Published and Accepted Papers

  • Distracted Shareholders and Corporate Actions (with Alberto Manconi and Oliver Spalt)
    Review of Financial Studies, 2017, 30(5): 1660-1695
    Abstract:
    Investor attention matters for corporate actions. Our new identification approach constructs firm-level shareholder "distraction" measures, by exploiting exogenous shocks to unrelated parts of institutional shareholders' portfolios. Firms with "distracted" shareholders are more likely to announce diversifying, value-destroying, acquisitions. They are also more likely to grant opportunistically-timed CEO stock options, more likely to cut dividends, and less likely to fire their CEO for bad performance. Firms with distracted shareholders have abnormally low stock returns. Combined, these patterns are consistent with a model in which the unrelated shock shifts investor attention, leading to a temporary loosening of monitoring constraints.
    Internet Appendix  Data

    Media Coverage: Bloomberg View, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Working Papers
  • The Job Rating Game: The Effects of Revolving Doors on Analyst Incentives
    Winner of the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award 2016
    Winner of the WFA Cubist Systematic Strategies PhD Candidate Award for Outstanding Research 2016
    Winner of the Young Scholars in Finance Consortium Best Ph.D. Student Paper Award 2016
    Winner of the EFA Doctoral Tutorial Best Paper Prize 2015

    Revise and resubmit, Journal of Financial Economics

    Abstract:
    Investment banks frequently hire analysts from rating agencies. While many argue this "revolving door" undermines analysts' incentives to issue accurate ratings, this paper suggests it more likely improves accuracy at the rating agencies. Using an original dataset that links employee performance and career paths, I find that credit analysts who issue more accurate ratings are more likely to be hired by investment banks. Optimism does not significantly improve analysts' prospects to be hired, except by investment banks whose issues they have recently rated. Overall, investment banks appear to reward analysts mainly for accuracy rather than favors.
    Internet Appendix

    On the program of AFA 2017, WFA 2016, EFA 2016
  • Learning by Doing: The Value of Experience and the Origins of Skill for Mutual Fund Managers (with Alberto Manconi and Oliver Spalt)
    Abstract:
    Learning by doing matters for professional investors. We develop a new methodology to show that mutual fund managers outperform in industries where they have obtained experience on the job. The key to our identification strategy is that we look "inside" funds and exploit heterogeneity in experience for
    the same manager
     at a given point in time across industries. As fund managers become more experienced, they pick better stocks, and their trades become better predictors for abnormal stock returns around subsequent earnings announcements. Our approach identifies experience as a first-order driver of observed mutual fund manager skill.

    On the program of WFA 2015, EFA 2014, CEPR Gerzensee 2014, FIRS 2014, FRA Las Vegas 2013

  • Canary in a Coalmine: Securities Lending Predicting Securitized Bonds' Performance (with Alberto Manconi and Massimo Massa)
    Abstract:
    We examine the market for lending and borrowing of structured finance products ("securitized bonds"). 
    We find strong evidence that changes in the amounts available for securities lending predict future performance. In contrast, we do not find any evidence of predictability from changes in the amounts on loan. While investor trades have comparable predictive power to changes in lendable amounts in general, lendable amounts are a better predictor in illiquid markets. Overall, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that securities holders (lenders) possess material information in this segment. 

    On the program of WFA 2017, EFA 2016, FIRS 2016