Hongyu is a Senior Economist in the Currency Department/Economic Research and Analysis at the Bank of Canada. He is an Applied Microeconomist whose research focuses on Urban and Regional Economics, Economics of Innovation and Industrial Organization.

Staff discussion papers

How Far Do Canadians Need to Travel to Access Cash?

Staff Discussion Paper 2023-28 Heng Chen, Daneal O’Habib, Hongyu Xiao
This paper develops a travel-based metric to measure Canadians’ access to cash from automated banking machines (ABMs) and financial institution branches. We find that, overall, access to cash remained stable between 2019 and 2022. The total number of ABMs in Canada increased by 3.7% and the total number of branches decreased by 5.2% during that period.

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Staff working papers

Demand for Canadian Banknotes from International Travel: Indirect Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Staff Working Paper 2024-23 Hongyu Xiao
This study uses the COVID-19 travel restrictions to estimate foreign demand for Canadian banknotes. It reveals that international visitors accounted for about 10% of all $100 CAD notes in circulation pre-pandemic, with each visitor carrying an average of $165 in hundred-dollar bills.

Geographical and Cultural Proximity in Retail Banking

This paper measures how both geographical and cultural proximity of bank branches affect household credit choice and pricing. For credit products that require high levels of ex-ante screening, we find that both proximities can complement each other in reducing the cost of providing soft information, thereby increasing credit access.

Early Warning of Financial Stress Events: A Credit-Regime-Switching Approach

Staff Working Paper 2016-21 Fuchun Li, Hongyu Xiao
We propose an early warning model for predicting the likelihood of a financial stress event for a given future time, and examine whether credit plays an important role in the model as a non-linear propagator of shocks.

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Journal publications

Journal Articles

Cultural Affinity, Regulation, and Market Structure: Evidence from the Canadian Retail Banking Industry
(with Hector Perez-Saiz) in American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, vol. 14 – issue 1, p. 451-489, February 2022.

Commuting and Innovation: Are Closer Inventors More Productive?
(with Andy Wu and Jaeho Kim) in Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 121, p. 103300, January 2021.