Zhiwu Chen
Prof. Zhiwu CHEN
Finance
Chair Professor of Finance
Cheng Yu-Tung Professor in Finance
Director, Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences
HKU Council Member

3910 3079 / 3917 1271

KK 1338

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • Ph.D., M.A., M.Phil., Yale University
  • M.S., Changsha Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Central-South University of Technology
Biography

Professor Zhiwu Chen is Director of the Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS), Chair Professor of Finance, and Cheng Yu-Tung Professor in Development at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). His research covers finance theory, the sociology of finance, economic history, quantitative history, emerging markets, as well as China’s economy and capital markets. Professor Chen was Professor of Finance at Yale University (1999-2017) and a Special-Term Visiting Professor at Peking University (School of Economics) and Tsinghua University (School of Social Sciences).

Professor Chen started his career by publishing research papers in top economics and finance journals on topics related to financial markets and theories of asset pricing. Around 2001, he began to expand research beyond mature markets by investigating market development and institution-building issues in the context of China’s transition process and other emerging markets. He successfully led efforts to construct historical financial and social databases from China’s historical archives and has written on economic/social history topics. In 2013, he started the annual Summer School for Quantitative History cum International Symposium on Quantitative History at Tsinghua University and continues to organize them at Peking University, with the goal of promoting quantitative historical research in China and beyond.

Professor Chen has been a member of the HKU Council since November 2018. He is on the board of directors of Noah Holdings and Bairong Inc. He also served on the International Advisory Board of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) (2012-19), the Expert Advisory Board for the formation of the China Investment Corporation (2007), and on the board of directors as an independent non-executive director at IDG Energy Investment (2016-18) and Bank of Communications (2010-18); as an independent director at PetroChina (2011-17) and Lord Abbett China (2007-15). He was on the Board of Trustees of the Yale China Association, the 12th and 13th Five-Year Plan Advisory Commission to the Beijing Municipal Government, and the Chief Academic Advisor to two 10-episode CCTV documentary series, “Wall Street” and “Money”. He was a co-founder and partner of Zebra Capital Management from 2001 to 2011. In Burson-Marsteller’s 2012 “G20 Influencers” report, Professor Chen was listed as one of the top ten political influencers in China.

Professor Chen is a frequent contributor to media publications in China on topics of economic policy, market development, institutional reform, and historical research. His work has been widely published and regularly featured in major newspapers and magazines in the United States, Hong Kong, China and many other countries. His Chinese books include: How Is Wealth Created? (2005), Media, Law and Markets (2005), Why are the Chinese Industrious and Yet Not Rich (2008), Irrational Overconfidence (2008), The Logic of Finance (2009), 24 Wealth Lectures (2009), Assessing China’s Economic Growth of the Past 30 Years (2010), On the China Model (2010), The Logic of Finance 2: Path to Individual Freedom (2015), Introduction to Finance (2018) and Introduction to Investment (2019). He has recently published a two-volume long history book in Chinese titled Logic of Civilization, that explores a number of human innovations, including mythology or magic and supernatural beliefs, technologies, social structures, cultural norms, religions, financial markets, and the welfare state. He has received research awards including the Graham and Dodd Award (2013), the Pacesetter Research Award (1999), the Merton Miller Prize (1994), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Competitive Research Award (1994). He has also received a number of book awards in China and Hong Kong, among which are 23 awards for The Logic of Finance in China and Hong Kong, and the best book award from hexun.com for Why are the Chinese Industrious and Yet Not Rich.

Professor Chen received his PhD in financial economics from Yale University in 1990; MS in systems engineering from Changsha Institute of Technology in 1986; and BS in computer science from Central-South University in 1983. He was Assistant Professor of Finance at University of Wisconsin – Madison (1990-95); Associate Professor of Finance at Ohio State University (1995-99); and Professor of Finance at Yale University. He has been an endowed professor since joining HKU in July 2016. In July 2019, Professor Chen was conferred the title of Chair Professor of Finance in recognition of his contribution to finance.

