Chao Zi

Assistant Professor of Finance
Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

CV/Résumé Research


Is There A Shortfall in Public Sector Capital? An Asset Pricing Appraisal

Abstract:   I assess the overall supply of public sector capital in the U.S. through the lens of asset prices. Using a two-sector general equilibrium model, I demonstrate how the supply of public sector capital may become a source of priced risk, for which the price of risk changes sign as public sector capital becomes over- or under-supplied. Taking two complementary empirical approaches, I find consistent results suggesting that assets with higher sensitivity to variations in public investment have higher average returns. Together my findings imply that public sector capital is undersupplied, and greater public investment is favorable for investors.

Under-Diversification and Idiosyncratic Risk Externalities

(with Felipe Iachan and Dejanir Silva)

Abstract:   We study the effects of idiosyncratic uncertainty on asset prices, investment, and welfare. We consider an economy with two main components: under-diversification and endogenous, countercyclical idiosyncratic risk. The equilibrium is subject to underinvestment and excessive aggregate risk-taking. Inefficiencies stem from an idiosyncratic risk externality, as firms do not internalize the effect of their investment decisions on the risk borne by others. Risk externalities depend on an idiosyncratic risk premium and a variance risk premium. We assess their magnitude empirically. The optimal allocation can be implemented through financial regulation using a tax benefit on debt and risk-weighted capital requirements.

Designated Market Makers Still Matter: Evidence from Two Natural Experiments

(with Adam Clark-Joseph and Mao Ye)

Abstract:   Independent technological glitches forced two separate trading halts on different U.S. exchanges during the week of July 6, 2015. During each halt, all other exchanges remained open. We exploit exogenous variation provided by this unprecedented coincidence, in conjunction with a proprietary data set, to identify the causal impact of Designated Market Maker (DMM) participation on liquidity. When the voluntary liquidity providers on one exchange were removed, liquidity remained unchanged; when DMMs were removed, liquidity decreased market-wide. We find evidence consistent with the idea that these DMMs, despite facing only mild formal obligations, significantly improve liquidity in the modern electronic marketplace.

In Progress

Learning About Contagion

(with Tim Johnson)

Reaching for Liquidity and the Macroeconomy