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Lijia "Karen" Xie, PhD
Joy Burns Center 331
Associate Professor; Betty & Fritz Knoebel Fellow
Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management
Karen Xie

Biography at a Glance

Karen Xie is the Betty and Fritz Knoebel Fellow and an associate professor of service analytics at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. She works on technology-driven innovations in the service industry, with a focus on online markets, platform economy, FinTech, Airbnb and real estate markets.

Karen’s work is under review or published at Management Science, MIS Quarterly and Journal of MIS. Especially notable is her research on Airbnb and residential real estate markets, which helped Denver City Council pass game-changing legislation on short-term rental services. She also provides expert opinion on Airbnb and its impact on housing markets to popular press venues, such as Forbes, New York Times, NBC News and the Denver Post. Her work has garnered awards or financial support from Facebook, Zillow, Marketing Science Institute, NET Institute, Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative and I-CHRIE, among others.

Prior to pursuing her academic career, Karen worked as an analyst at Accenture, an IT management consulting company. During her tenure at DU, Karen has continued to work closely with tech-savvy industry leaders in the lodging, finance and real estate sectors, including Airbnb, Expedia, USAA, UBS and Sage Hospitality. She herself is an entrepreneur, currently bootstrapping a data analytics company.

Outside of work, Karen is an enthusiast for ski. In winters, she is often found on double-diamond ski runs of Colorado’s epic mountains. She holds a PhD from Temple University Fox School of Business, an MPhil from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and a bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.


Areas of Interest


  • Online markets
  • Platform economy
  • FinTech
  • Airbnb and real estate


  • Causal inference
  • Machine learning