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Prof. Wing SUEN

Prof. Wing SUEN


Area Head of Economics

Chair of Economics

Henry G Leong Professor in Economics

2857 8505
KK 1014
Academic & Professional Qualification
  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • B.Soc.Sc., The University of Hong Kong

Professor Wing SUEN was educated at The University of Hong Kong (HKU).  He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Washington.  After doing post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago, he returned to his alma mater in 1989 and is now Chair of Economics at HKU Business School. He had also held research or teaching positions at Simon Fraser University, Harvard University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Wing's research interests center around applied microeconomic theory.  He has done some work on efficiency and early contracting in two-sided matching markets.  One of his current research areas looks at the transmission of information across individuals with divergent beliefs and motives.  An application that is close to the heart of the academician is the issue of grade inflation in higher education.  He argues that the college professor, in playing the dual role of advocate and judge for his students, is trapped into an inefficient equilibrium in which grades are too high.

Another example of this line of work explores the structure of social networks.  Individuals with opposing viewpoints tend to believe that the other party is uninformed or misinformed.  If people form social ties in order to obtain more information, they will rationally choose to be associated with like-minded peers.  Will there be an equilibrium in which people with different viewpoints are segregated from one another?  What are the consequences of this group formation process for the evolution of social beliefs?

Wing also maintains an interest in the labor market of Hong Kong.  He is an associate editor of the Pacific Economic Review and is program leader of the Human Resources Research Program of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy.  His current work in this area focuses on the effects of public housing on internal migration, travel-to-work patterns, and labor supply decisions.

Research Interest
  • Applied Microeconomic Theory
  • Labour Market in Hong Kong
Selected Publications
  • “Credibility of Crime Allegations,”
    (with Frances Xu Lee), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 12 (February 2020): 220-259.
  • “Learning While Experimenting,”
    (with Ettore Damiano and Hao Li), Economic Journal 130 (January 2020): 65-92.
  • “The Comparative Statics of Optimal Hierarchies,” (with Cheng Chen), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 11 (May 2019): 1-25.
  • “Downs Meets d’Aspremont and Company: Convergence versus Differentiation in Politics and the Media,” (with Wen-Chung Guo and Fu-Chuan Lai), International Journal of Industrial Organization 60 (September 2018): 96-125.
  • “Deliberating Collective Decisions,” (with Jimmy Chan, Alessandro Lizzeri, and Leeat Yariv), Review of Economic Studies 88 (April 2018): 929-963.
  • “Aspiring for Change: A Theory of Middle Class Activism,”
    (with Heng Chen), Economic Journal 127 (August 2017):1318-1347.
  • “Investment in Concealable Information by Biased Experts,”
    (with Navin Kartik and Frances Xu Lee), RAND Journal of Economics 48 (Spring 2017): 24-43.
  • “The Power of Whispers: A Theory of Rumor, Communication and Revolution,”
    (with Heng Chen and Yang Lu), International Economic Review 57 (February 2016): 89–116.
  • “Falling Dominoes: A Theory of Rare Events and Crisis Contagion,”
    (with Heng Chen), American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 8 (February 2016): 228–255.
  • “Competing for Talents,”
    (with Ettore Damiano and Li Hao), Journal of Economic Theory 147 (November 2012): 2190–2219.
  • “Optimal Deadlines for Agreements,”
    (with Ettore Damiano and Li Hao), Theoretical Economics 7 (May 2012): 357–393.
  • “The Effects of Public Housing on Internal Mobility in Hong Kong,”
    (with Hon-Kwong Lui), Journal of Housing Economics 20 (March 2011): 15–29.
  • “Age Structure of the Workforce in Growing and Declining Industries: Evidence from Hong Kong,”
    (with Jun Han), Journal of Population Economics 24 (January 2011): 167–189.
  • “First in Village or Second in Rome?”
    (with Ettore Damiano and Li Hao), International Economic Review 51 (February 2010): 263–288.
  • “Mutual Admiration Clubs,”
    Economic Inquiry 48 (January 2010): 123–132.