Marcus M. Opp, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Finance Group
UC Berkeley
Haas School of Business


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research interests:
Research statement

1) financial regulation, financial intermediaries (banks, rating agencies)

2) dynamic relationships

3) international/ macro: trade theory, DSGE models


publications and forthcoming papers

“Target Revaluation after Failed Takeover Attempts - Cash versus Stock”, October 2014, joint with Ulrike Malmendier and Farzad Saidi, conditionally accepted, Journal of Financial Economics.

“Markup cycles, dynamic misallocation, and amplification," 2014, joint with Christine Parlour & Johan Walden, Journal of Economic Theory, 154, 126-161.

''Rating agencies in the face of regulation,'' 2014, condensed Fame magazine version, issue 1.

''Rating agencies in the face of regulation,'' 2013, joint with Christian C. Opp & Milton Harris, Journal of Financial Economics, 108, 46-61.

"Expropriation risk and technology,'' 2012, Journal of Financial Economics, 103, 113-129.

"Tariff wars in a Ricardian model with a continuum of goods," 2010, Journal of International Economics, 80 (2), 212-225.

"Rybczynski's theorem in the Heckscher-Ohlin world - anything goes," 2009, joint with Hugo Sonnenschein and Christis Tombazos, Journal of International Economics, 79 (1), 137-142.


working papers under review:

“Impatience vs. incentives,” August 2014, joint with John Zhu, 3rd round R&R Econometrica. Presentation Slides from Econometric Society Annual Meeting 2015

Main insight: We study the long-run 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.


“Regulatory reform and risk-taking: replacing ratings,” September 2014, joint with Bo Becker.

Main insight: A reform of capital regulation for insurance companies in 2009/2010 eliminated (to a first-order approximation) capital requirements for holdings of mortgage backed securities. Insurance companies strongly increased their risk-taking behavior as a response to this regulatory change.


working papers:

“Macroprudential bank capital regulation in a competitive financial system,” August 2014, joint with Milton Harris and Christian Opp.

Main insight: If banks face fierce competition from public markets, a small increase in capital requirements can cause an increase in the riskiness of the banking sector. Sufficiently large capital requirements can eliminate risk-taking by banks, but potentially lead to underfunding of socially valuable projects.


“Regulating deferred incentive pay,” June 2014, joint with Florian Hoffmann and Roman Inderst.

Main insight: Regulatory restrictions on compensation design such as mandatory deferral of bonus payments can lead to increased risk in the financial sector. Such "backfiring" is particularly likely if capital requirements are high.


work in progress:


"Industrial Asset Pricing," joint with Christine Parlour and Johan Walden.

"Systematic risk and ratings"

dissertation committee:

Douglas W. Diamond (Chair)

Milton Harris

Raghuram G. Rajan

Morten Sorensen

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