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Yilin Hou headshot

Yilin Hou

(Pronouns: He, Him)

Contact Information:


426 Eggers Hall

Office Hours:

By Appointment

Staff Support:

Zia Jackson


Yilin Hou

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs Department

Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research

Senior Research Associate, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Tenth Decade Faculty Scholar


  • 2024 Spring
    • PAI 810 Advanced Seminar: Policy and Administration - Public Financial Management
    • PAI 996 Master's Project Course
    • PAI 735 State and Local Government Finance
  • 2023 Fall
    • PAI 810 Advanced Seminar: Public Budgeting Seminar
  • 2023 Spring
    • PAI 996 Master's Project Course
    • ECN/PAI 635/735 State and Local Government Finance
  • 2022 Fall
    • PAI 996 Master's Project Course
  • 2022 Summer
    • PAI 734 Public Budgeting
  • 2022 Spring
    • PAI 810 Advanced Seminar: Policy and Administration - Public Financial Management
    • PAI 996 Master's Project Course

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 2002


Yilin Hou is a professor of public administration and international affairs, a Tenth Decade Faculty Scholar, and a senior research associate in the Center for Policy Research. 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 government sector can well weather 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 a Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2002.

Areas of Expertise

Countercyclical fiscal policy for state and local budget stabilization, fiscal and budgetary institutions

Research Interests

State and local taxation, especially property tax administration and design, public budgeting mechanisms and mechanics

Research Grant Awards and Projects

"Advance Taxation of Land Use Right to Finance Urban Infrastructure: Success and Consequences in China 1998-2015", Sponsored by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

"International Comparative Study Conference on the Administration of the Real Property Tax: Generating Lessons for Reform and Improvement", Sponsored by CUSE Grants - Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant.

"Improving Local Property Tax Administration in New York State", Sponsored by CUSE Grants - Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant.

"Comprehensive Study of Financial Uncertainty, Fiscal Sustainability, and Governance Capacity", Sponsored by County of San Diego.

Selected Publications

  • Books
    • Hou, Y., Zhang, P., Ren, Q. and Ma, H., Development, Governance, and Real Property Tax in China. Palgrave MacMillan, 2019.
    • Hou, Y., Ren, Q. and Ma, H., Research in Scheme Design of China’s Local Property Tax (in Chinese 《中国房地产税税制要素设计研究》). Economic Science Press, 2016.
    • Local Government Budget Stabilization: Explorations and Evidence. Hou, Y. (ed.) Springer, 2015.
    • Hou, Y., Ren, Q. and Zhang, P., The Property Tax in China: History, Pilots, and Prospects. Springer, 2014.
    • Hou, Y., State Government Budget Stabilization: Policy, Tools and Impacts. Springer, 2013.
  • Journal Articles
  • Book Chapters
    • Hou, Y., "The Real Property Tax in Local Public Finance." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press, 2020.
    • Hou, Y., "Designing and Administering Revenue Systems." In Handbook of Public Administration 3rd edition. Perry, J., Christensen, R. (eds.) Jossey-Bass Publications, 2015.
    • Hou, Y., "Re-Inventing Public Administration for the 21st Century: Towards a More Global and Generic Paradigm." In The Future of Public Administration, Public Management and Public Service around the World: The Minnowbrook Perspective. O'Leary, R., Slyke, D. V. and Kim, S. (eds.) Georgetown University Press, 2010.
  • Monographs
    • Hou, Y., Lofton, M. and Thomas, J., Toward Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability: Identifying Successes and Potential Financial Uncertainties – Report of the San Diego Project. Center for Policy Research, Syracuse University, 2016.
    • Hou, Y., "Measuring the capacity and performance of financial management in state and local governments." In Capacity and Performance Measurement – Final Report of the Government Performance Project. Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 2002.

Presentations and Events

Yonsei University, South Korea, "The Study and Teaching of Public Budgeting, Public Finance and Financial Management at the Doctoral Level " (January 15, 2024)

International Lecture Series in Public Finance, Georgia State University & Central University of Finance and Economics, "The Past, Present, and Future of Property Taxation" (November 3, 2023)

Hou, Y., Mohr, Z., Annual Research Conference, Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, "Cracking the Information Intensity Puzzle of Budget Tables: Experiments as Confirmation of Hypotheses " (October 26, 2023 - October 28, 2023)

Annual Research Conference , Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM), "Handling Fiscal Uncertainty through Institution Building and Mechanism Design" (October 27, 2023)

Memorial , Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, "A Tribute to Dr. Thomas Lauth" (October 26, 2023)

D.C. Research Conference , American Real Estate & Urban Economics Association, "RENT-TAX SUBSTITUTION & FISCAL INCENTIVES IN URBAN LAND ALLOCATION" (June 1, 2023 - June 2, 2023)

Urban Economics and Public Finance conference, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, "The Impact of Property Reassessment on Tax Equity and Household Expectations " (May 18, 2023 - May 19, 2023)

Honors and Accolades

Aaron Wildavsky Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Budgeting & Financial Management (October, 2023)

Pushang Economic Policy Research Award, Pushan Foundation, Shanghai, China (2018)

James E. Webb Award 2004 for the most outstanding paper, American Society for Public Administration (2004)

Outstanding Dissertation Award, Syracuse University (June, 2002)