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Commercial Building at Night


Research of Housing Markets, Economic Policy and Digitalization.

I am best described as an applied economist and research generalist, with a background in real estate and housing policy research. I have published my research in academic journals in  real estate, economics, business, and law.  

Even as I still conduct housing policy research on topics such as rent control, foreclosures, and urban change, I also work with corporations, startups and government agencies to develop and manage research projects that broadly relate to new technologies and its implications for organizations. Recent such projects include a policy analysis of how Earned Wage Access impacts users (i.e. policy relating to fintech), an analysis and strategy for implementation and monetization of personality aware recommendation algorithms on online platforms, and building pricing models for hardware.  

In my current role as the Director of the Golub Capital Social Impact Lab at Stanford Graduate School of Business, I manage teams of researchers that leverage technology to make the social sector more efficient. Prior to my current role, I was the Research Director of the Disruptive Technology Corporate Affiliate Program at Stanford School of Engineering. I matched 25+ corporations (including Cushman & Wakefield, Microsoft, Visa, Jones LangLaSalle, and Wells Fargo) with new Stanford Technology relevant to their business models, and developed paths to monetization.

This website provides an overview of my research and teaching.

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I am the Director of the Golub Capital Social Impact Lab, at Stanford Graduate School of Business. We are a team of faculty, researchers and students that leverage technology for social impact.​

My background is in real estate and urban economics, and I have researched various aspects of real estate markets using quantitative methods. I have published papers on topics such as the pricing of foreclosed properties, the income-distributional effects of rent control, informational asymmetries on the housing market and office rent determinants. I have publications in journals such as the Journal of Housing Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Research, the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment and Stockholm University Law Review.

Since 2017, I have conducted applied research that broadly relates to how technology impacts society. Recent work includes an analysis of the impact of earned wage access on household financial wellbeing, and a paper that outlines how the internet of things (IoT) will impact business models across different industries. I'm currently analyzing the impact of financial innovations on household financial well-being, notably Earned Wage Access.

Prior to my current role, I was the Research Director of the Digital Cities Corporate Affiliate Program at Stanford School of Engineering. In that role, I was a liaison between Stanford labs and over 20 corporations - including 3M, Bain, Medtronic, Jones LangLaSalle, Verizon and Visa - developing partnerships, identifying opportunities and managing research projects across all fields of research. In this role, I wrote a report on smart city technologies for mobility on behalf of Visa Inc, which was presented at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

I am a Swedish citizen, and I have been engaged in several policy-related research projects in my Sweden, 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 the now adopted best practice guidelines for appraisal of development land for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Sweden. 

I am engaged in local politics in my hometown of  Vaxholm, Sweden, as a twice elected member of city council (elections of 2014 and 2018) and a member of the building committee. I was the Moderate party candidate for chairman of the city executive committee (mayor) in the 2018 election. My primary drivers are improving the quality of schools, infrastructure, and new housing development. 

I hold a PhD in Real Estate Economics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. I have been a Postdoctoral Researcher at at Stanford School of Engineering, where I also conducted research during my PhD studies. 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.

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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. 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. 'Who Benefits from Rent Control? Socio-Economic Determinants of the Rent Subsidy

  4. Donner, H. 'Predicting Energy Leakage: a Data Driven Sustainability Roadmap Using EPC Data.

  5. 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.

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

PhD Thesis:

Selected Presentations:

  • 2021: American Real Estate Society, Annual Conference (online); RealPlay, Podcast

  • 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.

Awards and Grants:

  • 2022: Nova111 Sweden. Listed on the most promising under 35 list, one of 10 in the category of NGOs and social impact.

  • 2021: American Real Estate Society, Best Paper Award for Housing

  • 2017: Sweden-America Foundation Scholarship for graduate studies in the US

  • 2012: The Large Property Prize for best thesis in the field of real estate, in Sweden

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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

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