Jialan Wang (王嘉兰) 


Associate Professor of Finance (with tenure)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

NBER Research Associate

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

Google Scholar



Ph.D               Financial Economics            Massachusetts Institute of Technology        2010

B.S.                  Mathematics                            California Institute of Technology                   2003



[NEW]  Intra-Household Credit Spillovers (with Feng Liu)
We trace financial interactions between individuals in a household by analyzing the impact of bankruptcy flag removals for one member of a household on connected borrowers, i.e. those who have shared at least one financial account with a former bankruptcy filer. 

[NEW] The Online Payday Loan Premium (with Filipe Correia and Peter Han)
[Slides] [Video] 

We find that prices for online payday loans are about 100% APR higher than storefront loans. This premium is not explained by loan or customer characteristics, but is at least partially attributable to higher default risk. 

[NEW]  Unemployment Insurance Fraud in the Debit Card Market (with Umang Khetan, Jetson Leder-Luis, and Yunrong Zhou)
We study the role of identity verification technology in mitigating unemployment insurance fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic, using unsupervised machine learning algorithms on a large dataset of debit card transactions to identify potentially fraudulent activity. 


[NEW]  Consumer Credit Reporting Data (with Christa Gibbs, Benedict Guttman-Kenney, Donghoon Lee, Scott Nelson, and Wilbert van der Klaauw).
Commissioned by the Journal of Economic  Literature

We review the literature on credit reporting data and providing a practical user’s guide for researchers. We discuss challenges that researchers should be aware of, offer guidance on best practices to address these challenges, and discuss research opportunities for using credit reporting data.

[NEW] To Pay or Autopay? Fintech Innovation and Credit Card Payments (solo author)

[Paper] [NBER WP] [Slides] [Video] 
Using data from a fintech credit card company, I estimate that autopay has significant effects on consumer payment behavior. Moving from 0 to 100 percent autopay enrollment increases the fraction of minimum payments by 20 to 29pp, doubling the baseline rate. 

[NEW] How Much Do Small Businesses Rely on Personal Credit? (with Julia Fonseca)

[Paper] [Slides] [Video] 

We estimate that U.S. entrepreneurs were able to substitute more than two thirds of the supply contraction in small business credit by large banks after the 2008 financial crisis by increasing their use of personal credit.

Bankruptcy and the COVID-19 Crisis (with Jeyul Yang, Ben Iverson, and Renhao Jiang)

[Paper] [Slides] [Video] [Blog] 

We document large and persistent declines in bankruptcy rates for both households and small businesses after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in mid-March 2020 through the end of 2021, in a reversal of the close historical relationship between bankruptcy and unemployment rates in both the time series and cross section. 

When Is It Hard to Make Ends Meet? (with Brian Baugh)

[Paper] [Slides] [Video]

Households are more likely to experience financial shortfalls during predictably longer pay periods, and when they have a greater mismatch between the timing of income and expenditure commitments.


The Effects of Disclosure and Enforcement on Payday Lending in Texas (with Kathleen Burke)

Journal of Financial Economics, 145 (2B), 2022. [Journal link]  [NBER WP] [NBER Digest (non-technical)]  [SSRN] [Slides]

Statewide disclosures led to a significant and persistent 13% decline in payday loan volume, and city ordinances in Austin and Dallas led to significant declines driven by the start of enforcement rather than the effective date of regulation.

The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform (with Tal Gross, Ray Kluender, Feng Liu, and Matthew  Notowidigdo)

American Economic Review, 111 (7), 2021. [Journal link] [NBER WP] [NBER Digest (non-technical)] [Video]

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 significantly reduced aggregate bankruptcy filings and reduced the cost of unsecured credit. A one-percentage-point reduction in filing risk conditional on credit score translates to a 70-100 basis-point decline in the offered interest rate for unsecured credit.

The Marginal Propensity to Consume Over the Business Cycle (with Tal Gross and Matthew Notowidigdo)

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 12 (2), 2020. [Journal link] [NBER WP]

Outstanding Paper Award in Financial Institutions, MFA 2017.

For a sample of over 160,000 bankruptcy filers, 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.

Minimum Payments and Debt Paydown in Consumer Credit Cards (with Ben Keys)

Journal of Financial Economics, 131 (3), 2019. [Journal link] [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, 36 (10), 2017.  [Journal html] [Journal PDF]

Liquidity Constraints and Consumer Bankruptcy: Evidence from Tax Rebates (with Tal Gross and Matt Notowidigdo)

Review of Economics and Statistics, 96 (3), 2014. [Journal link] [NBER WP] [NBER Digest (non-technical)] 

Superstar Extinction (with Pierre Azoulay and Joshua Graff-Zivin)

Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125 (2) 2010. [Journal link] [NBER WP] 

Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success (with Joshua Lerner and Antoinette Schoar)

Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22 (3) 2008.  [Journal link] [NBER WP] 

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 [Journal link]


CFPB Data Point: Payday Lending. 2014, (with Kathleen Burke, Jonathan Lanning, and Jesse Leary) [link]

Payday Loans and Deposit Advance Products: A White Paper of Initial Data Findings. 2013. [link]

Policy advocacy

Comment letter from academic researchers: CFPB 1033 "open banking" proposed rule

December, 2023. [Letter] [Policy background] [Public record]

With a group of academic researchers in household finance, we urge the CFPB to strongly consider preserving the ability to conduct academic research using de-identified or anonymized transaction data.

Letter to congress from academic bankruptcy experts: bankruptcy and COVID-19 small business working group

May, 2020. [Letter] [NYT coverage]

With a group of legal and finance scholars with expertise on small business bankruptcy, we propose changes to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 to assist small businesses struggling to survive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.



