Zhiwu Chen
Prof. Zhiwu CHEN
Chair of Finance
Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics
HKU Council Member

3917 1271 / 2219 4967

KK 1112 / MB 335

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

Professor Zhiwu Chen is Chair Professor of Finance and Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Professor Chen is a former Professor of Finance at Yale University (1999-2017). His research covers finance theory, the sociology of finance, economic history, quantitative history, emerging markets, as well as China’s economy and capital markets. He was also a Special-Term Visiting Professor at Peking University and Tsinghua University.

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 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 is currently working on a book manuscript, 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 AGI Director and the Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics at HKU since 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
  • Economic History
  • Emerging Markets
  • China’s Economy and Capital Markets
Selected Publications
  • “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, Early Access, 2021.
  • 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’s Financial Foil

China’s desire to escape the shadow of the U.S. dollar and build an alternative infrastructure for global finance is being stymied by one major factor: Its reluctance to loosen the shackles around its own currency. By creating the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System, or CIPS, back in 2015, the Chinese financial authorities had hoped to provide a way for companies and individuals to keep money flowing internationally — even if China were ever to come under the same kind of economic pressure Western countries are currently meting out to Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine. The problem is that CIPS has neither the scope nor the technical capability to match its Western counterpart — the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), often described as the Gmail of the global banking system.

Why China’s Banks Won’t Come to Russia’s Rescue

The risk of additional sanctions deters Chinese lenders, while a fledgling payment network relies on the Swift global system

China’s Small Banks Set for Spotlight Over Russia Support

China’s smaller banks could come under greater scrutiny over financing to Russia as the nation’s biggest lenders are already showing signs of complying with U.S. and European sanctions in a bid to protect their large international footprints.

China’s Tech Moguls See $80 Billion of Wealth Evaporate in 2021

It’s been a record year for China’s internet moguls, but not in the way most would have hoped. The country’s 10 richest tech tycoons lost $80 billion in combined net worth in 2021, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, amid widescale crackdowns by Chinese regulators. The drop represents almost a quarter of their total wealth and is the largest one-year decline since 2012, when the index started tracking the world’s richest people.

Why Evergrande’s Debt Problems Threaten China

Every once in a while, a company grows so big and messy that governments fear what would happen to the broader economy if it were to fail. In China, Evergrande, a sprawling real estate developer, is that company.

China Property Moguls Use Billions of Their Own Cash on Rescues

Billionaire owners of Chinese developers have dipped into their own pockets for at least US$3.8 billion to save their troubled companies from default, as a cash crunch engulfs the industry. From sales of luxury assets to stakes in sought-after listed companies, the personal balance sheets of China's property tycoons have become key for investors to determine whether developers will meet their debt obligations.

Evergrande ends its effort to sell a $2.6 billion stake in its property management unit

China Evergrande, the struggling real estate giant, said on Wednesday it had ended its effort to sell a stake in its property services company to another developer, its latest setback following weeks of missed interest payments. The now-scrapped sale of a 50 percent stake in Evergrande Property Services would have raised about $2.6 billion. The termination comes as Evergrande is scrounging for assets to sell to help pay angry home buyers, contractors, employees and creditors. Evergrande is just days away from defaulting on an $83 million interest payment that it skipped in September.

Default expectations for China Evergrande rise as a payment deadline looms.

Shares of China Evergrande, the troubled real estate giant whose fate has contributed to jitters in global markets, fell again on Tuesday amid a new prediction that it would soon default.

Collapse in faith: Behind Chinese firm Evergrande’s cash crunch

Anxious investors, employees and suppliers describe a scramble inside teetering Chinese property giant Evergrande, in a crisis that has shaken public trust as it struggles to tide over a liquidity crunch.

Why China’s economy is threatened by a property giant’s debt problems

Every once in a while a company grows so big and messy that governments fear what would happen to the broader economy if it were to fail. In China, Evergrande, a sprawling real estate developer, is that company.

80後富豪也退休 內捲化失創新動力


Broken Bonds

A whistleblower from one of China’s most powerful banks says its shady dealings highlight how Hong Kong’s financial system is increasingly at the mercy of Beijing.

HSBC Asia Pivot Stokes Tension Between Hong Kong, London Bankers

HSBC Holdings Plc is shipping senior executives from its London headquarters to Hong Kong to seal a pivot by Europe’s largest lender to Asia. The moves are also stoking some discontent. Already smarting from a cut to the bonus pool after losses in Europe, some senior executives in Greater China worry their push into the world’s second-largest economy could be slowed by added bureaucracy and blurred reporting lines, according to people familiar with the discussions who asked to remain anonymous discussing a sensitive issue.

反壟斷鐵拳出擊 科網巨頭國進民退


What the incoming Biden Administration could mean US-China relations

Zhiwu Chen, director of the Asia Global Institute, shares his views on what the incoming Biden administration could mean for US-China relations and the trend of secondary listings of Chinese companies in Hong Kong at Bloomberg Markets: China Open Full Show.

How China Lost Patience With Jack Ma, Its Loudest Billionaire

“It is not new that the party regulates everything, including private businesses and especially private financial businesses, as this had been … explicitly stated in China’s constitution,” says Zhiwu Chen, a finance professor and director of the Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong. “But many private businessmen did not take this seriously. The recent Ant episode was a wake-up call.”

China pulls back from the world: rethinking Xi’s ‘project of the century’

It has not taken long for the wheels to come off the Belt and Road Initiative. As recently as May 2017, China’s leader Xi Jinping stood in Beijing before a hall of nearly 30 heads of state and delegates from over 130 countries and proclaimed “a project of the century”.


12月5日—7日,凤凰网财经峰会在北京举行,据悉本次峰会以“破局与新生”为主题,梁振英、尚福林、殷勇、李扬、宋志平等多位政商学界嘉宾出席。 香港大学亚洲环球研究所所长陈志武在峰会上表示,在新冠病毒危机发生以后,富人的财富今年增长很多,而穷人今年财富没有任何增长。





投資期貨不可怕 槓桿才可怕




Jack Ma setback reminds investors that Beijing is still boss

When Jack Ma last week chose to speak truth to power about the failings of China’s financial system, he was aiming very high — perhaps too high. The founder of ecommerce business Alibaba, already China’s wealthiest man, was set to become substantially richer when his online finance spin-off Ant Group debuted on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges on Thursday. At $37bn, it was going to be the world’s largest ever initial public offering.


Professor Zhiwu Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute & Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics, was interviewed by Financial Times about the long term impact of COVID-19 pandemic.