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Kevin C. Gillen, PhD

Senior Research Fellow
Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation

Kevin C. Gillen Ph.D. is an economist who holds positions as both a Senior Research Fellow with the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Drexel University.

With a background in urban economics, real estate finance and public policy, Dr. Gillen’s research and consulting practice is concentrated in applied work in the analysis of real estate developments and operation of real estate markets, including their fiscal, economic and financial implications. This work is deployed in advising both public and private sector entities on the costs/benefits of public policy options, as well as the design and implementation of local and regional economic development strategies. His research on urban economic issues appears in numerous publications and is cited in various policy applications.

Dr. Gillen’s past clients have included the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia Land Bank, the State of Rhode Island, CoreLogic, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Philadelphia Tax Reform Commission, Jones Lang LaSalle, the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia, the New Jersey Council for Affordable Housing, the Congress for New Urbanism, Toll Brothers Inc., the Delaware Housing Coalition, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority, the City of Philadelphia’s Treasurer’s Office, the Natural Lands Conservancy, the Philadelphia Gas Works, the Bank of DelMarVa, Bright MLS, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the William Penn Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey, to name a few.

He also maintains an active practice in litigation consulting as an expert witness. Past clients have included Berger Montague PC, Pepper & Hamilton LLP, Fox Rothschild LLP, Cozen O’Connor LLP, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Dechert LLP and Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP.

Dr. Gillen’s research has been cited by the Financial Times, the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg News, The Bond Buyer, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Citizen, Philadelphia Magazine and NBC. He has testified multiple times on matters of real estate trends and related public policy issues to Philadelphia City Council, the Pennsylvania State Legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Gillen has been producing regular quarterly reports on the state of the Philadelphia region’s housing and condo markets since he was a graduate student at Wharton. The reports are made available to the general public free of charge. Their findings are frequently cited by local media outlets and he regularly presents their results at local industry conferences and public meetings. Current and past reports can be accessed here

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Citizen, NBC 10 Philadelphia and Philadelphia Magazine have described him as “a highly regarded economist1” “who has brought order and credibility to housing data over the last several years as a neutral, not an industry, source2, is “a well-respected economist3 who is “the foremost expert on property values in the Philadelphia region4 and “one of the region’s top economists5 as well as “Drexel University real estate guru Kevin Gillen6.

Dr. Gillen also serves as a board member of the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Builders’ Association and the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors. He has also served on Bright MLS’s (the second largest MLS in the U.S.) Council of Economic Advisors as well as the Senior Economic Advisor to Houwzer LLC.

Dr. Gillen has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Drexel University, Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University (formerly “Philadelphia University”).

He is also deeply experienced in the programming languages of SAS, R, Matlab and Mathematica, in addition to being a long-time user of ArcView GIS.

Prior to joining Drexel University, Dr. Gillen held positions as the Chief Economist of Meyers Research LLC, as a Senior Research Consultant with the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute, a Senior Economist with CoreLogic and as a Vice President of Econsult Solutions.

Dr. Gillen received his Ph.D. in Applied Economics in 2005 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, concentrating in urban economics and real estate finance. While at Wharton, he received both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Dissertation Award and Lincoln Land Institute Dissertation Fellowship Award; the two highest dissertation awards in the field of urban economics. Before matriculating at Wharton, Dr. Gillen worked for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and HUD’s Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in Washington D.C. He received his B.A. in economics with a minor in mathematics from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and also spent a year abroad on scholarship at Cambridge University in the U.K. studying the economics and politics of the European Union. He graduated with a Regents Diploma from Holland Central School in Holland, N.Y.

1 Philadelphia Daily News, 5/19/2013 and 4/5/2013
2 Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/16/2011
3 The Philadelphia Citizen, 7/26/2018
4 Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/14/2011
5 NBC10 Philadelphia, 11/19/2020
6 Philadelphia Magazine, 12/23/2021