The Evolution of Finance Research Over Four Decades

Today we invited assistant professor Zigan Wang to held the third lecture of our autumn semester. The topic of this lecture is "The Evolution of Finance Research Over Four Decades". 

Presenter Zigan Wang is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and joined HKU as Assistant Professor of Finance in 2015.  He finished his undergraduate study at Tsinghua University in 2009. Zigan’s research interests are primarily empirical finance, including empirical corporate finance, empirical asset pricing, and international finance.  He specializes in social network analysis and natural language parsing. He has published several papers in academic finance journals such as Journal of International Economics and Journal of Business & Economics Research.

Professor Wang first put forward the questions, What topics do finance researchers work on? How did the researchers’ interest evolve? Then he had deeply analysed the cause of the issues. He applied machine learning models and network analysis on 20,185 abstracts of finance articles published between 1976 and 2015, and identified 38 research topics and five “territories”. Besides traditional asset pricing and corporate finance, he characterized “emerging topics” and present the fastest growing areas in the past decade. Moreover, he finded that on average a finance publication has been covering fewer topics and therefore becomes narrower over years.