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The OP Financial Group Research Foundation's doctoral dissertation award granted to Ville Rantala, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.)

8.2.2017

The OP Financial Group Research Foundation has granted its annual doctoral dissertation award to Ville Rantala, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.). Rantala's dissertation studies the effect of social interaction and social networks on financial decision-making in the field of finance. Rantala used, among other things, police investigation data from a large Finnish Ponzi scheme called Wincapita.

Rantala used new research methodology and novel data in his dissertation to examine phenomena that are difficult to study. The dissertation award is worth 10,000 euros.
In his dissertation, which was approved at the Aalto University School of Business, Ville Rantala, Dr.Sc. (Econ. & Bus.Adm.), studies how social interaction and social networks affect financial decision-making in the field of finance.

The dissertation consists of four essays and an introduction.

The first essay studies imitation and social learning between firms, and presents a self-organising system for classifying public companies based on analyst coverage.

The second essay uses this new methodology to examine imitation between companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange in stock-split decisions. The results indicate that a firm is significantly more likely to execute a split if one of its peer firms has recently done so.

The third essay uses data from the Finnish Wincapita Ponzi scheme to study how word-of- mouth investment information spreads among investors, and compares it to previous theoretical models. According to Rantala, the observed social network structure explains how a new investment idea can spread explosively in the population even if most investors do not spread the information, or share it with only few others.

The fourth essay studies how the personal characteristics of the sponsors affected investments in Wincapita. It finds evidence that members invested more in proportion to their income when the sponsor had high income, or was older or more educated.

Ville Rantala currently holds an assistant professorship at the University of Miami.

For more information, please contact:
Heli Kangasluoma, Representative of the OP Financial Group Research Foundation, tel.+358 40 5006608
Assistant Professor Ville Rantala, vrantala@bus.miami.edu, tel. +1 305-284-8286

Other interview requests: OP Communications, viestinta@op.fi, +358 50-5239904 (Mon.- Fri. 7 a.m .-7.30 p.m.)

Operating since 1972, the OP Financial Group Research Foundation supports economic research, especially research into cooperative banking.
 
OP Financial Group is Finland's largest financial services group whose mission is to create sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing for its owner-customers and in its operating region by means of its strong capital base and efficiency. OP Financial Group consists of about 180 member cooperative banks, its central cooperative OP Cooperative, and the latter's subsidiaries and affiliates. The Group has a staff of 12,000 and 1.7 million owner-customers and 4.3 million customers.

 

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