Newsmaker: Alex Imas
Notable: Imas won the Distinguished CESifo Affiliate Award from CESifo Group Munich, a European group focused on economic research. He found that people were less likely to take risks after losses that were “realized” — like selling a losing stock or cashing out after a losing streak at gambling — and more likely to take risks and “chase their losses” if those were just on paper. His research, he said, can help risk managers at financial firms prevent small losses from turning into bigger ones, or keep gamblers from losing everything as they chase one big win to offset mounting losses.
Background: Imas was a fellow at Carnegie Mellon University in 2013-14, then joined the faculty of Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences as an assistant professor of social and decision sciences.
Education: Bachelor’s in economics, Northwestern University, 2007, Master’s in economics, 2010, and a Ph.D. in economics, 2014, both from the University of California, San Diego.
Quote: “Some of the biggest bankruptcies in financial history have happened because traders took on more and more and more risk. … Keeping traders from chasing their losses is very important to risk managers.”