I have been an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley since graduation from the Finance Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago in 2008. My research spans dynamic contracting, international finance, and, most recently, the regulation of the financial sector. The corresponding papers are published in top general interest journals (Econometrica) and leading field journals such as the Journal of Economic Theory, the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of International Economics. My favorite papers are “Impatience versus incentives,” “Markup cycles, dynamic misallocation, and amplification," and ''Rating agencies in the face of regulation.'' I have achieved Haas teaching excellence (Median score ≥ 6 / 7) in every section since 2010 across a variety of degree programs (undergraduate, M.B.A. and Ph.D.).
Publications and forthcoming papers:
(7) "Target Revaluation after Failed Takeover Attempts - Cash versus Stock," 2015, joint with Ulrike Malmendier and Farzad Saidi, forthcoming, Journal of Financial Economics.
Main insight: Capital markets interpret a cash offer as a positive signal about the true value of target resources. We expose a significant look-ahead bias affecting the previous literature on this topic.
Main insight: We study the dynamics of contracts in repeated principal-agent relationships with an impatient agent. Despite the absence of exogenous uncertainty, Pareto-optimal dynamic contracts generically oscillate between favoring the principal and favoring the agent.
(5) “Markup cycles, dynamic misallocation, and amplification," 2014, joint with Christine Parlour & Johan Walden, Journal of Economic Theory, 154, 126-161.
agencies in the face of regulation,'' 2013, joint with Christian C. Opp & Milton Harris, Journal of Financial Economics, 108, 46-61.
risk and technology,'' 2012, Journal of Financial Economics, 103, 113-129.
(2) "Tariff wars in a Ricardian model
with a continuum of goods," 2010, Journal of International
Economics, 80, 212-225.
(1) "Rybczynski's theorem in the
Heckscher-Ohlin world - anything goes," 2009, joint with Hugo
Sonnenschein & Christis Tombazos, Journal of International Economics, 79, 137-142.
Abstract: We propose a general equilibrium framework to examine the system-wide effects of bank capital requirements. In our model banks can serve a socially beneficial role of monitoring firms that are credit rationed by public markets, but banks' access to deposit insurance creates socially undesirable risk-shifting incentives. Equity capital ratio requirements reduce banks' risk taking incentives, but may also constrain banks' balance sheets. In this environment, increased efficiency of public markets exacerbates bankers' risk-taking incentives by reducing banks' rents from socially valuable investments. Absent balance sheet effects, increases in equity-ratio requirements unambiguously improve welfare and the stability of the banking system. However, when bank capital is scarce, increased equity-ratio requirements may cause banks to substitute from socially valuable projects to high-risk investments. Our flexible model provides conceptual guidance on how optimal regulatory policies depend on the development of public markets, the cross-sectional distribution of firms, and the risk signals available to regulators.
(9) “Regulatory reform and risk-taking: replacing ratings,” September 2014, joint with Bo Becker. (major update soon)
Abstract: We expose that a reform of capital regulation for insurance companies in 2009/2010 eliminated (to a first-order approximation) capital requirements for holdings of non-agency mortgage backed securities. Post reform, insurance companies allocate 54% of their purchases of new MBS issues toward non-investment grade assets (as opposed to 6% pre reform).
(10) “Regulating deferred incentive pay,” June 2014, joint with Florian Hoffmann and Roman Inderst. (major update soon)
Abstract: We analyze a broadly applicable principal-agent model to evaluate the effects of mandatory deferral and vesting requirements for bonus payments in the financial sector. In our setting, the agent's effort choice controls the arrival time distribution of a disaster event affecting the principal and society. Over time, the principal learns more precise information about the agent's effort choice. In the absence of regulation, the timing of bonus pay is determined by the trade-off between the marginal information benefit of delay and the marginal cost due to agent impatience. While further delay above and beyond the privately chosen payout time does indeed increase the level of available information to the principal, the effect on the induced equilibrium effort choice is non-trivial. We provide easily interpretable conditions on the arrival time distribution and the nature of the agency problem which determine whether regulation increases or decreases effort and ultimately affects the riskiness of the financial sector.
Work in progress:
"Industrial Asset Pricing," joint with Christine Parlour and Johan Walden.
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