For the past several years, the economic downturn has been making headlines, and so it seems uncommon to study a market specifically for its stability. Yet this is precisely how Mao Ding ’14, a recipient of a 2011 Emerson Summer Grant, plans to spend his summer, researching the reasons behind the surprising steadiness of the Chinese real estate market, which was expected to collapse in 2008 or 2009. His project with Professor of Economics Erol Balkan, “An Examination of China’s Real Estate Market after Global Financial Crisis,” aims to accurately describe the factors that contribute to Chinese real estate’s strength.
In 2008 and 2009, when the global economy was collapsing, many financial analysts predicted that, just as the housing bubble in the United States had burst, so would the housing bubble in China. The Republic has surprised most economists, however, with its real estate market’s continued growth throughout the economic downturn and into the present day. A collapse in this market would have global repercussions, and so, as much of the world slowly recovers from the recession, it remains important to keep an eye on this trend for both economists and for investors.
For Ding, an economics and mathematics double major, the reasons behind the Chinese real estate market’s stability are not only intriguing, but important to anyone interested in economics or in the global health of the economy. The real estate market plays a vital role in China’s overall economic strength and upward growth, and indeed in the world’s economic strength, and so the topic of Ding’s research could shed light on a point of debate among economists.
Ding’s research will center on both published written materials and personal interviews with economic and real estate experts. He summarizes his approach in the following three ways. He plans to read and analyze both scholarly and journalistic articles about the Chinese real estate market over the past few years, searching for possible explanations for its recent stability.
Furthermore, Ding will conduct interviews with members of U.S. real estate firms, meeting with the “decision-makers” of various companies to gauge their reactions to government policy and to the downturn. Finally, he will meet with members of Hamilton’s Economics Department about the recent trends in real estate. He hopes that cumulatively, his research will indicate a specific and accurate answer to his question and some prediction of where the Chinese real estate market is headed in the future.
Ding looks forward to gaining new experiences, new knowledge, and meeting new people over the course of his research. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, reading and doing volunteer work, and he hopes to continue these activities over the summer. While any economic market may in itself be the very epitome of unpredictability, Ding hopes to uncover some truth about one market in particular that interests not only him, but many economists all over the world.
Mao Ding is a graduate of the Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School in China