Faculty & Research

Lin William Cong

Assistant Professor of Finance

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5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Lin William Cong primarily studies corporate finance and investments. His research interests include real options, entrepreneurial finance, market efficiency, statistical learning, financial intermediation, and China's economy and capital markets. For his doctoral studies, Cong has received the Finance Theory Group Best Paper Award (runner up), the Shmuel Kandel Award, and the Zephyr Prize for Best Paper in Corporate Finance, amongst other honors and fellowships. He was also a George Shultz Scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and a PhD Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, with research grants from both institutes. Additionally, his undergraduate research in physics and applied mathematics resulted in him publishing in a variety of science journals. Cong currently referees for The American Economic Review, Management Science, and Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.

Cong earned a Ph.D. in finance and a MS in statistics from Stanford University, where he received the Gerald Lieberman Fellowship for outstanding contributions in research, teaching, and university service, and the Asian American Award for graduate leadership. He also holds dual degrees from Harvard University where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2009 with an A.M. in physics, an A.B. in math & physics, a minor in economics, and a language citation in French.

Cong is a native of Shenyang, China. Outside his research and teaching, Cong practices Chinese Calligraphy, and enjoys reading, golfing, playing guitar, as well as learning French and Japanese.


2014 - 2015 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
35125 Quantimental Investment Lab 2015 (Spring)

REVISION: Auctions of Real Options
Date Posted: Aug  26, 2014
Corporations and governments frequently sell assets with embedded real options to competing buyers using both cash and contingent bids. Examples include natural resource leases, real estate, patents and licenses, and start-up firms with growth options. This paper models these auctions of real options, incorporating both endogenous auction initiation and post-auction dynamics. I find that common security bids create moral hazard and distort investment. Strategic auction timing affects auction initiation, security ranking, equilibrium bidding, and investment, and should be considered jointly with security design and seller's commitment level. Optimal auction design aligns investment incentives using a combination of down payment and royalty payment, but inefficiently delays sale and investment. I also provide suggestive evidence for model predictions using data from the leasing and exploration of oil and gas tracts. Altogether, these results reconcile theory with several empirical ...

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