Commercial Building at Night


Researcher in Real Estate, Technology Applications and Economic Policy

My research focuses broadly on real estate, technology applications, household finance, and policy. I hold a PhD in Real Estate Economics and have published papers that cover topics such as foreclosures, rent control, and the business model impact of data. 

This website provides an overview of my research and teaching.



Headshot Cropped H Donner_edited.jpg

I am the Director of the Golub Capital Social Impact Lab, at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The lab leverages technology to make the social sector more efficient.

I have a background in real estate research and have researched various aspects of real estate markets using quantitative methods. My research has covered issues such as foreclosures and the impact of sale mechanism on price, rent control, informational asymmetries on the housing market and office rent determinants. I have academic publications in journals such as the Journal of Housing Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Research and the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.

In addition to academic publications, I have been engaged in several policy-related research projects, such as co-authoring a report on the distributional effects of rent control for the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council (a government agency that advises the Swedish government on fiscal policy), and developing best practice guidelines for appraisal of development land for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Sweden. 

I also conduct research that relates to economics, technology applications and policy. Current research projects include a paper analyzing the relationship between earned wage access and household financial wellbeing (joint with Stanford Law School). I have previously written a report on technologies that make mobility in cities more efficient, which was published by Visa Inc.

I have been engaged in local politics in my hometown of Vaxholm, Sweden, as an elected member of city council (elections of 2014 and 2018) and a member of the building committee. I was a candidate for chairman of the city executive committee (mayor) in the 2018 election. 

Prior to my current role, I was a researcher at the Digital Cities Corporate Affiliate Program at Stanford. In that role, I was a liaison between Stanford labs and over 20 corporations - including 3M, Bain, Medtronic, Jones LangLaSalle and Verizon - developing partnerships and research projects across all fields of research. 

I hold a PhD in Real Estate Economics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and I have been a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford School of Engineering. I have also been a visiting scholar at the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business. I hold BSc and MSc degrees with real estate finance concentrations from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and have studied law at Stockholm University.



Published Academic Papers:

  1. Donner, H. and Steep, M. (2021) 'Monetizing the IoT Revolution'. Sustainability, Forthcoming.

  2. Donner, H.(2020) 'Determinants of a Foreclosure Discount'. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment,35 (4), 1079-1097.

  3. Caesar, C., Donner, H. and Kopsch, F. (2019). ‘The Impact of Leasehold Status on Apartment Price’, Journal of Housing Economics, 46, 1016292

  4. Donner, H. and Loh, T. (2019). ‘Does the Starbucks Effect Exist? – Searching for a Relationship Between Starbucks and Adjacent Rents’, Property Management, 37(4), 562-578.

  5. Donner, H. and Kopsch, F. (2018). ’Housing Tenure and Informational Asymmetries’, Journal of Real Estate Research, 40(2), 155-177.

  6. Donner, H. (2017). ’Foreclosures, Returns, and Buyer Intentions’, Journal of Real Estate Research, 39(2), 189-213.

  7. Donner, H, Englund, P., and Persson, M. (2017). ‘Hyresregleringens fördelningseffekter’ (‘Distributional effects of rent control’, in Swedish), Ekonomisk Debatt (Journal of the Swedish Economic Association), (8)45, 37-50.

  8. Donner, H., Song, H-S. and Wilhelmsson, M. (2016). ’Forced sales and their impact on real estate prices’, Journal of Housing Economics34, 60-68. 

  9. Donner, H. and Persson, A. H. (2015). ’När är det sannolikt att ett avsevärt mycket högre pris kan uppnås vid en exekutiv försäljning av fast egendom?’ (’When is it likely that a considerably higher price can be achieved for a sale of foreclosed property?’, in Swedish), Juridisk Tidskrift (Stockholm University Law Review)(1),15-35

Policy Papers / White Papers:

  1. Donner, H. and Steep, M. (2020). “Urban movement as a data generating activity“, World Car Free Day London Summit 2019.

  2. Donner, H. (2018). ‘Värdering av råmark, byggrätter, och projektfastigheter: arbetssätt, problem och slutsatser’ (’Appraisal of development land and projects: methods, problems and conclusions’, in Swedish), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) / KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

  3. Donner, H., Englund, P., and Persson, M. (2017). ‘Distributional Effects of Deregulating the Stockholm Rental Housing Market’, Swedish Fiscal Policy Council.

  4. Donner, H. (2019) ‘Technology Landscape Survey’, Visa Inc.

Working Papers:

  1. Donner, H. Steep, M., and Peterson, T. (2019). 'Crossing the Urban Data Layer: Mobility as a Data Generating Activity", Working Paper Series, Stanford Global Projects Center, 2019.

  2. Donner H., Eriksson, K., and Steep, K. ‘Digital Cities: Real Estate Development Driven by Big Data’, Working Paper Series, Stanford Global Projects Center, 2018.

Research in Progress:

  1. Donner, H. and Siciliano, D. 'The Impact of Earned Wage Access on Household Liquidity and Financial Well-Being'.

  2. Donner, H. 'A Model for Collaborative Value Creation'.

  3. Donner, H. and Kopsch, F. ‘Socio-Economic Determinants of the Rent Control Subsidy’.

  4. Donner, H. 'Detecting Energy Leakage in Cities: a Data Framework for Sustainability Policies.

PhD Thesis:

Selected Presentations:

  • 2019: VivaTech: How tech will shape urban environments, San Jose, CA (panelist); Disruptive Technologies and Digital Cities Annual Summit, Stanford CA (keynote); Orange Telecom Corporate Council on Smart Cities, San Fransisco, CA. 

  • 2018: Stanford University Disruptive Technologies and Digital Cities Affiliate Meeting, Stanford, CA; American Real Estate Society, Annual Meeting, Fort Myers, FL (session chair).

  • 2016: American Real Estate Society Annual Meeting, Denver, CO; American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association Intl. Conference, Alicante, Spain

  • 2015: American Real Estate Society Annual Meeting, Fort Myers, FL; Western Regional Science Association Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ.

  • 2014: Western Regional Science Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.



I have taught at the undergraduate, graduate and executive education level. My primary area of teaching is corporate finance, portfolio theory and real estate finance. 

At Stanford University:

  • Spring 2019: Infrastructure Finance (Graduate, Guest Lecturer)

At KTH Royal Institute of Technology:

  • Spring 2018: Applied Mathematics and Statistics for Economists (Undergraduate, Course Responsible Lecturer)

  • Summer 2017: Construction Economy, Calculation and Financing (KTH Executive Education, Lecturer)

  • Fall 2015, 2016: Introductory Econometrics (Graduate, Teaching Assistant)

  • Fall 2016: Real Estate Finance and Investment (KTH Executive Education Norway, Lecturer)

  • Fall 2016: Fundamentals of Residential Real Estate Finance (Undergraduate, Teaching Assistant)

  • Spring 2016: Introductory Microeconomics (Undergraduate, Teaching Assistant)

  • Spring 2014, 2016: Credit Risk Assessment (Undergraduate, Course Responsible Lecturer)

  • Spring 2014, 2015:Property Valuation (Undergraduate, Teaching Assistant)

  • Spring 2013: Organization an d Management (Undergraduate, Lecturer)

  • Spring 2014, 2016, 2018: Supervision of Bachelor’s and Master’s Theses

Other Teaching:

  • Spring 2013, Fall 2014: Developed and taught a course in real estate economics for financial advisors