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Xiaojian Zhao


IEMS Research Areas


Prof Zhao joined HKUST in 2010 after obtaining his PhD degree in Economics at University of Mannheim. His research interest lies in contract theory and its applications, behavioural and experimental economics, language and economics. His recent projects focus on economics of limited cognition, financial fraud, investor awareness, and financial education programs. Professor Zhao has published numerous articles in top economics journals such as Review of Economic Studies, Games and Economic Behavior, Experimental Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and American Journal of Agricultural Economics.


  • Zhao, X. (2008). “Moral Hazard with Unawareness,” Rationality and Society, 20(4), 471-496.
  • Zhao, X. (2011). “Framing Contingencies in Contracts,” Mathematical Social Sciences, 61(1), 31-40.
  • von Thadden, E. and X. Zhao (2012). “Incentives for Unaware Agents,” Review of Economic Studies, 79(3), 1151-1174.
  • Chen, Y. and X. Zhao (2013). “Solution Concepts of Principal-Agent Models with Unawareness of Actions,” Games (Special Issue on Contract Theory), 4(3), 508-531.
  • von Thadden, E. and X. Zhao (2014). “Multi-task Agency with Unawareness,” Theory and Decision, 77(2), 197-222.
  • Hong, F. and X. Zhao (2014). “Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 96(3), 851-861.
  • Li, S., M. Peitz and X. Zhao (2014). “Vertically Differentiated Duopoly with Unaware Consumers,” Mathematical Social Sciences (Special Issue on Unawareness), 70, 59-67.
  • Li, S., M. Peitz and X. Zhao (2016). “Information Disclosure and Consumer Awareness,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 128, 209-230.
  • Hong, F., W. Lim and X. Zhao (2017). “The Emergence of Compositional Grammars in Artificial Codes,” Games and Economic Behavior, 102, 255-268.
  • Hong, F. and X. Zhao (2017). “The Emergence of Language Differences in Artificial Codes,” Experimental Economics, forthcoming