Household decisions in financial markets: The structure beneath the surface

Join Professor Tarun Ramadorai, online or in person, for his Imperial Inaugural.

We have limited in-person spaces available so please ensure you register in advance.


Households are pivotal decision-makers in financial markets. Their savings decisions lead to direct or indirect investments in financial markets, and they are the ultimate owners of productive enterprises in the economy. They take borrowing decisions on loans from financial institutions, they pay taxes to finance the government, and they receive enormous transfers during crises like the pandemic. Despite their central importance to academia, policy, and practice, households have been under-studied, particularly in financial economics.

Unprecedented access to granular data, increasingly sophisticated behavioural economics models, and new data science tools are transforming our quest to unearth the structure beneath the surface of personal finance markets. The deep knowledge we are acquiring about households’ beliefs, preferences, and constraints underpins policies to ameliorate income and wealth inequality and is helping us harness technology to democratize personal finance.

Professor Tarun Ramadorai has been at the forefront of research in this area in both advanced and emerging economies, as well as in implementing these ideas in economic and regulatory policy. His lecture will outline the state of play in household finance research and discuss how this work is re-orienting the study of financial economics. He will outline what these academic insights teach us about the drivers of inequality of financial wealth and how they can lead to the productive use of technology in global household finance markets.


Tarun Ramadorai is Professor of Financial Economics at Imperial College London. He has a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University. Prior to his role at Imperial, Tarun spent over a decade at the University of Oxford.

Tarun is an Editor of the Review of Financial Studies, one of the three premier global journals in financial economics. He is a Director of the European Finance Association, a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a Senior Academic Fellow of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economics Research (ABFER), and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). His research has won numerous academic best paper awards, and it has frequently been featured in news outlets such as the Economist, the Financial Times, CNBC, and the BBC. He has been invited to give over 20 keynote speeches including for the Society for Financial Studies, the Danish Finance Institute, the Bank of England, the University of Cambridge, Singapore Management University, the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Indian Institute of Technology.

Tarun has served in a range of policy and practice roles in addition to his academic work, including as Chairman of the Inter-Regulatory Committee on Household Finance constituted by the Reserve Bank of India, Visiting Scholar at the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, Economic Adviser to the European Securities and Markets Authority, and Allocation Advisory Board Member for the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund (NBIM). He currently serves as co-Chair of the Fintech workstream of the India-UK Financial Partnership

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