Recent Visiting Fellows
Professor Sheridan Titman visited Marshall from September 25-29, 2017. Professor Titman holds the Walter W. McAllister Centennial Chair in Financial Services at the University of Texas where he also serves as Director of the Energy Management and Innovation Center. He is a past president of the American Finance Association. He has served as Editor of the Review of Financial Studies, a leading finance journal, and held positions as Editor or Associate Editor at 11 other prominent academic journals.
Professor Titman has made important research contributions on a broad set of topics in Finance, Real Estate, and Energy Economics. His most important work in corporate finance concerns that nature of the indirect costs of financial distress that encourage firms to limit their use of debt financing. His most impactful work on the pricing of financial assets concerns the identification of momentum trends in security prices, i.e. the tendency of financial assets that have recently appreciated in value to continue to appreciate. Professor Titman’s evidence on momentum effects almost certainly constitutes the most convincing large-sample challenge to the Efficient Markets Hypothesis, which has been the dominant capital-markets paradigm in academic finance since the 1960s.
During his September visit to the Marshall School, Professor Titman gave two talks and conducted a small seminar session in which he critiqued the research of current PhD students and offered suggestions about how to refine their work. In one of his talks, Professor Titman presented research in progress about the manner in which disruptive innovations can affect the systematic risk and long-run expected returns of investment portfolios. This talk, which was titled “A Dynamic Model of Characteristic-Based Return Predictability,” was a highly technical presentation for faculty and PhD student researchers who are seeking to understand the latest developments in asset pricing. Professor Titman’s second talk was aimed at a general audience and was titled “What Makes Cities Prosper and their Real Estate Appreciate?” The issues considered in this talk include the efficiency that comes from better matching of workers and firms that occurs in technology “hubs” in metropolitan areas such as San Francisco and Seattle, which attract both highly competent workers and firms that require such workers in order to be competitive.
Professor Andrei Shleifer visited Marshall from Jan 23-27, 2017. Professor Shleifer is a distinguished economist who is the most cited economist in the world with over 225,000 Google Scholar citations. He is an Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Finance Association. In 1999, Professor Shleifer won the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association that is awarded annually to an American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He is known for designing conceptual frameworks that lend structure to new perspectives in comparative corporate governance, law and finance, behavioral finance, as well as institutional economics. He has published six books and more than 100 articles.
During his visit, Professor Shleifer gave two talks, the first one entitled “Bubbles for Fama” to a finance audience and a second entitled “Educated Entrepreneurs” to a more general audience. The first talk evaluated Eugene Fama’s claim that stock prices do not exhibit price bubbles. The second talk provided strong evidence from a variety of sources that more highly educated managers and entrepreneurs can help lead to greater economic progress. He presented evidence using critical episodes from economic history, from the comparison of growth experiences across countries, from evidence on which cities and regions of a country are rich and which are poor, as well as from studies of which companies grow. Professor Shleifer also met and exchanged ideas with doctoral students and faculty at the Marshall school.
Professor Jianqing Fan visited Marshall from Jan 24-Feb 2, 2017. Jianqing Fan is a distinguished statistician, financial econometrician, and data scientist. He is Frederick L. Moore '18 Professor of Finance, Professor of Statistics, and Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University, where he chaired the department from 2012 to 2015. He is a leading scholar on statistical theory and methods in data science, finance, economics, machine learning, computational biology, and biostatistics. Professor Fan is Co-Editor of the Journal of Econometrics and associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association. He has also previously served as Co-Editor(-in-Chief) of the Annals of Statistics, Co-Editor of the Econometrics Journal, and Editor of Probability Theory and Related Fields. He was President of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (2006-2009) and President of the International Chinese Statistical Association (2008-2010). Professor Fan has been consistently ranked as a top 10 highly-cited mathematical scientist since the existence of such a ranking. His published work on statistics, financial econometrics, and computational biology has been recognized by the 2000 COPSS Presidents' Award, given annually to an outstanding statistician under age 40. He won the the Guy Medal in Silver in 2014, presented once a year by the Royal Statistical Society. He has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Statistical Association.
During his visit, Professor Fan gave a school wide talk titled “Challenges in Analysis of Big Data with Applications to Finance and Economics”. He also gave a statistics seminar titled “A principle of Robustification for Big Data”. He had one-one-one meetings and networking with faculty from several departments, and provided career advice for junior faculty. He also had meetings with PhD students and provided career advice for them. Moreover, two mini-conferences on Big Data in Business and Data Sciences were organized during his visit at which researchers from different areas within Marshall presented their work. Professor Fan provided feedback on the research presentations. These mini-conferences also brought together researchers in different departments within Marshall. Professor Fan also had meetings with faculty at USC outside Marshall such as Math, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.