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Featured Researchers

Dr Ting Chen

Associate Professor
Department of Accountancy, Economics and Finance
School of Business

Dr Ting Chen



Dr Chen Ting’s research specialises in political economy, economic history and development economics. Her specific focus is on empirical research, namely to analyse real-world data to understand economic agents and explore the economic, social and political factors that determine long-term development. 


Dr Chen was hired under HKBU’s Talent100 Scheme for the Research Cluster “Data Analytics and AI in X”. Since joining the University in July 2018, she has published papers in the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Journal of Econometrics and Economic Journal. Before joining HKBU, as a PhD student she published a paper in the Journal of Development Economics, while her economic history research project “Telegraph, Railway Networks, and the Adoption of Agricultural Technology” won funding from the Research Grants Council along with an Early Career Scheme grant.


In each of her research projects, Dr Chen has endeavoured to combine cutting-edge data analytics methods with a sophisticated econometric identification strategy to address important economic problems. For example, in the Quarterly Journal of Economics paper, the study necessitated the construction of complex data sets by (1) trawling land transaction data (with 1.4 million observation points) from the official website of a Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources; (2) extracting the geographical coordinates of each traded land parcel and matching it to other geographic features (for example, roads and facilities) using Google Maps; (3) applying machine learning to generate quality-free land price indices for each fine-grained geographic unit; (4) utilising natural language processing algorithms to process the CVs of more than 12,000 directors and senior executives of listed companies to construct appropriate measures of their characteristics; and (5) integrating the above data to explore the effect of favour trading (corruption) between local officials and firms. 


By constructing new, accurate measures of corruptive behaviours based on new data sources and methods, this paper contributes to one of the most important and “old” research questions about the impact of corruption in political selection and economic efficiency. Dr Chen utilises these new measures to assess the policy effectiveness and economic impact of anti-corruption measures adopted by the central government, which have great potential and value in informing government policy and creating social impact. The academic influence of her paper is evident not only in its publication in one of the most influential economic journals, but also by the fact that the paper was selected as one of the “High Impact Articles” in terms of the most read.




Research Outputs

  • Chen, T., & Jean J. Hong (2020). “The Enemies Within: Loyalty, Faction and Elite Competition under Authoritarianism.” Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming.
  • Chen, T., Kung, J. K. S, & Ma, C. (2020). “Long Live Keju! The Persistent Effects of China's Imperial Examination System.” The Economic Journal, forthcoming. 
  • Chen, T., Gao, Z., He, J., Jiang, W., & Xiong, W. “Daily Price Limits and Destructive Market Behaviour.” Journal of Econometrics 208 (1) (2019): 249-264, doi: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2018.09.014.
  • Chen, T., & Kung, J. K. S (2019). “Busting the 'Princelings': The Campaign against Corruption in China's Primary Land Market.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 134 (1)  (2019): 185-226.