I am a PhD candidate in Finance at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; I am currently visiting Boston College.

In spring 2022, I visited Bocconi University. Previously, I worked at the European Central Bank, and at UniCredit Bank.

My research investigates the role of financial intermediaries in the economy, with a special interest in housing markets, modern non-bank lending (e.g., FinTech), and corporate finance.

I am on the 2022-2023 job market, and will be available for interviews at the EJME and ASSA.


mazzola@rsm.nl - [mazzola(at)rsm(dot)nl]

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA Rotterdam - Mandeville Building, T08-64

You can find my CV here.

*not to be confused with my namesake, the painter.



Abstract: This paper investigates how the auction bidding format affects U.S. mortgage foreclosure sales. Exploiting a staggered adoption of electronic bidding across adjoined counties in a “stacked” difference-in-differences design, I show that foreclosure auction success increases by 27%, and price discounts contract by 42%. The effects are stronger in areas with more remote courthouses, and for properties in better conditions. Buyer composition of foreclosure auctions shifts towards local non-professionals, who are less likely to buy-to-rent and flip acquired properties ex-post. This evidence suggests that technological modernizations in real estate markets can lead to better matching, deepen liquidity and foster financial inclusion.

Selected conferences: ERIM*, FEBS 11th International Conference, FMCG PhD Symposium, 28th ERES**, 4th CefES conference 2022, Tri-City Day-Ahead Workshop on Financial Regulation, EFA 2022, EEA 2022, Nova Finance PhD workshop, HEC PhD workshop.

*Best Paper Award of the 2021-2022 ERIM PhD Seminar Series; **Best Paper Award for the Refereed Session 2022;



This paper examines whether the risk of a future collateral fire sale affects lending decisions. We study US mortgage applications and exploit exogenous variation in foreclosure frictions for identification. We find lenders to be less likely to approve mortgages when anticipated losses due to uncoordinated collateral liquidations are high, and when there is elevated risk of joint collateral liquidation. These results suggest that fire sale risk has implications for credit allocation, and that lenders' collective origination decisions mitigate fire sale risk ex-post. However, we also find the effects to be significantly weaker outside periods in which fire sales are salient.

Conference presentations: EUR seminar series, PhD Finance forum - AEFIN, European Economic Association (EEA) conference 2020, 7th Emerging Scholars in Banking and Finance (2020), 3rd QMUL Economics-Finance Workshop, De Nederlandsche Bank, 2021 RiskLab/BoF/ESRB, EFiC 2021, The Finance Symposium 2021; Norges Bank-CEPR 2021, 5th Benelux Banking Research Day, FIRS 2022, EFA 2022;

Coverage: World Bank: All About Finance.


In statistics, samples are drawn from a population in a data-genetaring process (DGP). Standard errors measure the uncertainty in sample estimates of population parameters. In science, evidence is generated to test hypotheses in an evidence-generating process (EGP). We claim that EGP variation across researchers adds uncertainty: non-standard errors. Our crowd-sourced empirical analysis finds that non-standard errors are sizable, on par with standard errors. Their size (I) co-varies only weakly with team merits, reproducibility, or peer rating, (ii) declines significantly after peer-feedback, and (iii) is underestimated by participants.

  • Relationship Lending with Shared Information, with S. Bahaj, F. De Marco, and A. Foulis;

[Draft coming soon]

Public Economics RESEARCH


  • Bongaerts D, Mazzola F, Wagner W (2021) Closed for business: The mortality impact of business closures during the Covid-19 pandemic. PLoS ONE 16(5): e0251373.

Abstract: We investigate the effectiveness of business shutdowns to contain the Covid-19 disease. In March 2020, Italy shut down operations in selected sectors of its economy. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that municipalities with higher exposure to closed sectors experienced subsequently lower mortality rates. The implied life savings exceed 9,400 people over a period of less than a month. We also find that business closures exhibited rapidly diminishing returns and had large effects outside the closed businesses themselves, including spillovers to other municipalities. Overall, the results suggest that business shutdowns are effective, but should be selectively implemented and centrally coordinated.

Coverage: BlueSky, BizEd AACSB International, Growth Hub, lavoce (in Italian).

Data: 10.25397/eur.14500491 and 10.25397/eur.14500449

Abstract: This paper assesses hospital costs associated with sinonasal cancer (SNC) in Italy and evaluates related time trends. Over the 2001-2018 period, Italian hospitals have treated 1,631 admissions with SNC every year, on average. The mean annual hospitalization cost across all hospitals was 5,502,909 €, or 3,374 € per admission, and 60.0% of these costs were attributable to SNC only. Patient age at discharge (from 62 to 63 years), percentage of surgical procedures (from 29.3% to 46.8%) and of urgent cases (from 13.5% to 16.5%) increased over time. The percentage of costs attributable to SNC followed an inverted U-shaped pattern reaching the minimum level in 2006; conversely, mortality rose until 2007 then decreased steadily. All in all, good progress has been made in SNC treatments. Endoscopic techniques represent one of the most important advances in this field, reducing morbidity and hospital length of stay while keeping similar survival rates. Policies aimed at monitoring workers most exposed to SNC risk and at standardizing hospital treatments could help Public Health Institutions to plan optimal prevention policies.


Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus University

Teaching Assistant:

  • Micro Economics (with Wolf Wagner), 600+ students, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023.

  • Corporate Finance (with Daniel Metzger), 350+ students, 2019-2020, 2020-2021.

  • Corporate Finance (with Florian Madertoner), 600+ students, 2018-2019.

Master Thesis Supervision (30+ students):

  • Topics: Fintech lending, Corporate Finance, Banking, Sustainable Finance - Asset Management;

Bachelor Thesis Supervision (15+ students):

  • Topics: Investor sentiment and stock returns;