Cheng Places 2nd in 2021 UK GradResearch Live!

Mark (Sung-Yuan) Cheng, a Ph.D. student in the Von Allmen School of Accountancy,  was recognized for his research in the 2021 University of Kentucky's GradResearch Live! Competition. Cheng placed second in the 3MT Track (late-stage research) category for research that provides evidence on when climate risk disclosures are important to investors. 

The GradResearch Live! event was born out of the University of Queensland's 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, a research presentation initiative that challenges graduate students to effectively communicate their research in three minutes or less. Cheng presented research from his paper "The Information of Content of Managers' Climate Risk Disclosure'' co-authored with Brian Bratten, Carol Martin Gatton Chaired Professor of Accountancy. 

By using large samples of conference call transcripts, his study examines voluntary disclosure of climate risks faced by the firm and the investors’ reactions to the disclosures. Cheng finds a negative stock market reaction to these disclosures, but also an increase in abnormal trading volume. He also finds that managers are more likely to provide disclosures about climate risks when they report negative news about earnings. When managers bundle bad news about earnings with climate risk disclosures, investors’ reactions are less negative. These results suggest investors have different beliefs about how to incorporate these risk disclosures. 

“Mark Cheng is a rising star in the Accounting PhD Program,” says Monika Causholli, Deloitte Associate Professor of Accounting and Director of Graduate Studies for the Ph.D. Program at the Gatton College of Business and Economics. “Only a second year student, he has been able to identify and provide evidence related to some of the most important issues currently facing companies and investors such as issues related to climate.” 

Prior to enrolling in the Ph.D. program at the Gatton College, Cheng was a senior auditor for PwC in Taipei. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has a master’s degree in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in Finance from National Taiwan University. 

This is the ninth year the UK Graduate School has offered the competition to provide participants with a way to practice their communication and presentation skills while sharing their research with their peers. The event is co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Congress, which provides the funding for the awards.   

For more information, visit GradResearch Live!