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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
Applied price theory
Ph.D., M.A., B.A., University of Chicago
“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.