EFA 2021: Diversity, Climate Change and Technology for a Changing Finance

EFA 2021: Diversity, Climate Change and Technology for a Changing Finance


Diversity, climate change and new technologies applied to finance will be among the topics tackled at EFA 2021, the 48th annual meeting of the European Finance Association (25-27 August), organized by Bocconi. “The persistent uncertainty about the evolution of the pandemic forced us, in May, to adopt the virtual format,” says Elena Carletti, Full Professor of Finance at Bocconi and Program Chair of the conference. “To recover the social dimension, we will experiment with moments of informal discussion and virtual rooms available to everyone at the end of the presentations.”
The impact of COVID on the career development of young researchers and women (who are already markedly underrepresented in finance research, especially in Europe) worries academics, and Professor Carletti has made a major rebalancing act in assigning the roles of Chair and Discussant at the various paper presentation sessions. “Diversity,” she emphasizes, “has been one of the guiding principles in terms of geographic origin as well, with representation from Asian universities among the senior academics appointed track Chairs (heads of subject areas). In addition, one of the special events of the evening sessions will be dedicated to young people and their participation in virtual job markets.”
This year's conference will be of the highest level. Compared to the past, the record number of submissions has been reached (over 2,000 papers were evaluated), while the number of accepted papers has been restricted to 180, thus ensuring that only the best research in the field is given visibility. “To achieve this goal, the work of the local scientific committee, made up of faculty from the Bocconi Department of Finance, was essential,” says Prof. Carletti. “First, they contributed to the identification of track Chairs among prestigious scholars from around the world, then they actively participated in the selection of the papers. After a desk rejection phase, which eliminated the less interesting papers, all the others - and we are talking about a thousand papers - were evaluated by three reviewers.”
The presentations will be divided into six tracks, including the new Climate Finance track, reflecting the fact that climate change now affects every aspect of our lives, including portfolio choices and sustainability decisions of companies. Within each track, moreover, one of the topics is FinTech / Big data / Machine Learning. “These are cross-cutting themes,” says Prof. Carletti, “that deserve attention at all levels.”
The European Finance Association was founded in 1974 and is the umbrella association for European finance scholars, though it counts many scholars based elsewhere among its more than 2,400 members. It publishes the prestigious Review of Finance, the new editor of which will be presented at a special EFA 2021 event. Elena Carletti is EFA Vice-President and will become President in 2022.

by Fabio Todesco
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