- Global Careers
Before coming to Nanjing in September 2010, Dr. Armstrong-Taylor was a Visiting Professor of Economics and Finance at the Antai School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Previously, he worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in London, as an economic consultant for London Economics in London and as a management consultant for Monitor Group in Cambridge, MA.
Professor Armstrong-Taylor received his BA and MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and his PhD in Economics from Harvard University.
Research and Publications:
Dr. Armstrong-Taylor’s research and teaching interests include applied game theory, business strategy and finance. His PhD thesis Strategic Credibility investigated how the propensity of politicians to falsely deny involvement in a scandal varies with their popularity.
When do politicians lie? A politician who admits to wrongdoing will likely suffer some loss of popularity, but probably not as great as if he denied wrong doing and was subsequently discovered to have lied. This simple observation has a number of implications. For example, a politician in a marginal seat may have little choice but to risk lying as admitting will lose him too much popularity to survive. On the other hand, a politician in a relatively safe seat might survive the loss from admitting, but not from lying and being caught. Therefore we might predict the likelihood that a politician admits to a scandal to be positively related (over some range at least) to the security of his seat. This paper tests this prediction, and some others, with data from House bank scandal of 1991-92.
Published in Berkeley Electronic Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (December, 2012)
I examine the effects of trade and financial links on the transmission of GDP growth. I find that countries with high level of imports and exports transmit growth less, while countries with high levels of foreign bank assets and liabilities transmit growth more. Financial links are particularly important during global recessions.
Presented at the China Economists Conference (Chengdu, June 8th, 2013)
Submitted to Frontiers of Economics in China (July 10th, 2013)
Conventional analysis of incentives suggests that severe punishments discourage criminal activity. However, in China, increases in the severity of punishment for corruption has led to an apparent rise in such crimes. This research project investigates a new explanation for this finding.
We show how increased severity of punishment might encourage collusion between corrupt officials (by increasing the costs of informing against each other) and so make it harder for corruption to be uncovered. We also present experimental evidence in support of the theoretical conclusions.
Ongoing research with Yongjie Wang.
We show how Sims' concept of rational inattention could lead to financial crises. If certain information is rarely important to the price of a security, it maybe rational for investors to ignore it. Therefore, when the information is important, there may be a sharp shock to financial markets that could trigger a crises.
An example would be credit quality of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) prior to the subprime crisis. Because house prices had been rising since the Great Depression, default rates were extremely low even for poor credit quality (as long as the house price is greater than the outstanding mortgage, it rarely makes sense for a homeowner to default). Therefore credit quality may have been rationally ignored by MBS investors. When house prices fell and default rates increased, this gave the financial system a large shock.
Ongoing research with Hesheng Xing