Jialan Wang
Office: 217-300-4697
Assistant Professor of Finance
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research and Teaching Fields
Household Finance
Fintech / Entrepreneurship
Corporate Finance
Behavioral Economics


Ph.D               Financial Economics            Massachusetts Institute of Technology        2010
B.S.                Mathematics                        California Institute of Technology                  2003



The Marginal Propensity to Consume Over the Business Cycle (with Tal Gross and Matthew Notowidigdo)
Revise & Resubmit, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics; Outstanding Paper Award in Financial Institutions, MFA 2017
For a sample of over 160,000 bankruptcy filers, we find that the MPC out of liquidity averaged 0.37 between 2004 and 2011, and was 20–30 percent higher between 2007 and 2009 compared to surrounding years.

When Is It Hard to Make Ends Meet? (with Brian Baugh)
Households are more likely to experience shortfalls during predictably longer pay periods, and when they have a greater mismatch between the timing of income and expenditure commitments.

Liquidity Constraints and Budgeting Mistakes: Evidence from Social Security Recipients (with Jesse Leary)
Exploiting quasi-random variation in the timing of benefits disbursed by the Social Security Administration, we find that individuals are 35% more likely to take out payday loans during 35-day compared with 28-day pay periods, and 4% less likely to borrow if they are assigned to receive income on the fourth Wednesday compared to the second Wednesday of the month.

Information Disclosure and Payday Lending in Texas (with Kathleen Burke and Jesse Leary) 
Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that payday loan volume declined by 13% after a behaviorally-motivated disclosure was mandated in Texas.


"Minimum Payments and Debt Paydown in Consumer Credit Cards." (with Ben Keys)
Journal of Financial Economics, Accepted. [Paper] [NBER WP]
Using a dataset covering one quarter of the U.S. general-purpose credit card market, we document that 29% of accounts regularly make payments at or near the minimum payment, and at least 9% of all accounts anchor to the minimum payment.

“Early Medicaid Expansion Associated With Reduced Payday Borrowing In California,” (with Heidi Allen, Ashley Swanson, and Tal Gross)
Health Affairs, 2017. [Link]

"Liquidity Constraints and Consumer Bankruptcy: Evidence from Tax Rebates" (with Tal Gross and Matt Notowidigdo)
Review of Economics and Statistics, 96(3), 2014. [Paper] [Online Appendix]

"Superstar Extinction" (with Pierre Azoulay and Joshua Graff-Zivin)
Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2010 [Paper]

"Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success" (with Joshua Lerner and Antoinette Schoar)
Journal of Economic Perspectives 22, Summer 2008 [Paper]

"Evolution of Digital Organisms at High Mutation Rates Leads to Survival of the Flattest" (with C. Wilke, C. Ofria, R. E. Lenski, and C. Adami)
Nature, July 2001 [Paper]