Research Interests

Behavioral Finance, Household Finance, Social Networks, Law and Finance, Financial Intermediation


Review of Financial Studies, conditionally accepted

AFA 2016CFEA 2014EFIC 2014FIRS 2015NBER-SI 2015

Best paper award winner at the FMA 2015

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Special Issue in Empirical Behavioral Finance

Working Papers

"Growing up Without Finance" (2016) w/ Jamie Brown and Tony Cookson

*New!* draft available upon request

Local financial development causes long-lasting improvements in consumer financial health. We use credit panel data and variation in financial development across Native American reservations caused by Congressionally imposed differences in court enforcement of civil contracts. Young consumers on reservations with more financial activity more quickly engage in formal credit markets, an effect that leads to greater long-run financial health.

"Peer Pressure: Can Social Interaction Explain the Disposition Effect?" (2015)

AFA Boston 2015, EFA Vienna 2015NFA 2014

        Revisions Requested: Review of Financial Studies

Social interaction increases traders' disposition effect. Using novel data from a social network linked to individual investment accounts, traders increase their susceptibility to the disposition effect following exposure to the network. 

"Can Leverage Constraints Make (Some) Investors Better Off?" (2015)

EFA Lugano 2014, SFS Cavalcade 2015, NFA 2015

Finalist for best paper award in Asset Pricing at the 2015 SFS Cavalcade

Leverage is inversely related to individual investor performance. Evidence comes from CFTC regulation capping the maximum permissible leverage available to U.S. retail traders compared to unregulated European traders who trade on the same brokerages. Overconfidence jointly explains demand for leverage and subsequent poor performance. Supplemental Materials

"YOLO: Mortality Beliefs and Household Finance Puzzles" (2015) w/ Kristian Myrseth and Raphael Schoenle

Norman Award Grant for creative projects in the Social Sciences, NFA 2015, CESifo Behavioral Economics 2015, EWFC2016, IDC Summer Conference 2016

Media: Wall Street Journal: Pro, MarketWatch

Subjective mortality beliefs are fat-tailed and affect consumption/savings decisions. A run-of-the-mill life-cycle model calibrated to subjective mortality beliefs can explain under-saving while young, under-consumption while retired, and the high equity premium.

"Facebook Finance: How Social Interaction Propagates Active Investing" (2014) w/ David Simon 

AFA San Diego 2013 

Media: Wall Street Journal, Quartz, The Street

The patterns of communication between traders supports the growth of active strategies. Using novel data from a social network linked to individual investment accounts, traders broadcast their own successes, while recipients trade more when their peers perform well.

Selected Works in Progress

"Does Retail Trading Improve Stock Price Efficiency?"
w/ Zahi Ben-David and Kewei Hou

"Awareness of the Adverse Selection Problem in Retail Markets: A Field-Experiment on a Discount Brokerage" w/ Juhani Linnainmaa, FRA Early Ideas Session

"The Anatomy of Financial Frictions: New Evidence from Private Firms" w/ Jamie BrownTony Cookson, and Ivan IvanovFRA Early Ideas Session