Elisabeth Kempf joined Chicago Booth in 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Finance. Her research interests include corporate finance, financial intermediation, and labor in finance. Currently she is studying the incentive effects of revolving doors, the value of experience for mutual fund managers, and the role of investor attention for corporate actions. 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.
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.
2016 - 2017 Course Schedule
REVISION: Learning by Doing: The Value of Experience and the Origins of Skill for Mutual Fund Managers
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: The Job Rating Game: The Effects of Revolving Doors on Analyst Incentives
Investment banks frequently hire analysts from rating agencies. A widely held view is that this "revolving door" undermines analysts' incentives to issue accurate ratings. Using a hand-collected dataset of the performance and career paths of 245 credit analysts between 2000 and 2009, I show that the ratings by analysts who move to investment banks are on average more accurate than those by their non-revolving peers. A notable exception is the few securities underwritten by their future employers, where revolving analysts do not outperform. Overall, my findings suggest that the revolving door may, on average, strengthen analysts' incentives to be accurate.
REVISION: Distracted Shareholders and Corporate Actions
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.