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Darla Moore School of Business

Finance Ph.D. candidate’s research inspired by financial crises, their long-term effects

July 16, 2020

Moore School Ph.D. student Destan Kirimhan said her background of growing up in Ankara, Turkey, a place where economic problems are complex and long-lasting, is her inspiration for pursuing her Ph.D. in business administration focusing on finance.

“My story starts with an old memory watching TV with my family as a kid,” Kirimhan said. “There was a father earning a really low income in the news talking about his financial problems and how adversely this has affected his personal life. I developed a personal interest in economics and finance, trying to contribute to my knowledge base by starting to watch the discussion programs about current economic issues on TV.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange of Turkey University of Economics and Technology, Kirimhan pursued a master’s and later a Ph.D. in the same discipline. She completed her master’s degree in 2010 at Bilkent University, and as she was getting ready to complete her Ph.D. in economics at Middle East Technical University, her application for a United States diversity visa was approved. So, Kirimhan decided to move to the United States and accept an “all but dissertation” status in her economics Ph.D.

“[I decided that] a Ph.D. in finance would pave the way for me to realize my career and personal dreams that are strongly attached to each other,” Kirimhan said. “I would have the chance to deepen my understanding of financial markets, financial institutions and financial assets in addition to offering help and education for underserved households in terms of their personal finance.”

Kirimhan took a doctoral-level finance seminar from Moore School professor Eric Powers once she moved to the United States. This class is where she met Allen Berger, another Moore School professor who would later become her dissertation advisor. Kirimhan said that the mentorship she received from both professors led her to the decision to pursue her finance Ph.D. at the Moore School.

“I believe that there is one specific factor that affected my choice, which is the professionalism intertwined with mentorship [of the Moore School’s faculty],” she said. “Along with Dean Peter Brews, the faculty approaches every student as a future colleague and takes every individual case separately by allocating their time and energy to understand and contribute to each student’s career path.”

Using the mentorship and feedback she received from the Moore School’s faculty over the past three and a half years, Kirimhan is beginning to plan her dissertation, which is a combination of four essays.

“Two of [my essays] investigate the effects of institutional investors on liquidity creation by banks; the third one analyzes the role of regulatory restrictions on bank activities in terms of bank liquidity creation; and the last one examines the effects of financial regulatory uncertainty on systemic risk contributions of banks,” Kirimhan said.

When Kirimhan was enrolled in a banking seminar class, she read and discussed the literature on liquidity creation and systemic risk. Liquidity creation, the process of increasing the availability of cash in a market, is a vital function of banks, which helps economic growth, she said.

“I would like to investigate the role of institutional investors, such as mutual funds and hedge funds, on liquidity creation,” Kirimhan said. “With regards to the last essay in my dissertation, bearing both the social and the financial costs of the recent global financial crisis in mind, I examined the effects of uncertainty in financial regulatory policies on the probability of a systemic collapse in the U.S. banking industry.”

Having studied the recent financial crisis in the United States between 2008 and 2009, Kirimhan said that “crises come with the cost of people losing jobs and firms going bankrupt along with the frozen credit supply and skyrocketed unpaid loans. The socioeconomic and welfare consequences of crises always attracted my attention given my background in a country dealing with the long-lasting adverse effects of economic crises.”

Anticipating graduating from the Moore School in May 2021, Kirimhan hopes to accept a teaching position at a university where she can continue her research passions while also teaching.

“I would like to see myself as one of the researchers who puts other bricks to the finance literature as a life-long learner on the shoulders of all researchers,” she said.

With a broader goal of giving back to her home country, Kirimhan also said that she plans to invest her financial knowledge and skills in her community and to help its members make smart financial decisions like budgeting and investing.

-Erin Mooney


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