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 innovation, and China's economy and financial 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 publications in a variety of science journals. Cong currently referees for The American Economic Review, Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, and Journal of Political Economy.

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, sports, cross fitness, guitar, as well as learning French and Japanese. Cong is also passionate about education in China and in the U.S., and integrating quantitative and fundamental approaches to investments in various asset classes, to which he coined the term "Quantimental Investing".


2015 - 2016 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
35125 Quantimental Investment 2015 (Fall)

REVISION: Intervention Policy in a Dynamic Environment: Coordination and Learning
Date Posted: Jun  22, 2016
We model a dynamic economy with strategic complementarity among investors and a government that intervenes as a large player in global games to mitigate coordination failures. We establish existence and uniqueness of equilibrium, and show interventions not only affect contemporaneous coordination, but dynamically impact subsequent coordination by altering public information structures. Our results suggest that optimal policy should emphasize early intervention because coordination outcomes tend to be correlated. Moreover, failure to consider the information externality of initial interventions results in over- or under-interventions depending on the relative costs across interventions. Our paper is applicable to intervention programs such as the bailouts of money market mutual funds and commercial paper market during the 2008 financial crisis.

REVISION: Auctions of Real Options
Date Posted: Mar  11, 2016
Governments and corporations frequently sell assets with embedded real options to competing buyers using security bids. Examples include the sales of natural resources, real estate, patents and licenses, and start-up companies. This paper models these auctions of real options, incorporating both endogenous auction timing and post-auction option exercise. I characterize the ways common security bids distort investments and strategic auction timing affects auction initiation, security ranking, equilibrium bidding, and investment. Revenue-maximizing sellers inefficiently delay auctions, including optimal auctions which align investment incentives using a combination of down payment and royalty payment. When sellers do not restrict security design, bidding and allocation outcomes are equivalent to cash auctions. Finally, informed bidders always initiate the auctions when they could. The results are broadly consistent with empirical observations and underscore that auction timing and ...

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