Timothy D. Hau obtained his B.A. from Stanford University and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the University of California at Davis before joining the University of Hong Kong. Timothy was an economist at the World Bank in Washington D.C. in 1990-4. As a World Bank official, he participated in several missions to China, Korea, India and Chile. His World Bank publications on the theory and practice of road use charging have been widely circulated and cited. He argues that road pricing - in one stroke - saves much wasted travel time and fuel, raises government revenues, as well as improves the environment. Without the differential pricing of road use by time-of-day, road capacity enhancements are self-defeating due to the fundamental law of traffic congestion.
Timothy's recent research involves exploring the relationship between income and vehicle ownership across countries. He finds that income does not appear to be as strong a determinant of car ownership as is commonly believed. Because the rate of car ownership in industrializing economies such as Hong Kong is much higher than in mature economies, he recommends that traffic restraint via fiscal measures ought to be sharpened. Timothy's expert views on Hong Kong's chronic traffic congestion problem have been aired on television and radio programs, as well as in magazine and newspaper interviews.
As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport, Timothy has served the community as a Council Member for over a decade and contributed to public policy proposals on transport problems. He has helped to strengthen the interface between transport research and practice by founding the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, where he currently serves as a Board Member. In addition to serving on the Editorial Advisory Boards of three international journals, Timothy is a delegate of Hong Kong SAR's Transportation Working Group to APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and PECC (Pacific Economic Cooperation Council). As a delegate, he was invited to present his recommendations on how to achieve an efficient transport system to the Second APEC Urban Transport Forum in Taipei last fall.
Some of Timothy's interesting ideas have percolated in a new third-year course he designed called "Project Evaluation and Financing", in which topics of current interest on infrastructure financing such as BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) road projects by the World Bank, the Western Harbour Tunnel Co. Ltd. and Sir Gordon Wu's Hopewell Holdings are discussed. At present he is working jointly on a book on domestic transport policy with Stephen Ching of City University of Hong Kong, to be published by the City University Press.