"Intra-household Interactions in Credit Bureau Data"

American Economic Association, January 2024 [video] [slides]

"A Guide to Consumer Credit Bureau Data - Open Issues in Credit Report Data"

American Economic Association, January 2023 [video] [slides]

"Publishing in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis" (Interviewing Jennifer Conrad, Thierry Foucault, and Jarrad Harford, with Giorgia Piacentino)

CSWEP Career Development Webinars: Fireside Chats with Journal Editors, May 2022 [video]

"The Magic of Tradelines" (from panel on credit bureau data with Brian Bucks, Sarah Miller, Scott Nelson, and Wilbert van der Klaauw)

NBER Innovative Data in Household Finance, December 2021 [slides]

"Debt Talks Episode 7 | The Case for Household Debt Relief," (with Erica Jiang and Johnna Montgomerie, moderated by Moritz Schularick)

Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), April 2021 [video]

"Default Effects in Spending and Borrowing"

Behavioral Science & Policy Association, May 2016 [slides] [video]


"Debt Restructuring and Small Firm Performance," Christopher Eaglin and Apoorv Gupta
China International Conference in Finance, July 2023 [slides]

"The Last Mile of Monetary Policy: Consumer Inattention, Disclosures, and the Refinancing Channel," Shane Byrne, Kenneth Devine, Michael King, Yvonne McCarthy, Christopher Palmer
NBER Summer Institute Real Estate, July 2022 [slides]

"Reshaping the Local Marketplace: Financing, Independent Businesses, Large Firms, and COVID,"  Vojislav Maksimovic and Liu Yang
China International Conference in Finance, July 2021 [slides]

"Bank Stress Test Results and Their Impact on Consumer Credit Markets," Sumit Agarwal, Xudong An, Larry Cordell, Raluca A. Roman

Western Finance Association, June 2021 [slides]

"Financial Media as a Money Doctor: Evidence from Refinancing Decisions," Lin Hu, Kun Li, Phong T. H. Ngo, Denis Sosyura 

Financial Intermediation Research Society Conference, June 2021 [slides]

"Do Lenders Still Discriminate? A Robust Approach for Assessing Differences in Menus," David Hao Zhang and Paul Willen 

OSU PhD Conference on Real Estate and Housing, April 2021 [slides]

"The Financial Restitution Gap in Consumer Finance: Insights from Complaints Filed with the CFPB," by Charlotte Haendler and Rawley Z. Heimer 

Midwest Finance Association, March 2021 [slides]

"Income, Liquidity, and the Consumption Response to the 2020 Economic Stimulus Payments," by Scott Baker, Robert Farrokhnia, Steffen Meyer, Michaela Pagel, and Constantine Yannelis 

RCFS Winter Conference, February 2021 [slides]

"Firm Uncertainty and Household Spending," by Ivan Alfaro and Hoonsuk Park 

American Finance Association, January 2021 [slides]

"Wealth, Race, and Consumption Smoothing of Typical Income Shocks," by Peter Ganong, Damon Jones, Pascal Noel, Diana Farrell, Fiona Greig, and Chris Wheat & "Consumption, Credit, and the Missing Young" by Daniel Cooper, Olga Gorbachev, and Maria Jose Luengo-Prado 

FDIC Consumer Research Symposium, October 2020 [slides]

"Second Chance: Life Without Student Debt," by Marco Di Maggio, Ankit Kalda, Vincent W. Yao 

SFS Cavalcade, May 2019 [slides]

"The Consumption Response to Realized Capital Gains: Evidence from Mutual Fund Liquidations," by Steffen Meyer, Michaela Pagel, Alessandro Previtero

SFS Cavalcade, May 2019 [slides]

"Investment Returns and Distribution Policies of Non-Profit Endowment Funds", by Sandeep Dahiya and David Yermack

American Finance Association, January 2019 [slides]

"How Does Consumer Bankruptcy Protection Impact Household Outcomes?" by Carlos Parra

Western Finance Association Conference, June 2018 [slides]

"Import Competition and Household Debt" by Jean Noel Barrot, Erik Loualiche, Matthew Plosser and Julien Sauvagnat

Western Finance Association Conference, June 2017 [slides]

"Credit Score Doctor" by Luojia Hu, Xing Huang, and Andrei Simonov

Midwest Finance Association Conference, March 2017 [slides]

“The Marginal Propensity to Consume Out of Credit: Evidence from Random Assignment of 54,522 Credit Lines" by Deniz Aydin

NYU Stern Household Finance Meeting, February 2017 [slides]

"Cancer Diagnoses and Household Debt Overhang" by Arpit Gupta, Edward R. Morrison,  Catherine R. Fedorenko and Scott Ramsey

NBER Summer Institute – Law and Economics, July 2016 [slides]

"The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings, and Entrepreneurship" by Kyle Herkenhoff, Gordon Phillips, and Ethan Cohen-Cole

NBER Summer Institute – Entrepreneurship, July 2016 [slides]

"Regulating Consumer Financial Products: Evidence from Credit Cards" by Sumit Agarwal, Souphala Chomsisengphet, Neale Mahoney, and Johannes Stroebel

NBER Law and Economics, February 2014 [slides]

"The Difference a Day (Doesn’t) Make: Does Giving Borrowers More Time to Repay Break the Cycle of Repeated Payday Loan Borrowing?" by Susan Payne Carter, Paige Marta Skiba, and Justin Sydnor

American Economic Association Conference, January 2014 [slides]

Dormant working papers

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.