Bayes PhD students collect prestigious Best Paper awards

PhD in Finance candidates recognised for research excellence at academic conferences.

Two PhD in Finance students at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) have won prestigious awards for their papers, which were presented at high-profile academic conferences.

Jiaying Li and Liying Wang were both recognised for the quality and impact of their research papers, gaining international acclaim.

Jiaying was awarded the Larry Lang Corporate Finance Best Paper Award as well as the John A. Doukas PhD Best Paper Award at the European Financial Management Association (EFMA) conference in Rome. Her research, titled ‘Litigation Risk and Employment: Evidence from the Universal Demand Laws’, examines the effect of shareholder litigation rights on firm-level employment.

Jiaying Li

The paper establishes a causal effect on Universal Demand (UD) laws and finds that employment increases significantly following its adoption, which can be explained by managers' risk-taking behaviours as well as firms' increasing demand for high-skilled labour. Although part of this employment growth is driven by innovation, evidence suggests that overall workforce expansion is inefficient in the way that firms are over-investing in labour.

Jiaying said the academic support and environment at Bayes was a strong contributing factor to the success of her work.

“I am really proud of these awards, and hope that my findings can have a profound impact on policy,” she said.

The results emphasise the unintended effect of legal changes regarding shareholder litigations on corporate employment growth. Although the reduced threat of litigation expands firms' labour force, it brings inefficiency and may harm shareholders' interests in the long run.

“I must thank the faculty members at Bayes who have offered me great support. My supervisors – Professor Paolo Volpin and Dr Giacinta Cestone – have always been there for me and offered me numerous valuable suggestions and comments. Other faculty members like Professor Anh Tran, Dr Francesc Rodriguez Tous and Dr Dyaran Bansraj also provided me with great help on how the paper could be improved.

“Bayes offers a rich and stimulating working environment for PhD students to conduct research, where everyone is super encouraging and always willing to help.”

Liying was awarded the Best Paper Award at the EFiC conference at the University of Essex Business School for her paper, titled ‘Mutual Fund Trust: Evidence from Qualitative Disclosure’. The paper reveals how quality of mutual fund disclosure affects investor behaviour, and shows funds with low investment ability tend to exploit less sophisticated investors through strategic disclosure. It provides fresh evidence on the agency problem of mutual funds and highlights the importance of fund qualitative disclosure.

Liying Wang

Liying said she was equally delighted at her award, and that it had further fuelled ambitions for a career in academia.

“I am so pleased of this achievement, particularly given the calibre of other papers being presented,” she said.

“My work reveals how the quality of mutual fund disclosure can affect investor behaviour, providing new evidence on the agency problem of mutual funds and highlights the importance of fund qualitative disclosure.

“I am very grateful to my supervisors Professor Giovanni Cespa and Professor Aneel Keswani who have given me a lot of insightful advice and provided great support for my research. Professor Cespa has helped me gain an in-depth understanding of information economics and build my analysis on solid economic models. Professor Keswani has stimulated my great interest in mutual funds and provided me with guidance on empirical work. I would also like to thank academics who have given me many good suggestions and the administrative staff who gave me great support.

“In the near future, I hope to work in academia as a faculty member. Big data and artificial intelligence will have a profound impact on the financial industry, so I hope to combine my knowledge of new technology and classical financial theory to contribute to the research areas.

“Moreover, I hope to pass on my knowledge and experience to students so that they can catch the wave of financial development while gaining a deep understanding of financial markets.”

Dr Giacinta Cestone, Director of the Bayes PhD in Finance, said the awards were testament to the rigorous research of the students and dedicated support of academic faculty members.

“This is a fantastic achievement for both Jiaying and Liying, and points to the calibre of research students we attract and the expert supervision they receive.

“The PhD in Finance at Bayes Business School allows young aspiring researchers the chance to carry out their work in a wide variety of areas.

“Congratulations to both Jiaying and Liying for their remarkable successes, and many thanks to our Bayes faculty who have contributed significant time, dedication and experience in research excellence.”

Read more about the PhD in Finance programme at Bayes Business School.

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