On September 11, 2014, Peking University - Lincoln Institute Center (PLC) hosted the Cambridge University -- PLC PhD workshop at Starlight Hall of Yingjie Conference Center in Peking University. A delegation consisting of 18 professors and PhD students from the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge University conducted a wonderful academic exchange with researchers and PhD students of PLC. Professor Canfei He, the deputy director of PLC and professor of College of Urban and Environmental Science at Peking University, chaired the workshop and Dr. Zhi Liu, the director of PLC, attended the workshop and participated in the discussion.
6 PhD students presented their work at the workshop. They were Mohammad Usman, Aileen Lam, and Miao Gong from Cambridge University and Zhiji Huang, Xiyan Mao, and Yan Yan. Yan Yan has recently received her PhD degree and now is full-time policy researcher at PLC.
Mohammad Usman focused on informal housing allocation processes and undocumented migrants in the borough of the Bronx in New York City and explores related questions by conducting research on 'illegal' Dominican and West African migrants seeking housing. His research adapts new institutionalism as its theoretical framework to situate the formal allocation mechanisms, which apply to documented renters, and further uses it to show the constraints and transaction costs that institutions indirectly impose upon undocumented migrants as they navigate the rental market of the Bronx.
Aileen Lam's research topic was modeling the impact of transport policies on emissions with a dynamic model of technological change. The objective of her research is to create a computational tool that can be used to project future emissions and energy use from the transport sector in 53 countries of the world as a result of policies. She adopts a framework that takes a system dynamic approach and models technology diffusion with replicator dynamic equations. She thinks the model can be used to simulate and analyze policy and technology choices that may influence future energy demand and emissions in the transport sector.
Miao Gong's research topic is prospect theory and housing decisions in China. She uses empirical evidence from China to test the hypothesis that endowment effect has a significant impact on housing decisions. She finds that endowment effect does play an important role in the formation of judgmental biases in housing decision and moreover, endowment effect interacts with housing cycles. Her research not only extends existing theoretical and empirical works in housing sector, but also sheds light on consumers' behaviors in the emerging property market in China.
Zhiji Huang presented his work on studying China's urban land expansion. He used a multi-level model to analyze China's urban land expansion under economic transition. He applied the triple transition framework of globalization, marketization, and decentralization to study how economic transition influences urban land expansion in China. His research results indicate that China’s process of urban land expansion is influenced by global forces, the transition from a socialist to a market economy, and the process of decentralization that erodes the totalitarianism of socialism and mobilizes local resources for development. He argued for integrating global and local forces to understand the urbanization process and sustainability challenges.
Xiyan Mao’s research topic was modeling the effects of land regulation on land-use change in tourist regions. He developed a system dynamic-cellular automata hybrid model to translate anthropogenic land dynamics into spatial distributions and project their likely future changes under various development scenarios and uses Lijiang River Basin for case study. The results turn out that tourism development indicates demand for construction and interferes with landscape; flexible policies achieve a better balanced land-use pattern than a combination of individual strict policies.
Yan Yan presented her research on land leasing and urban economic growth in China. Given that by leasing lands, local government could improve fiscal revenue and attract investments to promote economic growth, she applied empirical data to test the effect of land leasing to economic growth in China and explore how it works. And she also evaluated whether land leasing strategies affect economic growth.
The 6 presenters’ researches were in different fields, but of the same wonder. The 3-hour workshop ended at noon and Dr. Liu commented on all the presentations. If you would like to know more details about the workshop, the abstracts of the papers, and the activities and academic achievements of PLC, please visit the website of PLC www.plc.pku.edu.cn.
(PKU: Jinke Wang)