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About Me

I am a PhD candadate in Finance at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). I will be avaialble for interviews during the 2022 AEA/AFA Annual Meeting.

Research Interests

Consumer and Household Finance, Municipal Finance, and Banking.

Recognition

Selected in the Junior Scholars Program of American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA) 2021.

Ad hoc Referee

Real Estate Economics, Financial Management, Journal of Multinational Financial Management.

Research Grant

HKUST Office of the Vice President for Research and Development Grant: How Does on-campus residence shapes students? An empirical investigation with lessons for programme design (joint with Sujata Visaria and Kevin Tam).

 

Working Papers

Know Thyself: Free Credit Reports and the Retail Mortgage Market [Job Market Paper] [Download] [View at SSRN]

Under imprecise creditworthiness information, borrowers may make erroneous credit decisions. Credit reports—which record one’s creditworthiness—became free in the entire U.S. in 2005, while these had already been free in seven states. Exploiting this in a difference-in-differences setting, this paper shows that cheaper credit reports to consumers changed the mortgage market outcomes, indicating an improved borrower pool. Specifically, approval ratios and mortgage applications increased, delinquencies decreased, and the lowest-income-quartile borrowers and ex-ante high-creditworthy areas experienced larger increase in approvals. Additional findings, including increased interest rates, suggest a demand-driven pool improvement, as consumers receive precise creditworthiness signals from their reports.

Conference presentations: Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) 8th Annual Conference ● AREUEA 2021 National Conference ● 2021 Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Financial Market Research (SGF) ● University of Texas Austin PhD Student Symposium on Financial Market Policy Development & Research (2020) ● International Banking, Economics, and Finance Association (IBEFA 2021) ● 15th Conference on Asia-Pacific Financial Markets (CAFM) Best PhD Dissertation Award ● 11th Financial Markets and Corporate Governance (FMCG) Conference Best PhD Dissertation Award ● FMA Annual Conference 2020: Doctoral Student Consortium Job Market Presentation and Panel Session ● AFA 2021 PhD Poster Session ● 11th Emerging Markets Finance Conference ● Australasian Finance and Banking Conference (AFBC 2020) ● 5th SDU Finance Workshop, 2020 (University of Southern Denmark) ● PhD Mentoring Day at the 28th Finance Forum 2020, the Annual Meeting of the Spanish Finance Association (AEFIN) ● 2020 Greater China Area Finance Conference ●

 

Do Women Receive Worse Financial Advice [View at SSRN]

Revise and Resubmit at The Journal of Finance
Joint with Utpal Bhattacharya, Sujata Visaria, and Jing Zhao
Trained undercover men and women posed as potential clients and visited all 65 local financial advisory firms in Hong Kong. We find that women are more likely than men to receive advice to buy only individual or only local securities. This effect is significant for financial planners, but not for securities firms. Women who signal that they are highly confident, highly risk tolerant, or have a domestic outlook, are especially likely to receive suboptimal advice. Our theoretical model interprets these patterns as an interaction between statistical discrimination and advisors’ incentives. Taste-based discrimination is unlikely to explain the results.

Conference presentations: Swedish House of Finance Annual Conference 2020 (Consumer Behavior in Financial Markets) ● AFA 2021* ● Southern Finance Association (SFA) 2020 ● The Frontiers in Development policy Conference, Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management* ●
* Presented by co-authors.
Media Mention: Bloomberg

 

Uncharted Waters: Pollution and Municipal Finance [Download] [View at SSRN]

Joint with Daisy Huang
We show that pollution increases the offering yields of municipal bonds, indicating increased risk. We establish this using a difference-in-differences design, comparing the bonds from U.S. counties revealed to contain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their drinking-water supplies with the bonds from neighboring, unpolluted, same-state counties. The increase was greater for riskier bonds characterized by repayment obligation, ex-ante debt burden, unrated issuance, maturity, and bankruptcy access. The resulting pollution-related investment needs and a reduction in public sector employment and expenditure likely underlie the risk. An instrumental variable-like method utilizing airports as a potential contamination source reaffirms the causal interpretation.


 

Other Information

Industry Experience

Before joining the PhD program, I worked as a VLSI engineer at Freescale Semiconducor (now NXP semiconductor), as a Scientist/Engineer at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and as a Project Finance manager in the power sector at ICICI Bank.