Anastassia Fedyk

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Doctoral Student

Anastassia Fedyk received her B.A. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 2010. Prior to joining the Business Economics program at HBS, she spent two years doing research and portfolio management in the Quantitative Investment Strategies group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, where she worked on sector-specific signals, statistical arbitrage strategies, and regime-switching models. Anastassia's current research interests lie mostly in Financial Economics and Behavioral Economics. Her work focuses on information propagation in financial markets, and particularly the effect of news consumption on how public information gets incorporated into asset prices. Anastassia also studies beliefs regarding time-inconsistency and interactions between time-inconsistent individuals in organizational and educational settings. Anastassia enjoys teaching, and offers an undergraduate course covering different areas of Behavioral Economics and Finance each year. She was awarded the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching four years running.

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    Research Summary

  1. Overview

    by Anastassia Fedyk

    Ms. Fedyk's main research interests lie in understanding how psychological biases affect decision-making in organizations and financial markets. She is particularly interested in understanding how public information gets incorporated into asset prices, and how frictions on the news consumption side affect market dynamics. For example, Anastassia's research indicates that placing a piece of news in a prominent position induces substantially higher trading volumes and larger price changes, and that something as simple as investors reading the same news at different times is strongly predictive of market activity. Anastassia also studies the optimal scheduling of work assignments when employees have self-control problems, and stresses the importance of understanding the differences in individuals' perceptions of their own versus others' self-control problems. She documents that people are much better at predicting others' procrastination than their own, both in the lab and in real-world classrooms.

    Teaching

  1. Information in Financial Markets (Econ 970, Spring 2016)

    by Anastassia Fedyk

    Second-year undergraduate course covering various aspects of information propagation in financial markets. The course is divided into four units. We begin by covering canonical pricing anomalies that illustrate the importance of information distribution and consumption in financial markets. The course then presents current research on reactions to information contained in news, before addressing the question of whether sophisticated players such as institutional investors have superior skill in acquiring and processing information, and whether they can profit from information-processing biases of others. The course concludes by examining some key psychological biases, such as overconfidence, that are likely to afflict even the most competent finance market participants. The class covers a variety of well-established and more recent academic work, and is evenly split between a lecture component and a seminar-style discussion.
  2. Behavioral Finance (Econ 970, Spring 2015)

    by Anastassia Fedyk

    Second-year undergraduate course covering recent advances in the field of behavioral finance. The course begins by examining some of the most canonical pricing anomalies, such as claims to identical cashflows trading at different prices in different markets, and reprinting of five-months-old news leading to a large market reaction, irrelevant name changes boosting companies’ prices. Research covered in the class addresses the reasons that allow such mispricing to occur and persist. The course introduces the students to reading and critically evaluating research articles, and is heaviy discussion-based.
  3. Behavioral Economics and Applications in Markets (Econ 970, Spring 2013 and 2014)

    by Anastassia Fedyk

    Second-year undergraduate course introducing students to academic research in the field of behavioral economics. The course covers key models of time-inconsistent preferences, overconfidence, social preferences, and projection bias. The students are introduced to theoretical models of these behavioral biases as well as empirical and experimental tests of such models, and applications to a variety of real-world market interactions. The course is intensely discussion-based.
  1. Second place winner of the 2016 Best Paper Award at the World Finance Conference.

  2. Awarded a Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning four years running, in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

  3. Awarded grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Pershing Square Fund for Research on the Foundations of Human Behavior, and the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy for experimental project "Asymmetric Naivete: Beliefs about Self-Control.