Research Interest
  • Finance Theory
  • Sociology of Finance
  • Quantitative History
  • Economic History
  • Emerging Markets
  • China’s Economy and Capital Markets
Selected Publications
  • Logic of Civilization: How Humans have Innovated to Deal with Risk《文明的邏輯:人類與風險的博弈》. Beijing: CITIC Press, 2022.
  • “Production, Consumption, and Living Standards,” (co-authored with Kaixiang Peng) In Debin Ma & Richard von Glahn (Eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of China, Volume 1: To 1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 676-709.
  • “Banking on the Confucian Clan: Why China Developed Financial Markets So Late” (with Chicheng Ma and Andrew Sinclair), The Economic Journal, 2022, 132(644), 1378-1413.
  • Quantitative History Research, Vol 5《量化历史研究 (第五辑) 》, co-edited with Debin Ma and Long Denggao, Science Publishers, China. 2019.
  • “Social Norms and Household Savings Rates in China,” (with Yvonne Chen and Shijun He) Review of Finance, 2018, 1-31
  • “A Study of Wife Prices in Qing China: How women were used as Insurance Assets,” (with Shijun He, Zhan Lin and Kaixiang Peng) China Economic Quarterly, 1, 2018, 253-280.
  • “Usury, Market Power and Poverty Traps: A Study of Rural Credit in 1930s’ China,” (with Kaixiang Peng and Weipeng Yuan) Frontiers of Economics in China, 13(3), 2018, 369-396.
  • Introduction to Investment《陳志武金融投資課. Beijing: CITIC Press, 2019.
  • Introduction to Finance《陳志武金融通識課》. Changsha: Hunan Literature and Art Publishing House, 2018.
  • Quantitative History Research, Vols 3 & 4《量化歷史研究 (第三,四輯)》, co-edited with Debin Ma and Long Denggao, Science Publishers, China. 2018.
  •  “Social-economic change and its impact on violence: Homicide history of Qing China,” (with Kaixiang Peng and Lijun Zhu) Explorations in Economic History, 63, 2017, 8-25.
  • The Future of Financial Reform中國金融改革, 未來會怎樣 ? (with Yiping Huang and Shusong Ba). Hangzhou: Zhejiang University Press, 2017.
  • “A Preliminary Study of Chinese Interest Rates from the Early Qing to the Twentieth Century Based on an Examination of the Historical Database of Chinese Interest Rates (1660 – 2000),” (with Kaixiang Peng, and Weipeng Yuan) Qing History Journal 清史研究, 104(4), 2016, 36-52.
  • “Research on Debt Homicide Cases in mid Qianlong and mid-late Daoguang Reigns,” (with Zhan Lin and Kaixiang Peng) Qing History Journal 清史研究, 102(2), 2016, 75-86.
  • “On the Past and Future Prospects of Quantitative History Research,” Qing History Journal 清史研究, 0(4), 2016, 1-16.
  • “The Asset Management Industry in China: Its Past Performance and Future Prospects,” (with Peng Xiong and Zhuo Huang) Journal of Portfolio Management, 41(5), 2015, 9-30.
  • The Logic of Finance 2: Path to Individual Freedom金融的邏輯 2:通往自由之路. Xi’an: Northwestern University Press (China), 2015.
  • Quantitative History Research, Vol. 2《量化歷史研究 (第二輯 )》, co-edited with Debin Ma and Long Denggao, Zhejiang University Press, 2015.
  • “Violent Conflicts in Private Lending: A Research Based on Qing Dynasty’s Homicide Reports,” (with Zhan Lin and Kaixiang Peng) Economic Research Journal經濟研究 (9), 2014, 162-175.
  • “Discounts and Investment Performance of Chinese PIPEs,” (with Jinhui Luo) Portfolio Management, 41(2), 2014, 41-56.
  • Quantitative History Research, Vol. 1《量化歷史研究 (第一輯 )》, co-edited with Debin Ma and Long Denggao, Zhejiang University Press, 2014.
  • “Financial Strategies for Nation Building,” In Joseph Fan & Randall Morck (Eds.), Capitalizing China. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2013, pp. 313-333.
  • “Liquidity as an investment style,” (with Roger Ibbotson, Daniel Kim and Wendy Hu) Financial Analysts Journal, 69(3), 2013, 30-44.
  • “Option Pricing and Hedging Performance Under Stochastic Volatility and Stochastic Interest Rates,” (with Gurdip Bakshi and Charles Cao) In C. Lee & J. Lee (Eds.), Handbook of Quantitative Finance and Risk Management.  Boston, MA: Springer, 2010, pp. 547-574.
