Jiasun Li



Assistant Professor of Finance
George Mason University




I received my Ph.D in finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management and B.S. in mathematics from Fudan University (Shanghai, China) prior to joining George Mason. My research interest covers FinTech (including blockchain and crowdfunding), as well as the role of information in the theory of the firm and market microstructure. I have presented research at many prestigious institutions and conferences including MIT, Michigan, Northwestern, NYU, Yale, NBER, Fed, SEC, WFA, and Econometric Society. I am a winner of 2016 Yihong Xia Best paper award at CICF and 2014 Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) academic paper competition. 

Research

By transparently distributing tokens before a platform operation begins, an ICO overcomes later coordination failures between transaction counterparties, induced by a cross-side network effect. A well structured ICO could also fulfill a critical mass requirement induced by a same-side network effect, consistent with empirical observations. Our results provide guidance for both regulators and practitioners to discern meaningful ICOs that add economic values.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of Canada, ASU Sonoran, WFA, AFA, EFA, Chicago Financial Institutions, Southern California Private Equity, FSU SunTrust BeachCambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Shanghai FinTechCICF, Fudan, Emerging Trends in Entrepreneurial FinanceCrypto Valley, George Washington, SUNY (Albany) symposium on FinTech and Blockchain, Tel Aviv University 

New: Decentralized Mining in Centralized Pools (with Will Cong and Zhiguo He)

    2018 CIFFP Excellent Paper Award

A blockchain’s well-functioning relies on proper incentives under adequate decentralization. However decentralization cannot be taken for granted, as many presumably distributed cryptocurrency-mining activities have witnessed the rise of mining pools over time. We study the centralization and decentralization forces in the creation and competition of mining pools: risk-sharing benefits attract independent miners to pools, leading to centralization; however, pool concentration can be moderated through crosspool diversification and endogenous pool fees. In particular, we show that larger pools charge higher fees, leading to disproportionally less miners to join and thus a slower pool size growth. Empirical evidence from Bitcoin mining supports our model predictions. 

Princeton, CUNY Baruch, NYU Stern, Michigan Ross, Yale SOM, PBC School of Finance, ISB, Cleveland Fed, Ant Financial, SAIF, CEPR Gerzensee, LeBow/GIC/FRB Conference on Cryptocurrencies in the Global Economy, NFA, China International Forum on Finance and Policy, FinTech, Credit and the Future of Banking Conference (Rigi Kaltbad), NFA, DataYes & ACM KDD China FinTech & AI Workshop


    The Journal of Finance, Revise and Resubmit
    2017 "Pietro Giovannini Memorial Prize" Best Paper Award
        

When a group of investors with dispersed private information jointly invest in a risky project, how should they divide the project payoff ? A typical common stock contract rewards investors in proportion to their initial investment, but is it really optimal? This paper first studies as a general contracting problem the role of profit sharing in best harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, then investigates specific FinTech applications including the security design of investment crowdfunding. 

Media mention: MediumColumbia Law School's Blue Sky Blog on corporations and the capital markets 

WFA, SFS Cavalcade, 
Yale (Cowles General Equilibrium)Louis Bachelier Lab (Fintech), European Retail Investment (Fintech)Emerging Trends in Entrepreneurial Finance (Stevens Institute of Technology), European Finance Association, Toronto Fintech, Philadelphia Fed FinTech, Bank of Finland, Swedish House of Finance FinTech, ISB, UCL FinTech, Finance Theory Group, American Kogod 

      An earlier more extended version: 
 
            2016 Yihong Xia Best Paper Award from CICF    
            Best PhD Paper from 2016 EFA (Theory), 2016 KFUPM conference, and 2014 AFBC (1st Prize) 

Simple profit-sharing contracts with decentralized control could empower individuals with their collective wisdom by coordinating actions guided by dispersed private information. This result parallels existing theories for financial markets, where the equilibrium market price achieves an information aggregation effect through rational expectations. New light shed on the nature of the firm: joint-stock companies endogenously emerge to complete the market.

MIT Sloan, Michigan Ross, UCSD Rady, CRA, NBEREconometric Society, Financial Intermediation Research Society (FIRS), Paul Woolley Centre (UTS), CEPR Gerzensee, CICF, Northwestern (Searle Center), OSU Midwest Theory, KFUPM


    Journal of Trading, Summer 2016, Vol. 11, No. 3: pp. 16–31 (highlight article)
    2014 Chicago Quantitative Alliance (CQA) Annual Academic Competition Best Paper (2nd Prize)
Almost all U.S. firms now announce earnings outside of regular trading hours. How do stock prices incorporate information in after-hours trading? I find slow prices adjustment accompanied by significant trading volume. During 2002-2012, 5,881 rule-based trading opportunities generate an average return of 1.53% within four hours. After costs (assessed by a trading experiment), an investor who properly exploits the slow adjustment beats the market by 11.5% per year. 

Media mention: Alpha Architect

Imperial College London (Hedge Fund Centre), QWAFAFEW/Southern California Quant Network, FSU SunTrust Beach, Northern Finance Association, LBS Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference 

Work-in-Progress 

How do Passive Mutual Funds Act as Active Owners? Evidence from Voting Records (with Shenje Hshieh and Michael Tang)

Hong Kong Joint Finance Research Workshop, Eastern Finance Association, CICF

Who Drives and Bursts Asset Bubbles? Evidence from Bitcoin Exchange Transactions (with Mark Grinblatt and Vitalie Spinu)

Helsinki Finance Summit

Teaching

FinTech: 
Blockchain Technologies 
     George Mason University undergrad Elective, instructor, 2018 fall

2016-2017 
George Mason University 
Master of Management program Faculty of the Year award 
    (
one per year 
voted by 
students
)

     George Mason University MBA Core, instructor, 2016, 2017 fall

     George Mason University MS MGMT Core, instructor, 2016 fall

Financial Management
     George Mason University undergrad Core, instructor, 2016 fall
        
Theory of the Firm and Corporate Governance Design
     Harvard University (HCSSA Lecture, lecturer), 2015 summer

Statistical Arbitrage 
     UCLA Anderson MFE Elective, teaching assistant for Prof. Olivier Ledoit (2014/2015 Fall)

Credit Markets
     UCLA Anderson MFE Core, teaching assistant for Prof. Holger Kraft (2014/2015 Fall)

Takeovers, Restructuring, and Corporate Governance
     UCLA Anderson MBA Elective, teaching assistant for Prof. Micah Officer (2013/2014 Spring) and Prof. Stephen Greene (2013/2014 Winter)

Empirical Methods in Finance
     UCLA Anderson MFE Core, private tutor, course taught by Prof. Hanno Lustig (2013/2014 Winter)

Foundations of Finance 
     UCLA Anderson MBA Core, teaching assistant for  Prof. Brian Boyer (2012/2013 Winter)

Education

UCLA Anderson School of Management
    Ph.D in Finance, 2011-2016

Fudan University (Shanghai, China)
    B.Sc in Mathematics, 2007-2011, highest distinction

Bitcoin accepted to: 
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