Assistant Professor of Finance
UCLA Anderson School of Management

I am an assistant professor of finance at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. My research is mostly empirical and focuses on issues in corporate finance and household finance, especially the value of intangible assets and the real effects of collateral constraints. I teach corporate finance in the MBA and FEMBA programs at UCLA, and I teach empirical corporate finance research and methods in the PhD program. I earned my PhD from the Wharton School in 2014.

Published or accepted papers

Creditor Rights and Innovation: Evidence from Patent Collateral (accepted at the Journal of Financial Economics)
Cubist Systematic Strategies Ph.D. Candidate Award for Outstanding Research, 2014
Olin Finance Ph.D. Dissertation Award in honor of Professor Stuart I. Greenbaum, 2013
I show that patents are pledged as collateral to raise significant debt financing, and that the pledgeability of patents contributes to the financing of innovation. In 2013, 38% of US patenting firms had pledged their patents as collateral at some point, and these firms performed 20% of R&D and patenting in Compustat. Employing court decisions as a source of exogenous variation in creditor rights, I show that patenting companies raised more debt, and spent more on R&D, when creditor rights to patents strengthened. Subsequently, these companies exhibited a gradual increase in patenting output and the use of patents as collateral.

Financing Through Asset Sales (with Alex Edmans) (accepted at Management Science)
Most research on firm financing studies debt versus equity issuance. We model an alternative source -- non-core asset sales -- and identify three new factors that contrast it with equity. First, unlike asset purchasers, equity investors own a claim to the firm's balance sheet (the "balance sheet effect"). This includes the new financing raised, mitigating information asymmetry. Contrary to the intuition of Myers and Majluf (1984), even if non-core assets exhibit less information asymmetry, the firm issues equity if the financing need is high. Second, firms can disguise the sale of low-quality assets -- but not equity -- as motivated by dissynergies (the "camouflage effect"). Third, selling equity implies a "lemons" discount for not only the equity issued but also the rest of the firm, since both are perfectly correlated (the "correlation effect"). A discount on assets need not reduce the stock price, since assets are not a carbon copy of the firm.

We study how financial aid affects college pricing. As a demand shock, we exploit a tightening of credit standards in the PLUS loan program, which decreased enrollment, revenues, and expenditures at private colleges with low-income students. We estimate that marginal costs were less than half of tuition and fees, implying that colleges charged large markups to students who were disqualified. Markups were higher at for-profit schools, and in states with fewer public schools. Our results complement prior evidence on the Bennett Hypothesis, and they contrast prior estimates of small markups. They suggest that financial aid should target colleges’ fixed costs.
We provide causal evidence that discount rate changes by the Federal Reserve affected economic output in the 1920s. Our identification strategy exploits county-level variation in access to the Fed’s discount window, and we implement this strategy with hand-collected data on banking and agriculture in Illinois in the early 20th century. The mechanism for the Fed’s effect on agriculture was a bank credit channel, operating independently of any deflationary effect on money supply. Our findings suggest that the Fed deliberately managed transitory shocks during 1920-1921, mitigating debt burdens with which farms would struggle in the years leading to the Great Depression.

We find that housing return volatility is negatively correlated with income at the zip-code level. We rationalize this finding with a model featuring a collateral constraint that translates income volatility to housing return volatility. Collateral constraints are tighter for lower-income areas, causing higher housing return volatility. We validate this mechanism using variation in wealth induced by lagged housing returns, using cross-sectional data on the housing expenditure share, and using state-level non-recourse status to instrument for collateral constraints. Consistent with our model, housing return volatility is negatively correlated with lagged returns, positively correlated with expenditure share, and higher in non-recourse states.

Work in progress

Venture loans and capital structure (with Juanita González-Uribe)
Learning and investment (with Daniel Andrei and Nathalie Moyen)
Initial coin offerings and securities regulation (with Jiasun Li)
Monitoring, intangibles, and growth (with Henry Friedman)

UCLA teaching

Corporate Finance (MGMT 430) - MBA, FEMBA, and FEMBA flex programs - syllabus
We study the various methods by which corporations raise capital from investors, and how these decisions interact with the valuation and selection of investment opportunities. We develop valuation methods based on multiples, discounted cash flows, and real options. We also discuss facts and theory related to capital structure, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and other topics in corporate finance.
Textbook: Corporate Finance (Prentice Hall) by Jonathan Berk and Peter DeMarzo, 4th edition.

Empirical Corporate Finance (MGMTPHD 254) - PhD program, every other spring quarter - syllabus
Familiarizes students with some of the major areas of ongoing research in empirical corporate finance, including the attendant methodological issues, and with the process of proposing and evaluating empirical projects.