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Virginia Gianinazzi


Born and raised in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, in 2012 I obtained a Bachelor degree in Economics from the University of St. Gallen (HSG). After two internships in Basel and Berne, I moved to Barcelona where I attended the Economics program at BGSE. Having graduated in 2014, I entered the SFI PhD program in Finance at USI Lugano.

I love travelling and learning foreign languages. I am passionate about environmental issues and in 2010 I worked as a volunteer for ecotourism and community development in a small Mexican village. I like cinema and books, especially historical novels. 


My research spans two main areas: empirical asset pricing and household finance. I have one completed paper on the effects of quantitative easing on equity prices and a second working paper on residential mortgage defaults in Europe.

In the area of household finance, I am mostly interested in the determinants of borrowing and default decisions, both from a theoretical and an empirical perspective. In a joint work with my supervisor Alberto Plazzi and Loriana Pelizzon at Goethe University Frankfurt, we use loan-level data on securitized residential mortgages in the Euro Area from the European Datawarehouse (ED) to document a sharp increase in mortgage defaults during the European sovereign crisis and to empirically investigate the drivers of this default wave. The paper contributes to the literature on mortgage default by providing novel evidence on default behaviour when borrowers are responsible upon foreclosure for the difference between the value of the outstanding debt and the value of the house.

My second line of research focuses on the transmission of unconventional monetary policy to capital and credit markets. In the working paper Quantitative Easing and Equity Prices: Evidence from the ETF Program of the Bank of Japan with Andrea Barbon, a colleague PhD student at USI Lugano, we study the impact of the large-scale purchases of equity ETFs by the Bank of Japan on the cross-section of prices. We contribute to the literature on the elasticity of demand curves for stocks providing empirical evidence of a persistent price effect induced by an exogenous change in supply. The paper also complements the literature on the side-effects of unconventional monetary policy documenting a highly heterogeneous impact on companies’ cost of capital.