Faculty & Research

Elisabeth Kempf

Elisabeth Kempf

Associate Professor of Finance

Elisabeth Kempf joined Chicago Booth in 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Finance. Her primary research interest is in empirical corporate finance. Her research has explored issues related to corporate governance and sources of skill for financial analysts and fund managers. Her dissertation has been awarded the AQR Top Finance Graduate Award 2016, the WFA Cubist Systematic Strategies Ph.D. Candidate Award for Outstanding Research, the Young Scholars Finance Consortium Best Ph.D. Paper Award, and the 2015 EFA Best Doctoral Tutorial Paper Prize. Her work has been published in the Review of Financial Studies.


Kempf holds a Ph.D. in finance from Tilburg University (Netherlands), an M.Sc. in finance from HEC Paris (France), and a B.Sc. in business administration from the University of Mannheim (Germany). Prior to her Ph.D. studies, she worked as an analyst at Deutsche Bank.

 

2020 - 2021 Course Schedule

Number Title Quarter
35200 Corporation Finance 2021  (Winter)

REVISION: Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research
Date Posted: Nov  19, 2020
Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, we compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.

REVISION: Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research
Date Posted: Oct  19, 2020
Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, we compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks re-veals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.

REVISION: Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research
Date Posted: Oct  16, 2020
Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, we compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.

REVISION: Attracting the Sharks: Corporate Innovation and Securities Class Action Lawsuits
Date Posted: Oct  05, 2020
This paper provides novel evidence suggesting that securities class action lawsuits, a central pillar of the U.S. litigation and corporate governance system, can constitute an obstacle to valuable corporate innovation. We first establish that valuable innovation output makes firms particularly vulnerable to costly low-quality class action litigation. Exploiting judge turnover in federal courts, we then show that changes in class action litigation risk affect the value and number of patents filed, suggesting firms take into account that risk in their innovation decisions. Our results challenge the widely held view that greater failure propensity of innovative firms drives their litigation risk.

REVISION: The Job Rating Game: Revolving Doors and Analyst Incentives
Date Posted: Nov  12, 2018
Investment banks frequently hire analysts from rating agencies. While many argue that this "revolving door" creates captured analysts, it can also create incentives to improve accuracy. To study this issue, I construct an original dataset, linking analysts to their career paths and the securitized finance ratings they issue. First, I document that accurate analysts are more frequently hired by underwriting investment banks. Second, I exploit two distinct sources of variation in the likelihood of being hired by a bank. Both indicate that, as this likelihood rises, analyst accuracy improves. The fi ndings suggest policymakers should consider incentive effects alongside capture concerns.

REVISION: Learning by Doing: The Value of Experience and the Origins of Skill for Mutual Fund Managers
Date Posted: Mar  31, 2017
Learning by doing matters for professional investors. We develop a new methodology to show that mutual fund managers outperform in industries where they have obtained experience on the job. The key to our identification strategy is that we look "inside' funds and exploit heterogeneity in experience for the same manager at a given point in time across industries. As fund managers become more experienced, they pick better stocks, and their trades become better predictors for abnormal stock returns around subsequent earnings announcements. Our approach identifies experience as a first-order driver of observed mutual fund manager skill.

REVISION: Distracted Shareholders and Corporate Actions
Date Posted: Jul  15, 2016
Investor attention matters for corporate actions. Our new identification approach constructs firm-level shareholder "distraction" measures, by exploiting exogenous shocks to unrelated parts of institutional shareholders' portfolios. Firms with "distracted" shareholders are more likely to announce diversifying, value-destroying, acquisitions. They are also more likely to grant opportunistically-timed CEO stock options, more likely to cut dividends, and less likely to fire their CEO for bad performance. Firms with distracted shareholders have abnormally low stock returns. Combined, these patterns are consistent with a model in which the unrelated shock shifts investor attention, leading to a temporary loosening of monitoring constraints.