Kai Du

Color portrait of Kai Du

Associate Professor of Accounting

Department Accounting
Office Address 371A Business Building
Phone Number 814-865-6123
Email Address kxd30@psu.edu

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Kai's research lies at the intersection of financial accounting, capital markets, and information economics. His research is economics-based and draws heavily on institutional knowledge acquired through experience at regulatory agencies. His research appears in academic journals including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Research Policy, and Review of Accounting Studies. He serves on the editorial board of The Accounting Review.

Kai served as a Senior Economic Research Fellow (2020–2021) at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and an Academic Fellow (2019–2020) in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA). Before joining Penn State, Kai received a PhD in Accounting from Yale University.


Financial accounting; Information economics; Investment; Auditing; DeFi


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., Jiang X., "Lost in standardization: Effects of financial statement database discrepancies on inference." Journal of Accounting and Economics, vol. 76, no. 1, 2023, pp. 101573, sites.psu.edu/asfiled/
Du K., Song J., "The impact of geotargeting on household information acquisition: Evidence from a Google news redesign." Research Policy, vol. 51, no. 10, 2022, pp. 104596, doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2022.104596
Cao S., Du K., Yang B., Zhang L., "Copycat Skills and Disclosure Costs: Evidence from Peer Companies’ Digital Footprints." Journal of Accounting Research, vol. 59, no. 4, 2021, pp. 1261-1302, doi.org/10.1111/1475-679X.12369
Du K., Huddart S. J., "Economic Persistence, Earnings Informativeness, and Stock Return Regularities." Review of Accounting Studies, vol. 25, no. 4, 2020, pp. 1263-1300, 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, vol. 46, 2020, pp. 100720, 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, pp. 101281, sites.psu.edu/fidelity/
Du K., Jiang X. D., "Connections between the Market Pricing of Accruals Quality and Accounting-based Anomalies." Contemporary Accounting Research, vol. 37, no. 4, 2020, pp. 2087–2119, 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, doi.org/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, doi.org/10.2308/accr-50364

Research Impact and Media Mentions

"As-filed Financial Statement Data", Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), Internet
"Does SEC Scrutiny Improve Mutual Fund Disclosures?", Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, Internet, clsbluesky.law.columbia.edu/2022/01/05/does-sec-scrutiny-improve-mutual-fund-disclosures/
"Are XBRL data better at predicting future stock returns?", XBRL US, Internet, xbrl.us/xbrl-better-at-predicting/
"Copycat Skills and Disclosure Costs", Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, Internet, clsbluesky.law.columbia.edu/2021/09/29/copycat-skills-and-disclosure-costs/
"Mutual funds under SEC scrutiny disclose more adverse information: study", Thomson Reuters Westlaw, Newspaper, today.westlaw.com/Document/I2f0923c5700811ec9f24ec7b211d8087/View/FullText.html?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&VR=3.0&RS=cblt1.0
"CSR reports are superfluous unless accompanied by third-party assurance", ESG Insight, Internet, esginsight.dk/2016/08/16/csr-reports-are-superfluous-unless-accompanied-by-third-party-assurance/
"Hiding Losses, Via the Calendar", New York Times, Newspaper, economix.blogs.nytimes.com//2010/09/15/hiding-losses-via-the-calendar/


The Accounting Review, Editorial Board, June 2023 - Present