Asaf Manela

Associate Professor of Finance
Washington University in St. Louis
Olin Business School
(314) 935-9178

Research interests

Financial Intermediation, Asset Pricing, Information Economics.


New Hub-and-spoke regulation, where a central regulator with legal power over firms delegates monitoring to local supervisors, can improve information collection, but can also lead to agency problems and capture. In a new paper with Yadav Gopalan and Ankit Kalda, we document that following the closure of a US bank regulator's field offices, the banks they previously supervised distribute cash, increase leverage, and increase their risk of failure, more than similar banks in the same time and place.

Presentations: Chicago Financial Institutions Conference, FIRS Meetings in Hong Kong, WashU, Texas A&M, NY Fed, AFA 2018 Meetings in Philadelphia

New How much would investors pay to receive valuable informational signals slightly before they are released publicly? In a new paper coauthored with Ohad Kadan, we derive a general expression for the value of information to a price-taking investor in a dynamic environment and provide a framework for its estimation from option prices. We apply this framework and estimate that a consumer-investor with commonly-used preference parameters would pay 4 to 15 basis points of her wealth for a one-time private signal of leading macroeconomic indicators (GDP, unemployment, etc.).

Presentations: Dartmouth, U Rochester, 2016 FMA Conference on Derivatives and Volatility at CBOE (Best Paper Award), 2016 IDC Summer Finance Conference, U Minnesota, WashU, USC, Boston College

New Regulation is often funded with fees paid by regulated firms, potentially creating incentive problems. In a new paper with Roni Kisin, we use this feature to study the incentives of regulators and their ability to affect firm behavior. Our identification approach uses multiple kinks in fee schedules of federal bank regulators as a source of exogenous variation. Using a novel dataset on fees and regulatory actions, we find that firms that pay higher fees face more lenient regulation, which leads to a buildup of risk.

Presentations: FDIC, HBS, IDC Herzliya, UCSD, U Washington, Washington U, Notre Dame Conference on Financial Regulation, FTG Summer School in Financial Intermediation, AFA 2016 Meetings in San Francisco