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Whitebox Advisors Graduate Student Conference 2018

International Center for Finance

Friday, Apr 27 2018 -14400 at 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT

The Annual Whitebox Advisors Graduate Student Conference draws top doctoral students from around the world to present their research in the fields of Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Finance and Behavioral Marketing.  The goal of the conference is to foster an environment to promote interaction amongst doctoral student researchers, and to provide feedback for students presenting their work in these fields.

The research efforts in these fields have been helped immeasurably by the generous support of Andrew Redleaf of Whitebox Advisors.


In order to ensure we have space for all participants, we ask that you preregister at this siteRegistration deadline to attend the conference is Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

For assistance, please contact


  • Taha Choukhmane

    Yale University
    Conference Organizer

    Taha Choukhmane is a 5th year doctoral candidate at Yale University Department of Economics. His research interests lie at the intersection of structural microeconomics, household finance and behavioral economics. His current work investigates the long-term effect and optimal design of automatic contribution arrangements in retirement plans. He graduated with a MA in Economics and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from SciencesPo Paris.

  • Minju Han

    Yale University
    Conference Organizer

    Minju Han is a second year Behavioral Marketing Ph.D. student at Yale School of Management. She received a BA in psychology in 2014 from Brown University. Her research interests are in the areas of decision making and consumer behavior. She has been interested in how consumers’ beliefs about intangible qualities (e.g. authenticity, heritage) might affect their judgment and choice. She is also interested in investigating consumer experience and motivation.

  • Cameron Peng

    Yale University
    Conference Organizer

    Cameron Peng is a six-year Finance PhD student at Yale SOM. Prior to Yale, he was an undergraduate student at Peking University. Upon graduation, he will join the London School of Economics as an Assistant Professor of Finance. Cameron's research interests are asset pricing, behavioral finance, and household finance. In his job market paper, he explores the joint dynamics of prices and trading volume in financial bubbles. In his spare time, Cameron enjoys playing badminton and squash.

  • Guy Voichek

    Yale University
    Conference Organizer

    Guy Voichek is a doctoral student in Behavioral Marketing at Yale. His research interests include affective predictions, experiences and wellbeing, and behavioral law.

  • Kevin Zhao

    Yale University
    Conference Organizer

    Kevin Zhao is a third year PhD student in financial economics at Yale University. Prior to coming to Yale, he earned his Bachelor's degree in applied mathematics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include behavioral finance, empirical asset pricing, and household finance. phenomena (e.g., “Fake News”) and, ultimately, promote consumer well-being in an often tumultuous and increasingly digital information environment.

  • Carina Cuculiza

    University of Miami

    Carina Cuculiza is a third year Finance Ph. D. student at the University of Miami. She earned an M.S. in Finance and a B.S.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami. She is interested in behavioral finance, household finance, and empirical asset pricing. Outside of academia, Carina enjoys playing golf. During her undergraduate career, she was a member and team captain of the UM Women’s golf team. Carina is also an active member of the Nicaraguan National Golf Team, for which she has won several international golf tournaments.

  • Martha Jeong

    Harvard Business School

    Martha Jeong is a PhD student in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School. She studies communication style and decision-making style. Martha’s research looks at the unforeseen consequences of communication style in goal-driven conversations, such as negotiations. She also studies the different ways in which individuals choose to make their decisions and how we perceive and evaluate the decision-making style of others. Martha is particularly interested in intuitive judgments and what we think about people who change their minds. Martha worked as a litigation attorney prior to graduate school. She has a BA from Rice University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

  • Kristen Lane

    University of Arizona

    Kristen Lane, a third year Marketing PhD student at the University of Arizona, is most interested in questions concerning consumer information behavior. Her main area of research focuses on consumers responses to threatening information in increasingly dynamic information environments. She has presented her work at academic conferences, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Consumer Research (ACR), and at invited doctoral symposiums. Her hope is that her research will contribute both theoretically and practically to the deeper understanding of many interesting digital information phenomena (e.g., “Fake News”) and, ultimately, promote consumer well-being in an often tumultuous and increasingly digital information environment.

  • Joshua Lewis

    The Wharton School

    Joshua Lewis is 3rd year PhD student at the Wharton School’s Operations, Information and Decisions department. He researches anchoring effects and reference dependence. For example, he find that extremeness aversion influences the extent adjustments from anchors (with Joseph Simmons and Celia Gaertig); that the direction of adjustment from anchors also compounds anchoring effects (with Joseph Simmons); that NFL players and Ebay bargainers are loss averse with respect to outcomes they previously forgo (with Etan Green); that charitable donors are loss averse with respect to target levels of impact (with Deborah Small); and that the reference point that defines gains and losses is distinct from the reference point that defines diminishing sensitivity to outcomes (with Uri Simonsohn, Alex Rees-Jones and Joseph Simmons).

