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National University of Singapore
4 Architecture Drive, Singapore 117566

  Office: SDE1-04-09
  Tel: +65 6516-6254
  Fax: +65 6774-8684
  Curriculum Vitae (CV): Click Here

Dr. Kwan Ok Lee is an Assistant Professor at the NUS Department of Real Estate. Her research has appeared in leading academic journals such as American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings and Journal of Urban Economics.

Dr. Lee's research interests focus on the interaction between urban spatial dynamics and household choices such as mobility, housing, and household formation. Her current research includes residential mobility of lower income households, urban gentrification, racial integration, and housing choices in aging households.

She holds a PhD in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California and Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University.

  • Urban Planning and Regional Science
  • Neighborhood Dynamics, Household Residential Choice, Real Estate Markets, and Urban Policy Analysis
  • Research Agenda 1): Interactions between spatial contexts and household behaviors
  • Research Agenda 2): The role of macroeconomic conditions and policies to housing market dynamics

  • PhD, Policy, Planning, and Development, University of Southern California
  • MUP, Urban Planning, Harvard University
  • BSc, Architecture, Ewha Womans University


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  1. “Subsidized Housing and Residential Trajectories: An Application of Matched Sequence Analysis” (with George Galster and Richard Smith), Housing Policy Debate 27(6): 843-874. (2017).
  2. “Neighborhood Trajectories of Low-Income U.S Households: An Application of Sequence Analysis” (with George Galster and Richard Smith), Journal of Urban Affairs 39(3): 333-357. (2017).
  3. “Temporal Dynamics of Racial Segregation in the U.S.: An Analysis of Household Residential Mobility”, Journal of Urban Affairs 39(1): 40-67. (2017).
  4. "Do Conspicuous Consumers Pay Higher Housing Premiums?: Spatial and Temporal Variation in the U.S.", (with Masaki Mori), Real Estate Economics 44(2): 726-763. (2016).
  5. “Pre- and Post-Delinquency Behavior: Cross-Neighborhood Variation in New York City”, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 30(3): 359-382. (2015).
  6. “Why Do Renters Stay in or Leave Certain Neighborhoods? The Role of Neighborhood Characteristics, Housing Tenure Transitions, and Race”, Journal of Regional Science 54(5): 755-787. (2014).
  7. “Housing Tenure Transitions of Older Households: What is the Role of Child Proximity?” (with Gary Painter), Real Estate Economics 42(1): 109-52. (2014).
  8. “What Happens to Household Formation in a Recession?” (with Gary Painter), Journal of Urban Economics 76: 93-109. (2013).
  9. “Housing Tenure Transitions of Older Households: Life Cycle, Demographic, and Familial Factors” (with Gary Painter), Regional Science and Urban Economics 39(6): 749-760. (2009).
  10.  “Mortgage, Risk, and Homeownership among Low- and Moderate-Income Families” (with Raphael Bostic), American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 98(2): 310-314. (2008).

Book Chapters:

  1. “Homeownership: America’s Dream?” (with Raphael Bostic), in Insufficient Funds: Savings, Assets, Credit, and Banking among Low-Income Households (Rebecca Blank and Michael Barr, editors), Russell Sage Foundation. (2009).

Scholarly Editions:

  1. “The Impact of Housing on Community: A Review of the Literature” (with Alexander von Hoffman and Eric Belsky), JCHS Working Paper W06-1. Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University. (2006).
  2. “From Post-War Fledging Experimentation to Korean-Version New Deal: Where is the End of Mudding Through in Korean Housing Policy?”, International Union for Housing Finance. London, UK. (2005).

Academic Reports:

  1. “Singapore’s Importing of Its Urban Planning Strategies: A Case Study of Jurong Town Corporation (JTC)”, Prepared for the Seoul Housing & Communities Corporation. (2017).
  2. “An Analysis of the Success of Singapore Developers”, Prepared for the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements. (2017).
  3. “A Study of Public Private Partnership Models”, Prepared for the City of Seoul. (2014).
  4. “Economic Benefits of Integrated Resorts in Singapore” (with Jae Wan Hur, Kab Sung Kim, and Kyung-Min Kim), Prepared for the Korean Tourism Organization. (2012).
  5. “Pre- and Post-Delinquency Behavior in New York City”, Prepared for Center for the New York City Neighborhoods. (2011).

  • RE6008 Urban Planning and Development Seminar
  • RE3102 Advanced Topics in Urban Planning
  • RE4223 Urban Planning in Asian Cities
  • RE4220 Urban Planning Seminar
  • DEP5103A Quantitative Methods for Urban Planning

  1. International Commentator, Cityscape Symposium hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  2. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Korea Planning Association (ISSN: 1226-7147)
  3. Deputy Director, MSc in Environmental Management (MEM) Program
  4. NUS-URA Urban Planning 101 (executive training program for government urban planners): Public Policy; Cost Benefit Analysis
  5. NUS-MFA-CDIA Training Program (executive training program for mayors and chief officers from Asian cities): Project Feasibility, Cost Benefit Analysis, and Public-Private Partnership

  1. School Teaching Excellence Award 2016/2017, National University of Singapore
  2. School Teaching Excellence Award 2015/2016, National University of Singapore
  3. Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 ($86,950), 2015–2017
  4. National University of Singapore Start-up Research Grant ($105,000), 2012–2014
  5. Korea Tourism Organization, for “Macro- and Micro-economic Effects of Integrated Resorts in Singapore” ($5,000), 2011-2012
  6. Center for New York City Neighborhoods, for “Pre- and Post-Delinquency Behavior: Cross-Neighborhood Variation in New York City” ($10,000), 2011–2012
  7. Real Estate Research Institute Dissertation Research Grant ($5,000), 2011–2012

  Last Modified: 2018-02-06