Webinar Series


Crowdsourcing Peer Information to Change Spending Behavior

The authors isolate and quantify the information channel of peer effects using a unique consumption setting that by construction excludes any scope for common shocks or social pressure—a transaction-level panel dataset of spending paired with crowdsourced information about the spending of anonymous “peers” elicited at a different time than when users make their consumption choices. All consumers converge to their peers’ spending and more so when facing more informative peer signals, with the effect building up over time. The spending adjustments, though, are substantially larger for the overspenders, who close 37% of their spending gap within 12 months of using the platform. The effect for underspenders is 9% over 12 months. For identification, the authors exploit consumers’ quasi-random assignment to peer groups in an instrumental-variable strategy. Similar evidence from on a non-selected population provides external validity.


Session Chair: Yi HUANG
Professor of Finance, Fudan University and Fellow of ABFER

10:00 am
Crowdsourcing Peer Information to Change Spending Behavior

Alberto G. ROSSI, Professor of Finance; Director of the AI, Analytics and Future of Work Initiative, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Francesco D'ACUNTO, James A. Clark Chair and Associate Professor of Finance, Georgetown University
Michael WEBER, Associate Professor of Finance, University of Chicago
10:25 am
Tianyue RUAN, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore
10:50 am
11:10 am

Updated 15 Dec 2022


  • Alberto G. ROSSI

    Alberto G. ROSSI


    Professor of Finance; Director of the AI, Technology and Future of Work Initiative, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

    Alberto ROSSI is a Professor of Finance at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. He is also the Director of the AI, Analytics, and Future of Work Initiative at Georgetown and an Academic Fellow of the Luohan Academy. His research interests include FinTech, Household Finance, Machine Learning, and Asset Pricing. His recent work studies how robo-advisors can help individuals make better financial decisions and how to predict stock market returns using machine learning algorithms. He has worked extensively in analyzing big data, has collaborated with major brokerage houses, FinTech firms, and asset managers around the world. Professor Rossi’s work has been published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics and Management Science. Before McDonough, he was an Associate Professor with tenure at the R.H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. He also worked as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington DC. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Tianyue RUAN

    Tianyue RUAN


    Assistant Professor in Finance, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore

    Tianyue RUAN joined the Department of Finance at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. Her main research interests are financial intermediation, household finance, and the Chinese economy. Her research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Social Science Research Thematic Grant. She received her Ph.D. in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business in the USA. As an undergraduate, she studied economics and finance at Peking University in China.

  • Yi HUANG

    Yi HUANG


    Professor of Finance, Fudan University and Fellow of ABFER

    Yi HUANG was Pictet Chair in Finance and Development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He was an economist in the Research Department of the IMF and a research associate of Globalization and Monetary Policy Institution in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He also has been a visiting PhD student at the UC-Berkeley and a research fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research as well as the visiting positions at the London Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Professor Huang also serves at the Council on Global Economic Imbalances at the World Economic Forum. Professor Huang's research consists of international macro and finance; labor-macro-Finance and Fintech and Entrepreneurship. His recent research focuses on the influence of corporation’s financing and investment to financial market and labor market.

    Professor Huang gained his Master's degree from the China Center for Economics Research, Peking University, and his PhD in International Macroeconomic and Finance from the London Business School.

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Session Format

Each session lasts for 1 hour 10 minutes (25 minutes for the author, 25 minutes for the discussion and 20 minutes for participants' Q&A). Sessions will be recorded and posted on ABFER's web, except in cases where speakers or discussants request us not to.


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