRMC (Advanced Module): Time Series Analysis 





Research interests


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

International Forum on Zero-Carbon Commuting, Housing Mobility, and Spatial Equality: Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-Pandemic Era

‘The Belt and Road’ Green Sustainable Development and Technology Innovation Forum (19 - 20 August 2023) 

International Workshop on Behavioural Sciences and Urban-Rural Development in Developing Countries (24 - 26 July 2023)

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, Yan Jiang, Scott Ziyou Wang and Lei Feng (2024). Social Capital and the Effectiveness of Land Use Policies: Evidence from Rural China. Land Use Policy, Volume 139, Article number: 107069.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao, Ziyou Wang, and Liangqi Wu. Understanding Local Government Debt Financing of Infrastructure Projects in China: Evidence based on Accounting Data from Local Government Financing Vehicles (2024). Land Use Policy. Volume 136, Article ID: 106964.
  3. Helen X. H. Bao (2023). Between Carrots and Sticks, from Intentions to Actions: Behavioural Interventions for Housing Decisions. Housing, Theory and Society, online first.
  4. Helen X. H. Bao and Rufus Saunders (2023). Reference Dependence in the UK Housing MarketHousing Studies. V38(7): 1191–1219.
  5. Helen X. H. Bao and Charlotte Chunming Meng (2023). Housing Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Residential SatisfactionRegional Studies
  6. Helen X. H. Bao and Guy Robinson (2022). Behavioural Land Use Policy Studies: Past, Present, and FutureLand Use Policy, Volume 115, Article ID: 106013.
  7. 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.
  8. Helen X. H. Bao and Joelle Ng (2022). Tradable Parking Permits as a Transportation Demand Management Strategy: A Behavioural InvestigationCities, Volume 120, Article ID: 103463.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. Helen X. H. Bao and Steven H. Li (2020). Housing Wealth and Residential Energy ConsumptionEnergy Policy, V144, August 2020, Article number: 111581.
  12. 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.




Full CV 





Current PhD students


He Tang, Yangfanqi Liu




Recent PhD students


Miao Gong, Haotong Li, Chunming Meng, Liangqi Wu






Real Estate Finance and Economics, Housing Policy, Land Use Policy, Urban Studies, Behavioural Sciences