  • “A Valuation Study of Stock Market Seasonality and the Size Effect,” (with Jan Jindra) Journal of Portfolio Management, 36(3), 2010, 78-92.
  • The Logic of Finance金融的邏輯 : 當代中國創富之道. Hong Kong: Commercial Press, 2010.
  • The Logic of Finance金融的邏輯. Beijing: Modern Press, 2009. Korean version published in 2010.
  • “The Mechanisms of Rural Credit Market in Modern China –  A Research Based on Raw Documents,” (with Kaixiang Peng and Weipeng Yuan) Economic Research Journal 经济研究 (5), 2008, 147-159.
  • Irrational Overconfidence?非理性亢奮》. Beijing: CITIC Press, 2008.
  • Why Are Chinese Hard-Working and yet Poor?為什麼中國人勤勞而不富有 . Beijing: CITIC Press, 2008.
  • “Development Prospects of Chinese Industries,” In Subhash C. Jain (Ed.), Emerging economies and the transformation of international business: Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs) (New horizons in international business). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2006, pp. 155-182.
  • “China’s Stock Market in Historical Perspective,” The PB Newsletter, Issue No. 5, July 2006, 29-40.
  • “Informational Content of Option Volume Prior to Takeovers,” (with Charles Cao and John Griffin) The Journal of Business, 78(3), 2005, 1073-1109.
  • “Stock valuation in dynamic economies,” (with Gurdip Bakshi) Journal of Financial Markets, 8(2), 2005, 111-151.
  • “A free press could help China’s economy,” Financial Times, September 20, 2005.
  • “Pricing and hedging long-term options,” (with Gurdip Bakshi and Charles Cao) Journal of Econometrics, 94(1), 2000, 277-318.
  • “Do Call Prices and the Underlying Stock Always Move in the Same Direction?” (with Gurdip Bakshi and Charles Cao) The Review of Financial Studies, 13(3), 2000, 549-584.
  • “Empirical Performance of Alternative Option Pricing Models,” (with Gurdip Bakshi and Charles Cao) Journal of Finance, 52(5), 1997, 2003-2049.
  • “Equilibrium Valuation of Foreign Exchange Claims,” (with Gurdip Bakshi) Journal of Finance, 52(2), 1997, 799-826.
  • “An alternative valuation model for contingent claims,” (with Gurdip Bakshi) Journal of Financial Economics, 44(1), 1997, 123-165.
  • “The spirit of capitalism and stock-market prices,” (with Gurdip Bakshi) The American Economic Review, 86(1), 1996, 133-157.
  • “Portfolio Performance Measurement: Theory and Applications,” (with Peter Knez) The Review of Financial Studies, 9(2), 1996, 511-555.
Awards and Honors
  • Received numerous research rewards including the Top Graham and Dodd Award for the Best Paper of 2013 in Financial Analyst Journal, the Pacesetter Research Award (1999), the Merton Miller Prize (1994), and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Competitive Research Award (1994).
  • Listed with one of the top 50 “Most Cited Articles of All Time” of the Journal of Finance (ranked #42, Empirical Performance Of Alternative Option Pricing Models, with Gurdip Bakshi and Charles Cao, published in December 1997).
  • Listed in 2012 “G20 Influencers” report by Burson-Marsteller as one of the top ten political influencers in China.
  • Named one of the “10 Public Intellectuals” who influenced China in 2010, by Times Weekly, a national newspaper based in Guangzhou, China.
  • Received 23 “Best Books of the Year” awards in various categories and for 2009 in China for his book, The Logic of Finance 《金融的邏輯》.
  • Received the First Prize, Hexun Best Books of 2008, for his book, Why Are Chinese Hard-Working and yet Poor?《中國人為什麽勤勞而不富有》.
  • Named one of the 20 People of the Year in defending “Public Interest”, 2006, by Nang Feng Cuan magazine in China.
  • Professor Chen’s Chinese blog was named one of the Top 10 Blogs in China in the topic area of “Public Interest”, 2006.
Recent Publications
China must brace for ‘big blow’ after lifting of zero-Covid policy, economist warns

