Get to Know New Assistant Professor Ye Zhang
In the summer of 2021, the Swedish House of Finance and the Department of Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics welcomed Ye Zhang as one of two new Assistant Professors and Eva and Mats Qviberg Research Fellow.
Ye has a PhD from Columbia University, City of New York, USA, where she spent the period 2015-2021. She did her undergraduate study at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
Her research explores topics related to empirical corporate finance, especially entrepreneurial finance.
One of the many talents and insights Ye brings to the Swedish House of Finance is her experience of working with field experiments in Finance. A large part of the work at a research institution is devoted to uncovering causal relationships. (A causes B.) This is easy to say but hard to do. In natural sciences, researchers often design randomized controlled trials (RCT), such as lab experiment. Due to recent technological progress and methodological improvement, social scientists also start to embrace RCT methods in their research, including field experiments, lab-in-the-field experiments or lab experiments. However, in social sciences, such as economics and finance, researchers often exploit policy shocks or other natural environment settings.
An example is her paper which examines discrimination in the U.S. venture capital industry. Using randomized controlled trials with real venture capitalists she finds that the direction and magnitude of discrimination can reverse. Investors are mainly biased against minorities when they evaluate high-quality startups. However, investors can be biased towards minorities when evaluating low-quality startups.
Ye has done similar studies on other relevant topics, such as “Who are the most attractive Venture Capitalists?” by examining how venture capitalists can improve their deal flows and attract high quality startups. At the same time, Ye also uses field experiments to study other topics, including sustainable investments. Ye brings new and exciting techniques to the Swedish House of Finance and unlocks causal relationships that are hard to approach with other methods.