Dr. Xu LI
Accounting and Law
HKU-PKU EMBA Programme Director
Associate Professor

3917 4179

KK 1206

Academic & Professional Qualification

  •  BBA, University of International Business and Economics (China)
  •  MS in Finance, Boston College (U.S.A.)
  •  PH.D., Massachusetts of Institute of Technology (U.S.A.)


Dr. Li, Xu is an associate professor of accounting. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from University of International Business and Economics, the Master’s degree in Finance from Boston College, and the PhD degree in accounting from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining University of Hong Kong, Dr. Li worked in University of Texas at Dallas and Lehigh University.


Dr. Li’s teaching interests include financial accounting, and financial statement analysis. He has taught various courses, such as Introduction to Financial Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Accounting for Business Decisions, and Business Valuation at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Research Interest

Dr. Li’s research interests include the capital market’s reaction on accounting information, the role of information intermediaries, insider trading and information asymmetry, as well as characteristics and impact of firms’ disclosure to the investment community.

Selected Publications

  • “The Market Response to Insider Sales of Restricted Stock Versu Unrestricted Stock” Coauthored with Laurel Franzen, Oktay Urcan and Mark Vargus, Journal of Financial Research, vol. XXXVII No. 1,  99–118,  Spring 2014
  • “Can Strong Boards and Trading Their Own Firm’s Stock Help CEOs Make Better Decisions? Evidence from Acquisitions by Overconfident CEOs” Coauthored with Adam Kolasinski, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, vol. 48(4), 1173-1206, August 2013
  • “The Effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on the Timely Disclosure of Restricted Stock Trading” Coauthored with Laurel Franzen, and Mark Vargus, Research in Accounting Regulation, vol. 25, 47-52, April 2013
  • “Can Government Policies Induce Earnings Management Behavior? Evidence from Chinese Public Listed Firms” Coauthored with Nan Hu, Ling Liu, Baolei Qi, and Gaoling Tian, Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, vol. 23,187-207, Autumn 2012
  • “Regulation FD, Accounting Restatements and Transient Institutional Investors’ Trading Behavior” Coauthored with Suresh Radhakrishnan, Haeyoung Shin, and Jin Zhang, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, vol. 30, 298-326, July-August 2011
  • “Behavioral Theories and the Pricing of IPOs’ Discretionary Current Accruals” Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, vol. 37, 87-104, July 2011
  • “Are Corporate Managers Savvy About Their Stock Price? Evidence from Insider Trading after Earnings Announcements” Coauthored with Adam Kolasinski, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, vol. 29, 27-44, January-February 2010
  • “The Effect of Disclosures by Management, Analysts, and Business Press On the Equity Cost of Capital: A Study Using Content Analysis” Coauthored with S.P. Kothari and James Short, The Accounting Review, vol. 84, 1639-1670, September 2009
  • “Characteristics of a Firm’s Information Environment and the Information Asymmetry between Insiders and Outsiders.” Coauthored with Richard Frankel, Journal of Accounting and Economics, vol. 37, 229-259, June 2004

Service to the University/Community

Dr. Li serve as ad-hoc referees for various accounting and finance journals in the academic community. He has also served as dissertation committee members for PhD students. At University of Hong Kong, Dr. Li is member of IT committee in the School of Business and he frequently contributes to the interviewing services for the admission of undergraduate and graduate students.

Recent Publications

Does Change in the Information Environment Affect Financing Choices?

Using brokerage mergers and closures as natural experiments, we examine how exogenous changes in the information environment affect a firm’s financing choice. Our difference-in-differences approach shows that exogenous increases in information asymmetry lead firms to substitute away from equity and public debt toward bank debt. Firms with higher risk tend to substitute equity for bank debt, and firms with lower risk tend to substitute bonds for bank debt. The effect of the change in the information environment on a firm’s financing choice is more pronounced for firms with worse information environments, such as those with few initial analysts and younger firms. We demonstrate that the mechanism of the change is through a reduction of the issuance of equity and bonds but with an increase of the issuance of bank loans. Further analysis reveals that such firms tend to reduce long-term borrowing, reduce their issuance of subordinated debt, and increase their revolving credit lines.