I am a PhD candidate in Finance at University of Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute.

My research interests lie in empirical and structural corporate finance, capital structure, product markets, and innovation.

I will be on the academic job market this fall. I will be available for interviews at the ASSA 2020 Meeting in San Diego.

Contact: jakub.hajda(at)unil.ch

Curriculum vitae

Working papers

Corporate finance has related corporate policies to cash flow risk. I show that corporate valuation and policies are better understood when taking into account the dynamics of products, which microfound firms' cash flows. I demonstrate empirically that product portfolio age is negatively related to firm value, investment and leverage, consistent with the product life cycle channel. I quantify its importance by estimating a model of financing, investment, and product portfolio decisions. The model rationalizes the stylized facts by showing that capital investment and product introductions act as complements and that product dynamics induce stronger precautionary savings motives. The results indicate that product dynamics are important, as they explain 25% of variation in investment and leverage. The estimates imply that product life cycle effects are large and stronger among firms supplying fewer products and competing more intensely. Alleviating these effects can increase firm value by up to 4.5%.

Presented at: Finance Workshop SFI@UNIL, 4th HEC Paris Finance Ph.D. Workshop, Michigan Ross Brownbag Seminar, Copenhagen Business School Brownbag Seminar, FIRS Ph.D. Job Candidate Session (2019), SFI Research Days (2019), SFI Academic Job Market Workshop (2019), USI Lugano Brownbag Seminar

Recent empirical studies show that innovative firms heavily rely on debt financing. This paper investigates the relation between debt financing, innovation, and growth in a Schumpeterian growth model in which firms' dynamic R&D, investment, and financing choices are jointly and endogenously determined. The paper demonstrates that while debt hampers innovation by incumbents due to debt overhang, it also stimulates entry, thereby fostering innovation and growth at the aggregate level. The paper also shows that debt financing has large effects on firm entry, firm turnover, and industry structure and evolution. Lastly, it predicts substantial intra-industry variation in leverage and innovation, in line with the empirical evidence.

Presented at: SFI Research Days (2018), 4th FTG European Summer Meeting Madrid, ESSFM Gerzensee 2019, European Finance Association (2019), Lausanne-Cambridge Workshop 2019, 2019 Tel Aviv Finance Conference (scheduled), American Finance Association (2020; scheduled)

I develop a dynamic capital structure model to examine how the nature of risk affects debt policy. In the model, the firm's fundamental risk, captured by its cash flow process, consists of transitory and persistent parts with markedly different dynamics. The model explains the observed dispersion in the risk-leverage relationship. Firms with similar total volatility adopt distinctive debt policies when the composition of their risk differs and issue less debt when their cash flows are more persistent to preserve debt capacity needed to fund investment. The model also provides rationale why the observable dispersion in cash flow persistence is low, which is at odds with the large degree of heterogeneity in other firm characteristics, as well as why persistence and leverage are weakly related in the data.

Winner of the Best Paper Prize for Young Economist at WIEM 2017

Presented at: Finance Workshop SFI@UNIL, SFI Research Days (2017), Warsaw International Economic Meeting (2017), European Finance Association - Doctoral Tutorial (2017), 2nd HEC Paris Finance Ph.D. Workshop, German Finance Association (2017), American Finance Association Ph.D. Poster Session (2018)

Work in progress

Debt Covenant Design: a Dynamic Financial Contracting Approach (with Lukas Schmid and Roberto Steri)

Financing Capital Vintages (with Boris Nikolov)

Trade Credit and Cash Holdings in Dynamic Production Network (with Thomas Geelen)


Boris Nikolov

Professor of FinanceUniversity of LausanneSwiss Finance Instituteboris.nikolov[at]unil.ch

Erwan Morellec

Professor of FinanceÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwiss Finance Instituteerwan.morellec[at]epfl.ch

Lukas Schmid

Associate Professor of FinanceThe Fuqua School of BusinessDuke Universitylukas.schmid[at]duke.edu

Toni M. Whited

Dale L. Dykema Professor of Business AdministrationRoss School of BusinessUniversity of Michigantwhited[at]umich.edu