Dr. Jiafu An

Biography and Research Interests

Dr. Jiafu An is currently a Research Assistant Professor in Finance at the HKU Business School. He obtained his PhD education from the University of Edinburgh. His research covers three important aspects of financial technology (Fintech): its determinants, consequences, and adoption. His research is also interdisciplinary that brings together insights from legal, computer science, and finance areas. 

Research Interest and Projects

  1. Adoption of Financial Technology
  • FinTech, particularly mobile banking service, is a key vehicle to increase financial inclusion due to the high costs involved in banking the rural population in developing countries.
  • This research also suggests that inclusion-promoting policy programs that work in one place may not work in other places due to different local cultures. Thus, an effective way to promote financial inclusion going forward may be tailored programs that take culture into account.
  • This study also opens an area of future research that aims to identify similar cultural barriers, or catalysts, of Fintech adoption. For example, Dr. An and his coauthors are working on a project showing that unequal gender norms may be another important factor that influences Fintech adoption.
  1. Consequences of FinTech adoption
  • The project hypothesizes that transaction/coordination costs in market versus within firm, induced by AI and machine learning algorithms, will experience fundamental changes, thus influencing the scale of effective coordination in both market and within firm. 
  • As a follow-up project, they empirically test whether places with heavy exposure to Fintech experience more M&A activities, both horizontally and vertically.
  1. Determinants of FinTech
  • The project looks at whether kinship ties discourage innovation through a replacement effect of the market. Absence strong market incentives, places with strong kinship ties would experience less innovative behavior across multiple areas, including the financial industry. This project aims at distinguishing fakes faces from live ones from the data perspective. 


  • An, J., Hou, W., & Lin, C. (2022). Epidemic disease and financial development. Journal of Financial Economics, 143(1), 332-358.

  • An, J., & Rau, R. (2021). Finance, technology and disruption. The European Journal of Finance, 27(4-5), 334-345.

  • An, J., Duan, T., Hou, W., & Xu, X. (2019). Initial coin offerings and entrepreneurial finance: the role of founders’ characteristics. The Journal of Alternative Investments, 21(4), 26-40.

  • Zhao, X., Hou, W., An, J., Liu, X., & Zhang, Y. (2021). Initial Coin offerings: what rights do investors have?. The European Journal of Finance, 27(4-5), 305-320.

  • An, J. (2020). Is there an employee-based gender gap in informal financial markets? International evidence. Journal of Corporate Finance, 65, 101737.

  • Guo, S., & An, J. (2022). Does terrorism make people pessimistic? Evidence from a natural experiment. Journal of Development Economics, 102817. 

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