Sasan
Mansouri

Ph.D. (Dr.rer.pol) candidate in Economics

Goethe University Frankfurt

Image©Photo: Dettmar

About Me

I am a Ph.D. student in Economics at Goethe University Frankfurt. Since 2016, I have been a research assistant at the chair of Banking and Finance. I did my undergraduate studies in Petroleum Engineering at Sharif University of Technology (SUT), Iran.

My research is focused on the topics related to the information contents of earnings conference calls, corporate disclosures, and corporate governance.

Teaching has always been a top interest in my life, and I have taught as an assistant of Master course Mergers and Acquisitions at Goethe University Frankfurt, Master course on Game Theory and bachelor courses of Mathematics1 and Microecnonimics 1 & 2 at EBS University Wiesbaden. I have also been a teacher assistant of the Undergraduate course of computer programming python at SUT.

I’m interested in the world of machine learning, and NLP coding is my number one hobby. In addition to reading books, other hobbies are bouldering, hiking, and swimming.

Sasan Mansouri

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Research     

Google Scholar     SSRN

Working Papers:

Financing Sustainable Entrepreneurship: ESG Measurement, Valuation, and Performance in Token Offerings

(joint with Paul P. Momtaz) - in revision

Abstract: Sustainable Entrepreneurship (SE) seeks to attain profitability and sustainability goals. A major research gap concerns the economic attractiveness of SE for entrepreneurs and investors. The question is ambiguous because sustainability orientation creates costly constraints, while startups cannot fully appropriate their positive externalities. We relate startups’ Environment, Society and Governance (ESG) properties obtained from a machine-learning approach (www.SustainableEntrepreneurship.org) to SE valuation and performance in token offerings. Startups with salient ESG goals are able to raise financing at more favorable valuations, incentivizing entrepreneurs to adopt ESG goals in the first place. However, their post-funding performance is weaker than in conventional startups, suggesting that investors incur a relative financial loss for backing sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs. Startups with high degrees of technological, network and governance formalization have weaker funding and post-funding performance.

link to SSRN

link to the project homepage

ICO Analysts

(joint with Andreas Barth, Valerie Laturnus, and Alexander F. Wagner)

Abstract:Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) provide an opportunity to study the role of information frictions for financial markets in a setting with relatively little regulation. This paper analyzes the role of freelancing human experts (ICO analysts) as information intermediaries. ICO analyst assessments vary in quality and exhibit biases due to the reciprocal interactions of ICO analysts with ICO team members. Investors assign more weight to ratings by high-quality analysts, and they discount reciprocal ratings. Overall, the findings suggest that on this market, too, market discipline works to some extent and intermediaries can play an important role in mitigating information asymmetries.

link to SSRN

Does firm's silence drive media's attention away?

Abstract: In this study, using a comprehensive dataset on business media coverage and textual analysis of the discussions in firms’ quarterly earnings conference calls, we show that when management fails to satisfy the demand for information, ceteris paribus, their firms receive less media coverage. Poor information environment hurts the information-creation capacity of the media, while such an environment does not show a similar association with the media’s information-dissemination role. Furthermore, this association is more prominent for professional business media, compared to their non-professional counterparts such as blogs and alternative articles. Our results add nuance to the literature on media coverage bias by showing that supply-side factors, i.e. the factors affecting the suppliers of the coverage, mainly drive the coverage of firms, not the demand.

link to SSRN

Why Do Video Pitches Matter in Crowdfunding?

(joint with Maura Kolbe, and Paul P. Momtaz)

Abstract: Recent research finds that whether or not ventures publish video pitches during crowdfunding campaigns affects the funding success. Little is known, however, about how and why video pitches help startups achieve higher valuations. To close this gap, we analyze metrics and content of video pitches published along blockchain-based crowdfunding campaigns (a.k.a. token offerings, initial coin offerings, or ICOs). We confirm that the publication of video pitches increases the funding amount, and present novel evidence on the mechanisms behind this finding. First, the longer the video, the larger its valuation effect. Second, it is the information content that matters in videos, while non-informational content (e.g., music) has no effect. Third, information conveyed in videos vis-à-vis other channels (e.g., whitepapers) act as informational substitutes. Fourth, investors react positively to buzz words in videos, and this effect is even more pronounced when there are many competing projects. Overall, our results suggest that videos are an important source of information for ICO investors, and investors’ limited attention makes videos (and their content, especially buzz words) more important in “hot” markets.

link to SSRN

"Let me get back to you" - A machine learning approach to measuring non-answers

(joint with Andreas Barth, and Fabian Woebbeking) - in revision

Abstract: Using a supervised machine learning framework on a large training set of questions and answers, we identify 1,364 trigrams that signal non-answers. We show that this glossary has economic relevance by applying it to contemporaneous stock market reactions after earnings conference calls. Our findings suggest that obstructing the flow of information leads to significantly lower cumulative abnormal stock returns and higher implied volatility. Our metric is designed to be of general applicability for Q&A situations, and hence, is capable of identifying non-answers outside the contextual domain of financial earnings conference calls.

link to SSRN

Link to the word-list

Web application

How to talk down your stock performance

(joint with Andreas Barth, Fabian Woebbeking, and Severin Zoergiebel) - in revision

Abstract: Context specific language or jargon helps, by definition, to efficiently and precisely transfer information. However, due to its complex nature, jargon might also be a tool to obfuscate information. This paper studies whether jargon is used in verbal firm disclosures to obfuscate or to efficiently transfer information. We observe that, within the Q&A of earnings conference calls, managers use less jargon in responses to tougher questions, and in calls after a quarter of bad success. Moreover, markets interpret the lack of precise information as a bad signal: we find lower cumulative abnormal returns and a higher implied volatility following earnings calls where managers use less jargon. These results support the argument that an excessive use of non-factual language is perceived as blathering that retards the reduction of information asymmetries.

link to SSRN

Publications:

Corporate Culture and Banking

(joint with Andreas Barth) - Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization - Forthcoming

link to the journal page

Teachings

Here you can find more details about my teachings.

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Data Analytics in Finance and Accounting Master

You can find the QIS page here. The course webpage is here.

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Mergers and Acquisitions Master

 

You can find the QIS page here. The syllabus and course materials are in OLAT.

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MathematicsBachelor

 

You can find the soloutions' notebook here.

 

 

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Microecnonimics 2Bachelor

You can find the soloutions' notebook here.

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Thesis Supervision

Please feel free to contact me to discuss possible bachelor/master thesis topics. You can find the guidelines for writing a thesis in our chair in this document.

Contact Me

House of Finance, Room 2.62

Campus Westend, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3, 60629 Frankfurt am Main

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