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Focusing on China’s rapid increase in FinTech penetration, the authors examine how FinTech can help lower investment barriers and move households toward optimal risk-taking. Using a unique measure of FinTech adoption, which tracks the usage of offline digital payments in China, the authors capture significant variations in FinTech adoption across individuals of different risk aversions, and in FinTech penetration across cities with varying coverage of financial services. They find that FinTech adoption improves risk-taking for all, with more risk-tolerant individuals benefiting more. They also find that cities with low financial-service coverage benefit the most from FinTech penetration. Overall, their results show that, by unshackling the traditional constraints, FinTech improves risk-taking for individuals who need it the most and extends financial services to areas least served by banks.

About the Seminar Series

Financial market development goes hand-in-hand with economic growth. The development of China’s capital markets in terms of size, regulations, capability, and efficiency has been impressive. China may now even lead globally in some dimensions, notably e-payments systems. Yet, China’s capital markets are still a work-in-progress facing both generic and unique challenges. Other Asian capital markets have even greater uneven development. Some in advanced Asian economies have acquired globally acclaimed reputation and capabilities while various regulatory and structural weaknesses dwarf others. Corporations and investors have been inclined to arbitrage cross-border regulatory and developmental gaps; so the very uneven status of capital markets across Asia is a policy issue for the governments in the entire region and perhaps globally. Analyzing the positive and negative lessons in the functioning of Asia’s capital markets, and identifying reforms and applications of technology that could further improve Asian capital markets’ allocation efficiency, financial inclusion, and forewarning against reforms that might cause problems can benefit practitioners, policymakers and researchers, and can contribute significantly to overall prosperity.

The ABFER and the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute China (BFI-China), in collaboration with National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Department of Economics, CUHK-Shenzhen and Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance (Tsinghua PBCSF), hope to provide a virtual network to benefit researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from Asia and beyond.

All times are listed in Central Standard Time. A unique Zoom webinar link will be sent to you two days before the event. 

Session Format

Each session lasts for an hour (30 minutes for the author, 15 minutes for the discussion, 15 minutes for participants’ Q&A).


Wednesday, June 16, 2021
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Jun Pan, Professor of Finance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University – Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance

John Campbell (Discussant), Morton L. and Carole S. Olshan Professor of Economics, Harvard University