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Valeri Nikolaev studies the intersection of financial reporting and corporate finance. His current research focuses on understanding the quality of accounting information and on how contracting needs shape financial reporting. His broad interests include the role of accounting in credit markets, corporate governance, transparency, and earnings management. His dissertation “Debt Covenants and Accounting Conservatism” was published in the Journal of Accounting Research. His other papers include "Capital versus Performance Covenants in Debt Contracts" with Hans Christensen, published in the Journal of Accounting Research; "Deflating Profitability" with Ray Ball, Joseph Gerakos, and Juhani Linnainmaa published in Journal of Financial Economics; "On Estimating Conditional Conservatism" with Ray Ball and S.P. Kothari published in European Accounting Review; and “Does Fair Value Accounting for Non-Financial Assets Pass the Market Test?” with Hans Christensen published in The Review of Accounting Studies.

Nikolaev is on editorial boards of Journal of Accounting Research and European Accounting Review and also serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, Review of Accounting Studies, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, and European Accounting Review. He has made presentations across the globe, including at Maastricht University, University of Antwerp, Catholic University of Leuven, Free University of Amsterdam, as well as nationally at Emory University, MIT, Northwestern University, NYU, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, University of North Carolina, and University of Michigan.

Born in Belarus, Nikolaev lived and studied in the Netherlands and Czech Republic before joining the University of Chicago. He earned his PhD in accounting cum laude in 2007 from the Center for Economic Research at Tilburg University in The Netherlands. His research was supported by grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). He earned his master's degree in economics in 2002 from the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education at Charles University in Prague. His bachelor's degree in economics with distinction was earned in 1999 from the Minsk’s Institute of Management in Belarus. He is fluent in English and Russian.

Research Interests

Role of accounting information in contracts; transparency and quality of financial reporting; voluntary disclosure; accounting regulation.

Academic Areas

  • Accounting

Selected Publications

Working Papers

2023 - 2024 Course Schedule

Number Course Title Quarter
30906 Contracting on Accounting Information 2024 (Winter)
30000 Financial Accounting 2023 (Autumn)
30800 Financial Accounting 2024 (Winter)

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