Professor Huiran Pan Studies the Impact of the Housing Market on the Economy

house for sale

The housing market is a key component of the United States economy generally and the Southern California economy in particular. Mihaylo Professor Huiran Pan examines the key drivers of housing prices and their broader economic impact.

Housing prices are rising again in Southern California and across most of the United States, benefiting homeowners that saw what for most was their largest investment tumble in value during the downturn of the Great Recession.

Home prices are the key economic indicator for the real estate sector, which is an especially vital aspect of the local economy in Southern California. It was the rise in housing prices that stimulated the economic expansions of the 1980s and 2000s, for example, while the declines in the housing market in the early 1990s and late 2000s plunged the region into deep recessions.

Mihaylo Economics Professor Huiran Pan studied the changes in home prices and their relationship with the broader financial system in her 2013 study, House Prices, Bank Instability, and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Threshold Model, which appeared in the Journal of Banking and Finance. Pan found an important link between the performance of housing prices and the broader financial system. “The banking and financial systems, which function as mortgage lenders and frequently use real estate as collateral, link the housing market with the macro-economy,” she says. In the last housing downturn, “unemployment rates increased from 5.7% in 2005Q1 before the crisis to over 11% in 2009Q3 in California,” Pan notes.

Home prices are both a local and national phenomenon. According to Pan, “there is a common phenomenon in the national real estate market, while each state or Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has its own characteristics in the local real estate market.” CSUF and Orange County are part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA, which is the second-largest such region in the United States. Pan sees personal income and unemployment rates as the chief drivers of home prices in Southern California. Both of these factors are also negatively affected when prices decline, thus creating a serious downward spiral most recently seen in the Great Recession.

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A Day in the Life of BICC President

Lydia Wang '16

Lydia Wang ’16

No matter if you’re the CEO of a successful company, a waitress, or a college student, everyone has 24 hours in a day. How do you make use of those 24 hours?

Lydia Wang ’16 (entertainment & tourism), a full-time student, synchronized figure skater and president of the Business Inter-Club council, seizes every hour of each day. From figure skating training to study sessions and executive board meetings, Wang efficiently manages her time to accomplish as much as she can in a day.

“A practical way I balance my time is by organizing a concrete schedule for the semester that includes classes, skating, commitments, downtime, etc., and filling in the open time with a raw schedule on my planner,” she explains.


Wang serves as president of the Business Inter-Club Council (BICC). Her main duties are to conduct council meetings every Tuesday with her board members to create proposals and discuss their funds from their ASI budget. In addition, she holds executive board meetings on Thursdays and attends executive senate meetings every other Thursday night. She also presents in front of the ASI Board of Directors twice a semester. With BICC, she has previously served as co-chair of events and vice president of finance. She has helped host the Meet the Dean event in the fall semester as well as Business Madness Week in the spring.

On campus, Wang is also involved in the Humanities and Social Science Inter-Club Council (HSSICC) and Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru). Within HSSICC, she is a representative for Cru to request and allocate funds for the club. With Cru, she is a student leader where she participates in community events, administrative tasks, and mentoring.

By being involved in multiple organizations, Wang has worked with many different people. Working diligently and communicating kindly with others is key, she says. Establishing roles for each member helps gets things done efficiently. She also believes that it is important for people to realize that not everyone is perfect. “I’ve learned that we are all imperfect people. And when you put two imperfect people together, mistakes can happen! Tensions can rise and feelings can get hurt. But, resolving it with kindness will really make all the difference,” she says.  In addition, her leadership roles have allowed her to exercise her planning and organizational skills.

BICC Board of Directors

BICC Board of Directors

In addition to the organizations she is involved in, she also works on campus as a supplementary instruction leader for ISDS 361A, where she helps students get additional help in the course. She enjoys tutoring and believes that students should take advantage of these sessions.

Wang dedicates her time outside of school figure skating with the ICE’Kateers Senior Team, a synchronized figure skating team that competes at an international level. She trains nine hours each week with the team in addition to five hours of personal training. This season, Wang and her team will be traveling first to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Dr. Porter Synchronized Skating Championships. Next, they will be representing the U.S. in the French Cup in Rouen, France. Lastly, they will be competing in the U.S. National Championships in Rhode Island.

While balancing school and extra-curricular activities, Wang has her mind set on her future goal – to become an actuary. Her advice for students would be to have a mentor to guide you through your decisions. “Cherish and learn from those who have gone before you,” she says.

