Assistant Professor of Finance
Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
P.O. Box 6550, Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
Research interests: Entrepreneurial Finance, Innovation, Labor and Productivity, Corporate Finance.
Update: I will be joining the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management starting January 1st, 2023!
Competition and Ownership Structure of Closely-Held Firms, with Jan Bena. Review of Financial Studies, 2017
Do Excess Control Rights Benefit Creditors? Evidence from Dual-Class Firms. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 2021
Flight to Safety: How Economic Downturns Affect Talent Flows to Startups (NBER WP No. 27907), with Shai Bernstein and Richard Townsend. R&R, Review of Financial Studies
NBER Entrepreneurship, RCFS Winter Conference, SFS Cavalcade, MFA, Junior Entrepreneurial Finance/Innovation Lunch Group
Using proprietary data from AngelList Talent, we study how individuals' job search and application behavior changed during the COVID downturn. We find that job seekers shifted their searches toward more established firms and away from early-stage startups, even within the same individual over time. Simultaneously, they broadened their other search parameters. Relative to more established firms, early-stage startups experienced a decline in applications, primarily driven by higher-quality candidates. These declines hold within a firm as well as within a job posting over time. Our findings uncover a flight to safety channel in the labor market, which may amplify the pro-cyclical nature of entrepreneurial activities.
Regulatory Costs of Being Public: Evidence from Bunching Estimation (NBER WP No. 29143), with Michael Ewens and Kairong Xiao [Public float data]. R&R, Journal of Financial Economics
Best Paper Award Utah Winter Finance Conference, Best Paper Award CICF
Utah Winter Finance Conference, Texas Finance Festival, Drexel Conference on Corporate Governance, AFA, UTD Finance Conference, SFS Cavalcade, MFA, CICF, SEC
We quantify the regulatory costs of being public by exploiting a regulatory quirk: many rules trigger when a firm's public float exceeds a threshold. Consistent with firms seeking to avoid costly regulation, we document significant bunching around multiple regulatory thresholds. A bunching estimation shows that various disclosure and internal governance rules lead to a total compliance cost of 4.1% of the median firm's market capitalization. Regulatory costs have a greater impact on private firms' IPO decisions than on public firms' going-private decisions, but such costs only explain a small part of the decline in the number of public firms.
Cross-Border Institutions and the Globalization of Innovation, with Bo Bian and Jean-Marie Meier. Reject and resubmit, Management Science
SFS Cavalcade, 13th Annual Northwestern Conference on Innovation Economics, EFA, FIRS, MFA, NFA, CICF, Pacific Northwest Finance Conference, 3rd Junior Entrepreneurial Finance and Innovation Workshop
We identify strong cross-border institutions as a driver for the globalization of innovation. Using 67 million patents from over 100 patent offices, we introduce novel measures of innovation diffusion and collaboration. Exploiting staggered bilateral investment treaties (BITs) as shocks to cross-border property rights and contract enforcement, we show that signatory countries increase technology adoption and sourcing from each other; they also increase R&D collaborations. Consistent with BITs reducing investment frictions, the results are particularly strong for process innovation and for countries with weak domestic institutions. Foreign investments with high frictions, such as inter-firm investments in R&D-active sectors, are most responsive to BITs.
Colorado Finance Summit, WUSTL Corporate Finance Conference, Labor and Finance Group Conference, UBC Summer Finance Conference, CSEF-RCFS Conference on Finance, Labor and Inequality
We study the effect of government-subsidized childcare on women's career outcomes and firm performance using linked tax filing data. Exploiting a universal childcare reform in Quebec in 1997 and the variation in its timing relative to childbirth across cohorts of parents, we show that earlier access to childcare increases employment among new mothers, particularly among those previously unemployed. Earlier childcare access increases new mothers' reallocation of careers into more demanding jobs in male-dominated firms, leading to higher earnings and higher productivity. Firms traditionally unattractive to women with children benefit from such reallocation, experiencing higher growth and performance. Our results suggest that childcare frictions hamper women's career progression and their allocation of human capital in the labor market.
NBER Entrepreneurship, WFA, FSU SunTrust Beach Conference, SFS Cavalcade, MFA, 3rd DC Juniors Finance Conference, CICF
We analyze a field experiment conducted on AngelList Talent, a large online search platform for startup jobs. In the experiment, AngelList randomly informed job seekers of whether a startup was funded by a top-tier investor and/or was funded recently. We find that the same startup receives significantly more interest when information about top-tier investors is provided. Information about recent funding has no effect. The effect of top-tier investors is not driven by low-quality candidates and is stronger for earlier-stage startups. The results show that venture capitalists can add value passively, simply by attaching their names to startups.
AFA, EFA, USC CETAFE, IZA/Kauffman Entrepreneurship Workshop.
Can crowdfunding benefit entrepreneurs beyond providing finance? This paper shows that crowdfunding extends early feedback to entrepreneurs about the market demand for their projects, thereby mitigating uncertainty associated with entry. Using Kickstarter data and exploiting a weather-based instrument, I show that more positive feedback (i.e., more initial pledging) from the crowd increases entrepreneurs’ chances to continue and commercialize their projects. The effects are stronger when entrepreneurs face higher uncertainty or when the crowd is more experienced. Consistent with crowdfunding feedback containing real option value, entrepreneurs launch riskier projects when the opportunity cost of crowdfunding increases. A survey of Kickstarter entrepreneurs corroborates these results.