Faculty & Research

Eric Zwick

Eric Zwick

Associate Professor of Finance and Fama Faculty Fellow

Phone :
1-773-834-8485
Address :
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Eric Zwick studies the interaction between public policy and corporate behavior, with a focus on fiscal stimulus, taxation and housing policy. His research draws insights from finance and behavioral economics while using a variety of methods: new data, natural experiments, theory and anecdotal exploration.

Zwick is particularly interested in the problems that small and medium-sized private firms and new ventures face, from the perspective of owners, investors, managers and workers. A secondary area of interest concerns the role of bounded rationality and imperfect information in the design of policies that promote behavior change. This work focuses on determinants of habit formation in health and workforce productivity settings.

Zwick earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in business economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics and mathematics with high honors from Swarthmore College. Prior to grad school, he worked as a research assistant at the National Bureau of Economic Research and as a web and software developer for several start-ups and non-profits.

 

2018 - 2019 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
34101 Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity 2019 (Spring)
35930 Research Seminar 2018 (Fall)
35931 Research Seminar 2019 (Winter)
35932 Research Seminar 2019 (Spring)

REVISION: Kinky Tax Policy and Abnormal Investment Behavior
Date Posted: May  10, 2018
This paper documents tax-minimizing investment, in which firms accelerate capital purchases near fiscal year-end to reduce taxes. Between 1984 and 2013, average investment in fiscal Q4 exceeds the average of fiscal Q1 through Q3 by 37%. Q4 spikes occur in the U.S. and internationally. Research designs using variation in firm tax positions and the 1986 Tax Reform Act show that tax minimization causes spikes. Spikes increase when firms face financial constraints or higher option values of waiting. We develop an investment model with tax asymmetries to rationalize these patterns. Models without purchase-year, tax-minimization motives are unlikely to fit the data.

REVISION: Stimulating Housing Markets
Date Posted: Sep  13, 2016
This paper studies temporary policy incentives designed to address capital overhang by inducing asset demand from buyers in the private market. Using variation across local geographies in ex ante program exposure and a difference-in-differences design, we find that the First-Time Homebuyer Credit induced a cumulative increase in home sales of at least 382 thousand, or 7.4 percent, nationally. We find little evidence of a sharp reversal of the policy response; instead, demand appears to come from several years in the future. The program likely sped the process of reallocating homes from distressed sellers to high value buyers and stabilized house prices. The response is concentrated in the existing home sales market, implying the stimulative effects of the program were less important than its role in accelerating reallocation.