Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Business Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Over the past decade, the asset management industry has experienced significant changes, with exponential growth due to the demand from individual investors. Within this context, my dissertation focuses on studying both individual and institutional investors’ behaviors. In Chapter 1, I study individual investors’ behaviors on the Alipay platform. I use unique, individual transaction data from a trading experiment implemented through the Alipay app and the same individuals’ trading history in the financial market. In response to the exogenous price movements in the experiment, investors tend to be contrarian traders. The sophisticated investors tend to be more contrarian than the less sophisticated ones. In addition, individual investors’ trading styles are persistent in the experiment and real transactions. In Chapter 2, I study the decision-making process of professional investors, namely, portfolio managers. I uncover that portfolio managers who experience distress in one fund take on more risk subsequently in other funds they manage. I further investigate the potential economic explanations and find that portfolio managers’ compensation contracts and their professional characteristics are related to their risk-taking decisions. The results highlight the fund spillover effects through the common portfolio manager channel in the mutual fund industry.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Todd Gormley

Committee Members

Xing Huang, Ohad Kadan, Mina Lee, John Nachbar,