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 (2024). Is Hiding My First Name Enough? Using Behavioural Interventions to Mitigate Racial and Gender Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market. Urban Studies. Online first.
  2. Helen X. H. Bao and Colin Lizieri (2024). Behavioural Housing Finance, in Kenneth Gibb, Chris Leishman, Alex Marsh, Geoff Meen, Rachel Ong Viforj, and Craig Watkins edited, Handbooks for Housing Economics. Routledge. ISBN: 9780367347178 (Hardback); 9780429327339 (eBook).
  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 Market. Housing 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).

Full CV 

Current PhD students


He Tang, Yangfanqi Liu

Recent PhD students

Gong, Haotong Li, Chunming Meng, Liangqi Wu


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