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Meet Mihaylo’s Representatives in the CSUF Student Government

Starlena McBride and Adam Shurter are the Mihaylo representatives on the CSUF student government’s board of directors. McBride and Shurter discuss their viewpoints on issues of concern to Mihaylo students, their personal backgrounds and how students can get involved in the campus government.

Starlena McBride

Starlena McBride

In spring 2014, CSUF approved the Student Success Initiative, a controversial student fee increase that will be phased in through 2016.

“I was a strong critic of the Student Success Initiative,” says Adam Shurter, one of Mihaylo’s new representatives on the ASI Board of Directors. Now that the university has approved the fee increase, Shurter and fellow ASI board representative Starlena McBride, are working to ensure the funds are used for student services, as planned.

Adam Shurter

Adam Shurter

Together, McBride and Shurter represent the interests of undergraduate and graduate business students.  Like most colleges and universities, CSUF has a student government, comprising a president, vice-president and board of directors, with two representatives for each of the eight colleges on campus. This student government is tasked with governing Associated Students Inc. (ASI), a student-led corporation that oversees recreational activities, the Food Court, Titan Student Union, children’s center, on-campus clubs and a host of other activities and events for the campus community.

Shurter, a finance sophomore, believes that the board of directors can be a positive contribution to Mihaylo and the broader business community: “I believe that as board members, we can bridge the barrier between the inner workings of the Associated Students, Inc. and the student community by ensuring there are activities of interest to Mihaylo students.”

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Mihaylo Event Offers Opportunity to Connect with Action Sports Industry

Snowboarding is considered an "action sport." PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Snowboarding is considered an “action sport.” PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Mihaylo College will host an Action Sports Industry Panel on Oct. 1, 2014, giving business students the opportunity to meet professionals in the action sports industry.

Are you interested in a career in the action sports industry? If so, be sure to attend the Action Sports Industry Panel on Oct. 1, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. The event, which will be held at SGMH 3230, will feature speakers from Oakley, Quicksilver  Inc. and Pacific Sunwear, who will discuss their respective careers, the industry outlook and how aspiring students can get involved.

Action sports include a variety of extreme sports and recreational activities, including surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, in-line skating and dirt bike racing. According to a 2012 report by Global Industry Analysts Inc., worldwide spending on extreme sports is expected to surge, driven by increased participation and media coverage of the X-Games and other extreme sports events.

The Action Sports Industry Panel is open to all Mihaylo students, who are asked to register for the free event online. Speakers represent a diverse cross-section within the field, including Gabriela Cevallos, human resource business partner for Oakley; Gregg Garcia, talent acquisition manager for Quicksilver Inc.; and Shanielle Howa, women’s’ planning manager for Pacific Sunwear.

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From Bossa Nova to Balanced Spreadsheets: Mihaylo Senior Spends Summer in Brazil

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Taryn Hoffmann-Torres, a business accounting senior, spent this past summer in Brazil, in an internship with Deloitte, one of the “big four” accounting firms. Hoffmann-Torres recounts her experiences while in Brazil and how international internships can benefit business students.

Understanding the importance of internships in the contemporary business world, business accounting senior Taryn Hoffmann-Torres ‘15 took an accounting intern position in summer 2014. Working for Deloitte, a global financial services corporation operating in 150 countries, Hoffmann-Torres spent the summer in Fortaleza, Brazil, with the company’s Global Internship Program (GIP).

“The flight, lodging and meals were fully paid, in addition to a generous hourly pay that made the opportunity even more attractive,” Hoffmann-Torres says. “I had never been to Brazil but was always intrigued by its melting pot of cultures, its music, such as the samba and bossa nova, and its cuisine,” she says. “More importantly, I liked the challenge of working abroad and wanted to have a memorable internship experience.”

Coast and skyline of Fortaleza, Brazil

Coast and skyline of Fortaleza, Brazil

Deloitte prepared Hoffmann-Torres for the assignment by providing cultural travel guides and free access to language learning software Rosetta Stone to learn Portuguese, Brazil’s official language. Spoken by 250 million people around the world, mostly in Portugal, Brazil and parts of southern Africa, Portuguese is a romance language, like Spanish. “With three months to prepare, I was able to communicate on a basic level by the day I arrived,” she says. “My previous knowledge of Spanish helped me further increase my Portuguese vocabulary as I often tried pronouncing Spanish words in Portuguese, which my colleagues deemed correct at least 60% of the time.” She says the main language difficulties she encountered involved business terminology. “The most challenging task was learning all of the Portuguese-language accounting terms, because technical words are not readily available via online translation software.”

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