Fine fellows: SBE’s Peiran Jiao and Thomas Meissner win Marie Skłodowska Curie awards

Assistant professor of finance Peiran Jiao and assistant professor of economics Thomas Meissner have both been awarded Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual European Fellowships for research into our financial behaviour, from saving and borrowing to playing the stock market.

Funded by the European Commission and aimed at experienced researchers, the Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowships are valid for two years and focus on academic mobility.

Dr Jiao, who joined SBE from the University of Oxford last year, received the award for his research project “Payoff-Based Decision Making”, which he says will “investigate the effects of personal experiences, especially of gains and losses, on subsequent decisions in repeated decision-making contexts under uncertainty with feedback.

“It has been documented that personal experiences of economic downturns make people more risk-averse, whereas winning experiences in the stock market boost willingness to invest. However, to date little is known regarding the underlying mechanism for these effects of experiences. This project will thus generate important policy suggestions on improving individual investors’ performance and on enhancing informational efficiency in the market,” he notes.

Dr Meissner, who joined SBE from the Technical University of Berlin in 2016, will be funded for his project “Measuring Debt Aversion”. He explains: “Attitudes towards saving and borrowing are crucial to the understanding of individual financial behaviour. An unwillingness to save or borrow can have severe economic implications. I am proposing to develop an experimental protocol that allows to measure individual preferences with regard to saving and borrowing.”

He adds: “In particular, I will develop an intertemporal choice list, in which subjects can choose between different saving and debt contracts, using real monetary incentives. Identifying simple survey measures that explain preferences will be of help for future research on these preferences, where time and monetary constraints do not allow a fully incentivised experiment.”