Honors & Awards

  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship on Global Development, Stanford King Center on Global Development (2020-2021)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, Stanford University (2015 - 2020)
  • Outstanding Graduate of Peking University, Peking University (2015)
  • Peking University Leadership Scholarship, Peking University (2014 - 2015)
  • National Scholarship, Ministry of Education of China (2012 - 2013, 2013 - 2014)
  • China Economic Research Scholarship, Peking University National School of Development (2014 - 2015)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Ad-hoc Reviewer, the Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference
  • Ad-hoc Reviewer, The Strategic Management Society (SMS) Annual Conference
  • Coordinator, SIEPR Social Science and Technology Seminars
  • Coordinator, The West Coast Research Symposium
  • Organizer, Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) Research Day
  • Ad-hoc Reviewer, International Association for Chinese Management Research (IACMR) Annual Conference

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., Peking University, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Environmental Science (2015)
  • B.S., Peking University, National School of Development, Economics (2015)

Personal Interests

An amateur ping-pong player. A big fan of Chinese essays and poems.

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My dissertation focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship and institutions within nascent markets. In nascent markets, the old and the new rules, norms, and practices often coexist and interact, resulting in incompatible institutional arrangements (i.e., institutional contradictions). Theoretically, I take an institutional theory perspective to examine the temporal dynamics of entrepreneurial strategies to resolve these contradictions. These temporal dynamics include different stages of startup growth, market development, and institutional changes. Methodologically, I use both econometric methods such as coarsened exact matching and difference-in-differences, and machine learning methods such as support vector machine, random forests, and recurrent neural networks. Phenomenologically, I use big data to analyze how entrepreneurs resolve institutional contradictions in framing their businesses, raising money, and achieving growth. Specifically, I collected 4.1 million tweets from 2,976 blockchain projects to analyze how entrepreneurs resolve the contradiction between framing differentiation and legitimation in the nascent blockchain market. Also, I collected 1.16 million business plan submissions on a Chinese fundraising platform to analyze how the new rules of online interactions impact entrepreneur-investor tie formation strategies. Overall, my dissertation contributes to entrepreneurial strategy literature by addressing institutional contradictions in nascent markets and introducing machine learning methods to strategy research.

All Publications

  • Entrepreneurship in Dynamic Environments: A Comparison Between the U.S. and China Quarterly Journal of Management Wu, Y., Eesley, C. E., Eisenhardt, K. M. 2020; 5 (2)
  • Education, Human Capital and the Impact of the Institutional Environment for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Drivers of Innovation: Entrepreneurship, Education, and Finance in Asia Eesley, C., Zhou, L., Wu, Y. Stanford University Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Series with Brookings Institution Press. 2021
  • Regional Migration, Entrepreneurship and University Alumni: Evidence from an Emerging Economy Wu, Y., Eesley, C. E. Regional Studies, First Round R&R. 2020


    How does migration from rural to urban areas impact entrepreneurial performance? We argue that entrepreneurs who migrated from rural to urban areas tend to found larger firms than entrepreneurs who remained in urban areas, because migrants tend to be less risk-averse, and the rural-to-urban location change further reduces risk-aversion. Also, rural-to-urban migrants are more likely to found larger firms than entrepreneurs who migrated to rural areas or remained in rural areas, because the urban areas provide better entrepreneurial opportunities and resources to create larger firms. To empirically test our hypotheses, we conducted an alumni survey and analyzed 283 entrepreneurs who were admitted from various locations in China to Tsinghua University in Beijing, and then went to rural areas or urban areas upon graduation. We find that entrepreneurs who migrated from rural to urban areas are more likely to found firms in the top quantile of firm size. This study provides implications for designing regional policies that facilitate labor mobility from rural to urban areas.

  • The Impact of Hiring Contract Design on Freelancer Work Li, Z., Wu, Y. Working Paper. 2020
  • Dynamic Optimal Distinctiveness: Entrepreneurial Framing Strategy in the Nascent Blockchain Market Wu, Y. Working Paper. 2020
  • When Old Meets New: Do Initial Coin Offerings and Venture Capitals Create Synergistic or Antagonistic Effects on Entrepreneurial Performance? Wu, Y. Working Paper. 2020