Kai Du

Color portrait of Kai Du

Assistant Professor

Department Accounting

Email Address kxd30@psu.edu

Download Photo Download Vita Personal Website

Kai Du conducts research in financial reporting, auditing, and information economics. His research appears in academic journals such as The Accounting Review, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, and Review of Accounting Studies.

Before joining Penn State, Kai received a PhD in Accounting from Yale University, where he was a Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellow (2011–2012) and a Harry and Heesun You Fellow. He was also a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Faculty Fellow (2017).

Kai is currently a Senior Economic Research Fellow at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), where he conducts research projects supporting the Board's mission of protecting investors and furthering the public interest in the preparation of informative, fair, and independent audit reports. Prior to this appointment, he served as the 2019–2020 Academic Fellow in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)'s Office of the Chief Accountant, where he provided research support for the Commission’s oversight of the auditing and accounting standard setting, and assisted in auditor and registrant matters.


Kai's research on accounting quality provides theoretical frameworks for understanding the empirical relationships between accounting information and economic fundamentals and the drivers of corporate reporting decisions. He also conducts economics-based research on disclosure, auditing, securities regulation.


Ph D, Accounting, Yale University, 2012

M Phil, Accounting, Yale University, 2010

MA, Accounting, Yale University, 2010

MA, Economics, Georgetown University, 2007

BA, Finance, Peking University, 2004

Courses Taught

ACCTG 471 – Int Fin Acctg I (3)
Theory and practice issues in income concepts and value measurement; GAAP; revenues, costs, assets, liabilities, and equities. ACCTG 471 Intermediate Accounting I (3) This course provides students with an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and procedures so that they properly account for and present information in financial statements prepared for external users. The student should acquire a complete understanding of the accounting issues relating to cash, receivables, inventory, plant assets, natural resources, and intangibles. The student should be able to evaluate alternative accounting methods and choose the methods which will best convey the financial information related to the above areas. The student should be able to apply appropriate generally accepted accounting principles and procedures to account for transactions related to the above asset areas. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the transaction analysis, recording, classification, summarization, and reporting procedures in the accounting cycle, and an understanding of the information contained in the financial statements. Finally, student should be able to demonstrate written communication skills required of accountants.

ACCTG 590 – Colloquium (Variable)
Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

Selected Publications

Du K., Huddart S. J., "Economic Persistence, Earnings Informativeness, and Stock Return Regularities." Review of Accounting Studies, 2020, link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11142-020-09531-2
Chen Y., Du K., "The Role of Information Disclosure in Financial Intermediation with Investment Risk." Journal of Financial Stability, 2020, doi.org/10.1016/j.jfs.2019.100720
Du K., Huddart S. J., Xue L., Zhang Y., "Using a Hidden Markov Model to Measure Earnings Quality." Journal of Accounting and Economics, vol. 69, 2020, sites.psu.edu/fidelity/
Du K., Jiang X. D., "Connections between the Market Pricing of Accruals Quality and Accounting-based Anomalies." Contemporary Accounting Research, 2020, doi.org/10.1111/1911-3846.12589
Du K., "Investor Expectations, Earnings Management, and Asset Prices." Journal of Economic Dynamics & Control, vol. 105, 2019, pp. 134-157, doi.org/10.1016/j.jedc.2019.06.002
Du K., Wu S., "Does External Assurance Enhance the Credibility of CSR Reports? Evidence from CSR-related Misconduct Events in Taiwan." Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, vol. 38, 2019, pp. 101-130, aaapubs.org/doi/abs/10.2308/ajpt-52418
Du K., Zhang F., "Orphans Deserve Attention: Financial Reporting in the Missing Months When Corporations Change Fiscal Year." The Accounting Review, vol. 88, no. 3, 2013, pp. 945-975, aaapubs.org/doi/abs/10.2308/accr-50364

Research Impact and Media Mentions

"CSR reports are superfluous unless accompanied by third-party assurance", ESG Insight, Web
"Hiding Losses, Via the Calendar", New York Times, Newspaper