Christopher Lako

PhD Candidate, Finance and Real Estate

Haas School of Business

University of California, Berkeley


Email: clako@berkeley.edu

Curriculum Vitae (link)


I expect to receive a Ph.D. in May 2020 and am available for interviews at the 2020 ASSA meetings in San Diego.



My research explores the intersection of household finance and fields such as entrepreneurship, asset pricing, and real estate finance. In my job market paper, I provide the first direct evidence at the individual level that the mortgage market is vital for small business financing and growth. Using firm IRS tax record data merged with the personal home equity extractions of business owners, I show that credit constraints have a permanent effect on both entrant and continuing small businesses and are alleviated by mortgage credit. As a result of the reliance on personal real estate collateral, tighter mortgage credit standards since 2008 explain one-third of the 25% decline in firm entry rates that has occurred since the Great Recession.

In other research, I study how the professional investment behavior of mutual fund managers is affected by changes in their personal wealth, show who the marginal homeowner is, and estimate the impact of MBS duration hedging on the Treasury yield curve. Before coming to Berkeley, I worked for four years as a Senior Analyst at Freddie Mac and studied Economics and Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University.