Professor of Finance, Smeal Chair Professor of Finance
Charles Cao is The Smeal Chair Professor of Finance at the Department of Finance, the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business in 1993, M.S. from the University of Kentucky in 1988, and B.S. from Peking University in 1984.
Professor Cao's research interests include hedge funds, mutual funds, derivative securities markets, market microstructure, and credit risk. His research has been published in a wide range of academic journals, including the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Management Science, Journal of Financial Markets, and Journal of Econometrics.
Professor Cao’s paper “Empirical Performance of Alternative Option Pricing Models” (co-authored with Gurdip Bakshi and Zhiwu Chen, Journal of Finance, 1997) is among the 50 top-cited articles of all time from the Journal of Finance.
Another of his article “Price Discovery without Trading: Evidence from Nasdaq Pre-opening'' (co-authored with Eric Ghysels and Frank Hatheway, Journal of Finance, 2000) received the New York Stock Exchange Award for Best Paper on Equity Trading in 1999.
Recently, his paper “Hedge Funds and Stock Price Formation” (co-authored with Yong Chen, William Goetzmann and Bing Liang, Financial Analysts Journal, 2018) received the Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence in 2018.
Professor Cao won competitive research grants from the BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Center (2013), CFA Society (2013), the Real Estate Research Institute (2012), the Q-group (2010), the BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Center (2009), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-FDIC (2006-2007), and Morgan Stanley (2004). He was also elected Fellow of FDIC Center for Financial Research in 2006. He serves as an editor/associate editor of Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, an associate editor of Journal of Financial Markets, Review of Derivatives Research, Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, and Annals of Economics and Finance. He has taught M.B.A. and Ph.D. courses at the Smeal College of Business, Penn State University.
Ph D, Finance, University of Chicago, 1993
MS, Statistics, University of Kentucky, 1988
BS, Mathematics, Peking University, 1984
FIN 601 – Ph D Dis Full-Time
FIN 410 – Derivative Markets (3)
Functions, techniques, and impact of speculation conducted through forward markets; the nature of speculative transactions, pricing, and methods of trading.
FIN 597 – Special Topics (1.5)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently; several different topics may be taught in one year or term.
FIN 597A – Asset Pricing Theory (3)
This course develops the theory of financial markets; topics include intertemporal portfolio choice, asset and option pricing models and determinants of cross-sectional stock returns.
FIN 596 – Individual Studies (9)
Creative projects, including nonthesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.
FIN 585 – Financial Innovation and Portfolio Risk Management (2)
Introduction to fundamental derivatives, standard valuation models, and practical applications to portfolio management; recognition, measurement, and management of portfolio risk.