Local-level governments’ implementation of the 20 new easing measures announced by the State Council has been disappointing, casting further doubt on a real reopening any time soon, according to Chen Zhiwu, a chair professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong.

Beleaguered Billionaire Hui Ka Yan Struggles To Hold Onto His Crumbling Empire

Chen Zhiwu, a professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, says amid China’s drastically changed political environment, the pressure is “really high, if not higher” for Hui to keep paying down corporate liabilities with his own money.

什麼驅動了人類文明化發展與演變?

陳志武:《文明的邏輯》這本書其實是用量化歷史研究的方法,為讀者們回答了一個根本性的問題:人類做了哪些事,或者說做對了哪些事,使我們應對風險的能力不斷提高,進而使文明持續戰勝野蠻。

Reactions to Xi’s speech opening China’s Communist Party Congress

ZHIWU CHEN, PROFESSOR OF FINANCE, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG - "One significant change is to de-emphasise economic development and economic reform. From the 14th to the 19th Party Congress, economic development was, each time, explicitly stated as the central mission for the Party, whereas this time there is no such mention; instead, the emphasis is on 'complete' and 'all-rounded' development. That is, it is not just economic development but also political, social, environmental, and cultural development that the Party will devote efforts to."

China after the property boom: can it rebuild the growth model?

“The 60 reforms would have largely expanded the role of consumption and private initiatives,” says Chen Zhiwu, a professor in Chinese finance and economy at the University of Hong Kong. “However, the market-oriented reform agenda has been largely sidelined . . . resulting in a larger role for the state and a shrunken role for the private sector.”

Fortress China: Xi Jinping’s plan for economic independence

Chen Zhiwu, a professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, says Chinese leaders understand military conflicts may be “hard to avoid” if Beijing wants to unify Taiwan with the mainland. “The comprehensive economic sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine have only added urgency to [China] achieving self-sufficiency in technology, finance, food and energy,” Chen adds. “Self-sufficiency as a phrase has regained currency in the party’s publications.”

China Banks May Face $350 Billion in Losses From Property Crisis

“Banks are caught in the middle,” ,“If they don’t help the developers finish the projects, they would end up losing much more. If they do, that of course would make the government happy, but they add more to their exposure to delayed real estate projects.” — Professor Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance

So long, Soho?

“After the failed Blackstone transaction, they clearly knew that more things would come. It was only a matter of time.” — Professor Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance

So long, Soho?

It's been a very bad year for Soho China, which was once one of China's hottest property developers.

【鳳凰秀‧問答神州 】專訪 香港大學香港人文社會研究所所長陳志武

港大經管學院金融學講座教授及鄭裕彤基金教授(金融學)陳志武教授接受鳳凰秀專訪。今年3月,陳教授出版新書《文明的邏輯》中,他提出,通常「生產力」被用作評判人類進步的標準,但他提出,用「人類風險應對能力」這一個指標,分析人類文明的發展。未來的世界可能面臨哪些風險?全球通脹、俄鳥衝突、能源危機……亂局之下,今年下半年或明年,會有一場「風暴」來襲嗎?