Zhuo (Joe) Zhong

Associate Professor of Finance
Faculty of Business and Economics
University of Melbourne

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. in Economics, Cornell University
  • M.A. in Finance, Singapore Management University and Xiamen University
  • B.A. in Economics, Xiamen University


Primary interests: DeFi, Empirical Asset Pricing, Financial Innovation, Market Microstructure

Working papers

1. Trust in DeFi: An empirical study of the decentralized exchange, with Jianlei Han and Shiyang Huang

(Empirical) The decentralized infrastructure built on blockchain and smart contracts can help reach the decentralized consensus of cryptocurrency value.

  • Annual Conference in Digital Economics 2022


2. The risk sharing benefit versus the collateral cost: The formation of the inter-dealer network in over-the-counter trading

(Theory) Dealers balance their risk-sharing benefits with collateral costs from trading to endogenously determine the inter-dealer trading network in OTC markets.


  • AFA 2016, WFA 2015, EFA 2015, NBER Market Microstructure Meeting 2014, FIRN 2014, Eastern Finance Associate Meeting 2014, FMA 2013


1. Innovation and informed trading: Evidence from industry ETFs, with Shiyang Huang and Maureen O’Hara

Review of Financial Studies, 2021, 34: 1280-1316

(Empirical) Industry exchange traded funds (ETFs) encourage informed trading on underlying firms through facilitating the hedge of industry-specific risks.

SSRN Link, Journal Link

  • AFA 2019, FIRN 2018, Luxembourg Asset Management Summit 2018, UW Summer Finance Conference in Seattle 2018, CICF 2018, LSE Paul Woolley Center Conference 2018

2. Inverted fee structures, tick size, and market quality, with Carole Comerton-Forde and Vincent Grégoire

Journal of Financial Economics, 2019, 134: 141-164

(Empirical) Offering traders sub-tick price improvement, inverted fee venues enhance competition for liquidity provision and increase information impounded into prices through limit orders.

SSRN Link, Jounral Link, Online Appendix

  • 2017 NFA Best Paper Award on Market Microstructure
  • AFA 2018, FIRN 2017, NFA 2017

3. Relative tick size and the trading environment, with Maureen O’Hara and Gideon Saar

Review of Asset Pricing Studies, 2019, 9: 47-90

(Empirical) In a one-tick spread environment, a larger relative tick size results in greater depth and more volume; in a multi-tick environment, the opposite outcome prevails.

SSRN Link, Journal Link, Online Appendix

  • WFA 2016, CICF 2016, CIFR 2015, Cambridge Workshop on Microstructure Theory and Application 2015

4. Pre-trade transparency in over-the-counter bond markets, with Fan Chen

Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, 2017, 45: 14-33

(Empirical) Bonds that are able to trade on the NYSE (where pre-trade information is available) have smaller transaction costs than those cannot.

SSRN Link, Journal Link

  • Best Paper Award of the 5th Behavioral Finance and Capital Markets Conference
  • BFCM 2015, CICF 2012

5. Reducing opacity in over-the-counter markets

Journal of Financial Markets, 2016, 27: 1-27

(Theory) A competitive centralized market incentivizes dealers in OTC markets to reduce opacity, whereas a non-competitive centralized market does the opposite.

SSRN Link, Journal Link

  • 8th Annual Central Bank Workshop on Microstructure of the Financial Market


1. How do you solve a problem like a market outage: Ensuring the resilience of European equities trading, with Carole Comerton-Forde

This paper, commissioned by the Plato Partnership, empirically examines the impact of a primary market outage on market quality, summarises the problems experienced by buy- and sell-side firms during an outage and makes recommendations on how to reduce the adverse impacts of any primary market outages in the future.

2. Liquidity shocks and pension fund performance: Evidence from the Early Release Scheme, with James Brugler and Minsoo Kim

We basically show that the early release scheme (ERS) did not significantly affect fund returns in the cross-section –– the sector appears to have been able to preemptively raise enough liquidity without significantly dragging down performance.

3. Retail traders take a punt, with Carole Comerton-Forde

A short paper examining retail investor trading activity on the ASX during the COVID-19 lockdown. Retail investors were net buyers of stock during this period, especially in high beta stocks, high leverage stocks, and stocks that had experienced large price declines. In contrast, institutional investors were net sellers sellers during the lockdown.