Doctoral Student

Gordon Liao

Gordon Liao is a Ph.D. candidate in Business Economics at Harvard University. His research interests include corporate finance, asset pricing, behavorial finance, macroeconomics, and entrepreneurship. 
Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, Gordon worked as a derivatives trader at the Harvard Management Company. He holds an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College.

Working Papers

  1. Options-Pricing Formula with Disaster Risk

    Robert J. Barro and Gordon Y. Liao

    A new options-pricing formula applies to far-out-of-the money put options on the overall stock market when disaster risk is the dominant force, the size distribution of disasters follows a power law, and the economy has a representative agent with Epstein-Zin utility. In the applicable region, the elasticity of the put-options price with respect to maturity is close to one. The elasticity with respect to exercise price is greater than one, roughly constant, and depends on the difference between the power-law tail parameter and the coefficient of relative risk aversion, γ. The options-pricing formula conforms with data from 1983 to 2015 on far-out-of-the-money put options on the U.S. S&P 500 and analogous indices for other countries. The analysis uses two types of data—indicative prices on OTC contracts offered by a large financial firm and market data provided by OptionMetrics, Bloomberg, and Berkeley Options Data Base. The options-pricing formula involves a multiplicative term that is proportional to the disaster probability, p. If γ and the size distribution of disasters are fixed, time variations in p can be inferred from time fixed effects. The estimated disaster probability peaks particularly during the recent financial crisis of 2008-09 and the stock-market crash of October 1987.

    Keywords: option pricing; rare disaster; Price; Stock Options; Financial Crisis;


    Barro, Robert J., and Gordon Y. Liao. "Options-Pricing Formula with Disaster Risk." NBER Working Paper Series, No. 21888, January 2016. View Details
  2. Asset Price Dynamics in Partially Segmented Markets

    Robin Greenwood, Samuel Gregory Hanson and Gordon Y. Liao

    How do supply shocks in one financial market affect prices in other markets? We develop a model in which capital moves quickly within each asset class, but slowly between asset classes. While most investors specialize in a single market, a handful of generalists can gradually re-allocate capital across markets. When a supply shock arrives, prices of risk in the impacted market become disconnected from those in others. Over the long-run, capital flows between markets and prices of risk become more closely aligned. While prices in the impacted market initially overreact to shocks, under plausible conditions, prices in related markets underreact.


    Greenwood, Robin, Samuel Gregory Hanson, and Gordon Y. Liao. "Asset Price Dynamics in Partially Segmented Markets." Working Paper, December 2015. View Details