Speaker: Yao Zeng, Assistant Professor of Finance, Foster School of Business, University of Washington
Date: December 20th (Wednesday)
Location: Building 4, Room 101
One prominent feature of the burgeoning marketplace lending (i.e., P2P lending) is that investors conducting tasks traditionally performed by banks. Lending platforms pre-screen loan applications moderately, while investors, heterogeneous in their level of sophistication, further screen and decide on funding the loans. We theoretically argue that the participation of informationally sophisticated investors improves lending and loan pricing efficiency but creates an endogenous adverse selection problem. In maximizing loan volume, the platform trade-off between these two forces. Thus, intermediate levels of platform pre-screening intensity and information provision to investors are optimal. Using novel investor-level data, we empirically show that despite facing the same information set, more sophisticated investors screen loans differently from less sophisticated ones and significantly outperform. However, the outperformance shrinks when the platforms reduce the information set available to investors. These empirical facts are consistent with platforms dynamically managing adverse selection through platform design and screening intensity.
About the speaker:
Yao Zeng is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and his M.S. and B.A. in Economics from Peking University. His current research focuses on the risks of non-bank, non-leveraged financial institutions such as mutual funds, ETFs, venture capital, and marketplace lending (i.e., P2P lending). Broadly, he asks why these non-bank financial institutions become more similar to banks. He research has won awards such as the Arthur Warga Award for the Best Paper in Fixed Income at SFS Finance Cavalcade and the Trefftzs Award for the Best Student Paper at WFA.