The CDSE is striving to offer a collaborative atmosphere which allows students to develop and exchange ideas and research projects among each other.

Xue Zhang


Xue Zhang was born in Shandong Province, China, 1988. She obtained her bachelor degree of Economics with specialization in Finance from Xiamen University, in China, 2011. The topic of her bachelor thesis is “Signal of Financial Crisis – Comparison between Two Models and the Availability to China”. During the fall semester of 2010-2011, she studied at School of Economics and Law, Utrecht University, the Netherlands through an exchange program. She did her Masters in Finance at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. The topic for her master thesis is “The Role of Operating Leverage in Asset Pricing”. Her research interests lie in empirical research in economics, financial economics and behavioral finance. She likes ping-pong, badminton, hiking, singing, guitar, movies, and exploring the world.

Research Interests

Empirical Research in Economics

Financial Economics

Behavioral Finance

Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS

I choose University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS because it offers a unique research environment and the institution is internationally recognized within many fields and especially the field of economics and business.

The best part of being a doctoral student here

Being a doctoral student here grants me the opportunity to work with talented people (professors, visiting scholars, fellow doctoral students).

A description of my fellow doctoral students

My colleagues here are very talented and at the same time very hardworking. We enjoy sharing knowledge with each other, helping and supporting each other.

My most challenging experience within the program

The first year courses are very tough especially for students with a slightly less relevant education background (e.g. I studied finance for my bachelor and master degree). There is a lot of pressure in the first year to meet the requirement for staying in the program.

My advice for prospective students

Try to be prepared in advance. It would be beneficial to get to know some of the studying material before the fall semester starts as the lecture speed with be very high and there will be quite some pressure from studying.