Yilin Hou

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs


Yilin Hou is a Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research, and a Tenth Decade Faculty Scholar. Hou’s field of expertise is public finance. His research interests are fiscal policy, public budgeting, and intergovernmental fiscal relations as related to the core of development and governance. Much of his research focuses on the smooth operation of government finance across the boom-bust cycles of the economy. He is particularly interested in researching rule-based, time-consistent fiscal policies that will contribute to how the public sector can tell whether the vicissitudes of economic fluctuations and other aspects of the society in order to provide smooth and stable public services and goods.

Hou’s research has been funded by the University of Georgia Foundation (2006-2008), the Center for Industrial Development and Environmental Governance at Tsinghua University, Beijing (2007-2010, funding from the Toyota Corporation), the Stanley W. Shelton Professor Fund at the University of Georgia (2009-2013), the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2012-2013, 2016-2017), the China Center for Fiscal Development (2013-2018, at the Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing), and state/local government contracts. Hou is the editor of the Development and Governance book series and the Studies in Public Budgeting (and Fiscal Policy) book series, both by the Springer International. He also sits on the editorial board of several major academic journals in his field.

Yilin received his Ph. D. from Syracuse University in 2002.


Development, Governance, and Real Property Tax in China. Yilin Hou, Ping Zhang, Qiang Ren, and Haitao Ma (2018). Palgrave MacMillan.

"Research in Scheme Design of China’s Local Property Tax." Yilin Hou, Qiang Ren, and Haitao Ma. Beijing: Economic Science Press (2016). (《中国房地产税税制要素设计研究》).

"Local Government Budget Stabilization: Explorations and Evidence." Yilin Hou (Editor). New York: Springer (2015).

"The Property Tax in China: History, Pilots, and Prospects." Yilin Hou, Qiang Ren, and Ping Zhang. Science Press, Beijing, China (2014). New York: Springer. Chinese edition (《房产税在中国:历史、试点与探索》, 科学出版社 2014年), 

"State Government Budget Stabilization: Policy, Tools and Impacts." Yilin Hou. New York: Springer (2013).

Selected Journal Papers since 2018

An, Zhiyong and Yilin Hou (2019). “Debt Authority and Intentional Overstatement of Budgetary Deficit: Evidence from Chinese Provinces." International Tax & Public Finance (4). Doi: 10.1007/s10797-019-09561-w.

Zhang, Pengju and Yilin Hou (2019). “The Impact of Tax and Expenditure Limitations on User Fees and Charges in Local Government Finance: Evidence from New England.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Doi:10.1093/publius/pjz020. 

An, Zhiyong and Yilin Hou (2019). “Population Policy, Demographic Change, and Firm Returns: Evidence from China.” The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

"Business Cycles, Medicaid Generosity, and Birth Outcomes." Hamersma, Sarah, Hou, Yilin, Kim, Yusun and Wolf, Douglass (2018). Population Research and Policy Review, 37(5), 729-749. 

"Measuring the Financial Shocks of Natural Disasters: A Panel Study of U.S. States." Qing Miao, Yilin Hou, and Michael Abrigo. (2018). National Tax Journal 71(1): 11-44.

 More Publications

Research Grants and Awards

Principal Investigator. "International Comparative Study Conference on the Administration of the Real Property Tax: Generating Lessons for Reform and Improvement." Funded by Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program. 2019-2022.

Principal Investigator. “Improving Local Property Tax Administration in New York State,” with Co-Principal Investigators John Yinger, Michael Wasylenko, and Minch Lewis. Funded by the Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program. 2018-2020.

Principal Investigator. “Montgomery County Municipal Restructuring Fund Projects,” with Co-Principal Investigators Michael Wasylenko and Minch Lewis. Funded by a Services Agreement with Montgomery County NY. 2018-2019.

Principal investigator. "Toward Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability: Identifying Successes and Potential Financial Uncertainties." Funded by San Diego County, California. 2015-2016.