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 the School of Economics and Finance.  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.

Areas of Interest
  • Applied Microeconomic Theory
  • Labour Market in Hong Kong
  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • B.Soc.Sc., The University of Hong Kong
Selected Publications
  • “Investment in Concealable Information by Biased Experts,”
    (with Navin Kartik and Frances Xu Lee), RAND Journal of Economics (forthcoming).
  • “Aspiring for Change: A Theory of Middle Class Activism,”
    (with Heng Chen), Economic Journal (forthcoming).
  • “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.
  • “Media as Watchdogs: The Role of News Media in Electoral Competition,”
    (with Jimmy Chan), European Economic Review 53 (October 2009): 799–814.
  • “Viewpoint: Decision-Making in Committees,”
    (with Li Hao), Canadian Journal of Economics 42 (May 2009): 359–392.
  • “Credible Ratings,”
    (with Ettore Damiano and Li Hao), Theoretical Economics 3 (September 2008): 352–392.
  • “Investing in Reputation: Strategic Choices in Career-Building,”
    (with William Chan and Ka Fai Choi), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 67 (September 2008): 844–854.
  • “A Spatial Theory of News Consumption and Electoral Competition,”
    (with Jimmy Chan), Review of Economic Studies 75 (July 2008): 699–728.
  • “Men, Money, and Medals: An Econometric Analysis of the Olympic Games,”
    (with Hon-Kwong Lui), Pacific Economic Review 13 (February 2008): 1–16.
  • “A Signaling Theory of Grade Inflation,”
    (with William Chan and Li Hao), International Economic Review 48 (August 2007): 1065–1090.
  • “The Comparative Statics of Differential Rents in Two-Sided Matching Markets,”
    Journal of Economic Inequality 5 (August 2007): 149–158.
  • “No Fault Divorce and the Compression of Marriage Ages,”
    (with Douglas Allen and Krishna Pendakur), Economic Inquiry 44 (July 2006): 547–558.