  • Jiacui Li

    Stanford Graduate School of Business

    Jiacui Li is a fourth-year finance Ph.D. student at Stanford GSB. His current research focuses on the asset pricing implications of endogenous allocation of limited investor cognitive resources. The idea is simple: investors have limited capacity to acquire and process information, but in repeated settings with frequent feedback, investors learn to allocate their limited cognitive resources wisely. This perspective provides a unifying explanation of a host of puzzles that historically have been explained using several disparate behavioral biases.

  • Lu Liu

    Imperial College Business School

    Lu Liu is a second-year PhD student in Finance at Imperial College Business School. Her research interests are in behavioral economics, household finance and financial intermediation. Her current work focuses on search frictions in mortgage markets, and housing and credit market dynamics. Lu is an Imperial College President’s PhD Scholar. She holds an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Haniel Fellow, and a BSc in International Economics from the University of Tübingen. Before she started her PhD, Lu worked for two years as an economist in the monetary policy area of the Bank of England.

  • Andras Molnar

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Andras Molnar is a second-year PhD student in Behavioral Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University, supervised by George Loewenstein. His research focuses on various aspects of information acquisition and disclosure, especially when such behaviors are related to social- and self-image. Andras investigate both the psychological background and the economic consequences of these phenomena. Examples of his studies include: 1) the conditions under which people seek information for its own sake, 2) people’s desire to explain their choices to others and to be understood by their peers, and 3) impression management strategies: when and how people decide what information to share with others.

  • Patrick Moran

    University of Oxford

    Patrick Moran is a doctoral student in economics at the University of Oxford. His research interests include macroeconomics, household finance, and housing.

  • Mikael Paaso

    Aalto University

    Mikael Paaso is a fifth year PhD student in finance at Aalto University. Before starting his PhD studies, he completed an MPhil in Finance at Cambridge and a BSc at Cass Business School in London. Mikael’s research interests are corporate finance, behavioral finance and entrepreneurship, with a major interest in work at the intersection of all three topics. He has interned at Morgan Stanley and goetzpartners Corporate Finance in investment banking and equity capital markets.

  • Bowen Ruan

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Bowen Ruan is a doctoral candidate in Marketing at the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison. His earned his bachelor's degree in Marketing from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He is interested in consumer motivation and hedonic experience. He hopes to shed light on the topic of the gamification through his research.

  • Erkki Vihriälä

    Oxford University

    Erkki Vihriälä is a doctoral candidate at the Economics Department at Oxford University. His current work focuses on household savings and consumption decisions using customer micro-data from a financial institution. Specifically, he studies how households react to the possibility to temporally stop mortgage payments, by considering both the role of transitory liquidity constraints and potential self-control issues. In related work, he tries to understand the persistence, costs and mechanisms of the credit card puzzle, where individuals simultaneously hold high-cost debt and significant low-yielding liquid assets. Erkki has previously worked at the IMF, Bruegel and the Ministry of Finance in Finland. He holds an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Additional Information

  • 8:30am

    Registration and Breakfast outside of Classroom 4200

    SESSION 1: Behavioral Finance


    It’s Always Sunny in Finland: Investment and Extrapolation from Cash Flow Growth
    Mikael Paaso, Aalto University School of Business


    Serendipitous Relief or Unwelcome Temptation – Mortgagor Response to a New Credit Offer
    Erkki Vihriälä, Oxford University


    Hispanic Culture, Stock Preferences, and Asset Prices
    Carina Cuculiza, University of Miami




    Rational Inattention: A Unifying Explanation of Price Under-reaction to Information
    Jiacui Li, Stanford University

    SESSION 2: Behavioral Marketing


    When Ignorance Is No Longer Bliss: Consumers Seek Negative Information About Self-Connected Brands
    Kristen Lane, University of Arizona


    Buffet Lunch outside of Classroom 4200


    The Pursuit Of Mere Completion
    Bowen Ruan, University of Wisconsin


    Ineffective Altruism: Giving Less When Donations Do More
    Joshua Lewis, University of Pennsylvania


    Communicating With Warmth In Distributive Negotiations Is Surprisingly Counter-Productive
    Martha Jeong, Harvard University



    SESSION 3: Behavioral Economics


    Self-control, uncertainty, and commitment
    Veena Blume, UCSD


    Temptation, Commitment, and Hand-to-Mouth Consumers
    Patrick Moran, Oxford University


    Price-based product proliferation in the mortgage market
    Lu Liu, Imperial College London

    5:00 pm

    The lesser of two evils: Revealing the choice set to signal good intentions
    Andras Molnar, Carnegie Mellon University


    Conference Adjourns, Bus departs for The Omni Hotel

    6:30pm – 9:30pm

    Dinner at Barcelona