Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Academic Areas

Building on
a Century of Excellence

Academic Areas


Dr. William CHAN


Associate Professor

2859 1055
2548 1152
Dr. William CHAN

Hidden Script

[Do not edit or remove this area]
There are 3 sections for "Publications" with 'More...':
1st Section Name: [Selected Publications]
- List the 10 latest publications in this section
2nd Section Name [ 'blank' ] <Delete this Section if no content>
- List the remaining older publications
3rd Section Name [ 'blank' ] <Delete this Section if no content>
- With function to show 'More...' and the edit link to personal homepage


Dr. William CHAN received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1991.   He has been visiting scholar at the University of Chicago and Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong before joining the School in 1996.  His research interest is in labour economics and applied price theory. As a late convert to economics, William is particularly attracted by the ability of the economic theory to offer insights into apparently non-economic issues.  One of his recent projects studies the relationship between marital transfers and the welfare of women.  It is observed that both bride price and dowry change hands in a marriage, which suggests that they serve different functions.  Retaining Becker's Interpretation for the bride price, William conjectured that a dowry should more appropriately be understood as a transfer from parents to daughters.  Control over financial resources would enhance the wife's position relative to the husband in the newly formed household, thereby safeguarding her welfare.  Data from India have been found to be consistent with this hypothesis.

In his spare time William likes music, from celestial Gregorian Chant to low-brow Canto pop, hard rock excepting.  He is developing a penchant for collecting LP records.  William is a fan of the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Bears when they are not hibernating, the Chicago Cubs even when they are (always) losing, the incomparable Chicago Symphony and the late Sir Georg, Chicago deep-pan pizza -- in short, almost anything from the Windy City, the intellectual capital of the western world by virtue of the University on the South Side.

Areas of Interest

  • Labour Economics
  • Applied price theory


  • Ph.D., M.A., B.A., University of Chicago

Selected Publications

  • “Marital Transfers and the Welfare of Women,”
    Oxford Economic Papers 66, No. 4 (2014): 1006-18.
  • “Help and Factionalism in Politics and Organizations”
    (with Priscilla Man), Southern Economic Journal, 79 Issue 1 (July 2012): 144-60.
  • “Suspense: Dynamic Incentives in Sports Contests”
    (with Hao Li and Pascal Courty), Economic Journal 119, Issue 534 (2009): 24-46.
  • “Investing in Reputation: Strategic Decisions in Career-Building”
    (with Wing Suen and Ka Fai Choi), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 67, Issues 3-4 (2008): 844-54.
  • “Why Are Grades So High?”
    (with Li Hao and Wing Suen), International Economic Review, 48, No. 3 (August 2007): 1065-90.
  • “External Recruitment and Intra-firm Mobility,”
    Economic Inquiry 44, No. 1 (2006): 169-84.


Office Room 831, KK Leung Building
Tel. (852) 2859 1055

Back to top

Back to top

Join FBE Mailing List

* Required Field


  • Fill in all required fields *.
  • Please make sure all the above personal data is correct and you are strongly encouraged to notify the Faculty of Business and Economics of The University of Hong Kong via email: if there are any changes in your contact information.

Personal Data Collection

The Faculty of Business and Economics will send you information related to the Faculty including news, event updates, newsletters and/or promotional information through the personal data which you have provided. The Faculty will keep all personal data strictly confidential and will not provide contacts in any form to a third party. If you do not wish to receive information from the Faculty, please contact