Working Papers

  1. "Investing with Purpose: Evidence from Private Foundations"
  • We study the asset allocation, spending behavior, fees, and investment performance of U.S. private foundations. We find that large foundations generate positive risk-adjusted returns of about one percent per year. Larger and more sophisticated foundations perform better and invest more aggressively. Foundations with concentrated stock holdings have higher returns but also take on more risk. Because of the constraints imposed by the five percent minimum spending rule and accommodating monetary policy, private foundations increase their risk-taking and reach for yield. Due to these constraints, a conservative asset allocation will decrease real wealth over time resulting in less charitable giving.
  1. "Diversifying Labor Income Risk: Evidence from Income Pooling"
  • This paper studies the effects of a contracting innovation which allows individuals to diversify their labor income risk by sharing labor income above a ceiling into a common pool. I use novel data from professional baseball players to document sign-up correlated with an individual’s level of downside protection and sophistication. Players are significantly more likely to experience an injury before expressing interest in the contract and are drafted in later rounds. I find some evidence of productivity declines following sign-up with an instrumental variables approach built around peer networks confirming these results. Increased monitoring proxied for by players pooling with teammates reduces the likelihood of players experiencing a decline in performance after pooling. Players contract with others of similar ability, backgrounds, and occupations to mitigate information asymmetries.
  1. "Does Innovation Decline Post-IPO?"
  • Bernstein (2015) estimates that innovation quality decreases by 43 percent more post-IPO for firms that successfully go public to firms that file to go public but ultimately withdrawal. I document that 54 percent of this magnitude is attributable to a negative survivorship bias from sample selection. In addition, I find no effect when extending his results to 2012, partially attributable to the decline in relevance of his identification strategy. I document an increase in trademark production for firms with completed IPOs which suggests public firms shift their innovative focus towards commercialization. These results cast doubt on the adverse effects of going public on innovation and the recent IPO literature that instruments for IPO completion using the post-filing returns on the Nasdaq stock index.

Works in Progress

  1. Private Equity Endowments
  1. Green IPOs
  1. The Role of Debt in Financing Higher Education