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Zhiyan (Juliet) Cao, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Associate Professor
Phone Number
Campus Mailbox



Yale University
Fudan University


Zhiyan Cao earned her doctorate in Accounting from Yale University in 2006. Her research interests are primarily in the relation between corporate governance, shareholder litigation, managerial and board incentives, and financial reporting. Her teaching interests include financial accounting, financial statement analysis, managerial accounting, and corporate governance.

Scholarly Interests

Research Interests:

  • Financial Reporting
  • Litigation Risk
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Credit Risk

Teaching Interests:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Corporate Governance

Selected Publications

  • Cao, Z., Upadhyay, A., and Zeng, H. (2024). "Are all female directors equal? Incentives and effectiveness of female independent directors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Vol. 162, 107110.
  • Cao, Z., Leng, F., Feroz, E., and Davalos, S. (2023). "Institutional Governance and SEC Enforcement," Elvia Press.
  • Cao, Z., Fernando, G., Tripathy, A., and Upadhyay, A. (2018) “The economics of corporate lobbying,” Journal of Corporate Finance, Vol. 49, pp. 54-80.
  • Cao, Z., Leng, F., Feroz, E., and Davalos, S. (2015). "Corporate Governance and Default Risk of  Firms Cited in the SEC's Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 113-138.
  • Davalos, S., Leng, F., Feroz, E., and Cao, Z. (2014) “Designing An If-Then Rules Based Ensemble of Heterogeneous Bankruptcy Classifiers: A Genetic Algorithm Approach,” Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance, and Management, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 129-153.
  • Cao, Z., and Narayanamoorthy, G. (2014) “Accounting and Litigation Risk: Evidence from Directors’ & Officers’ Insurance Pricing,” Review of Accounting Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 1-49.
  • Cao, Z., and Narayanamoorthy, G. (2011) “The Effect of Litigation Risk on Management Earnings Forecasts,” Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 125-173.
  • Leng, F., Feroz, E., Cao, Z., and Davalos, S. (2011) “The Long-Term Performance and Failure Risk of Firms Cited in the U.S. SEC’s Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases,” Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Vol. 38, No. 7-8, pp. 813-841.
  • Cao, Z., and Kimbro, M. (2011) “Does Voluntary Corporate Citizenship Pay? An Examination of the United Nation’s Global Compact,” International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 288-303.
  • Davalos, S., Leng, F., Feroz, E., and Cao, Z. (2009) “Bankruptcy Classification of Firms Investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission: An Evolutionary Adaptive Ensemble Model Approach," International Journal of Applied Decision Science, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 360-388.

Honors and Awards

  • MAcc Faculty of the Year, Milgard School of Business, 2017
  • Nominee for Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington Tacoma, 2016
  • MAcc Faculty of the Year, Milgard School of Business, 2015
  • Dean’s Teaching Commendation, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Awards for Excellence, Emerald Literati Network, 2012
  • Doctoral Consortium Fellow, American Accounting Association, 2003
  • Fan Fellowship, Yale University, 2000-2004


  • American Accounting Association
  • American Finance Association