Dr. Wu’s research is international in nature and has focused on four general areas: urban economic policies, university-industry linkages and innovation policies, migrant housing and settlement, and China’s urban development.
Urban economic policies – In her doctoral studies, she investigated the role of foreign investment in urban economic growth and the development of Asia’s new export-processing cities. More recently, she focuses on urban competitiveness in the context of the global economy and specifically studies interactions of the clustering of creative industries, urban policy, and urban outcomes.
University-industry linkage and innovation policies – She studies how the higher education sector is playing an increasing role in the national innovation systems of emerging economies, how universities are building linkages with urban economies and becoming sources of knowledge for firm innovations, and how higher education institutions achieve so by reorienting priorities in research and knowledge transfer.
Migration and urbanization – She has been exploring how the dynamic socioeconomic development taking place in China is affecting urbanization and urban form, paying special attention to migration, migrant settlement, housing and spatial segregation. This reseach has been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.
China’s urban development – Her key interest has been to examine urban industrial growth from the perspective of economic geography and public policy. She also has been studying the pathway of China’s largest metropolis, Shanghai, in becoming a key regional hub with a focus on the city’s economic restructuring, urban regeneration, and infrastructure development.