Welcome to my website! I’m Alex Edmans, a Professor of Finance.
I focus on purposeful business, sustainable investing, corporate governance, and behavioural finance.
For materials on purposeful business or sustainable investing, please view my sister website www.growthepie.net.
New book: Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit. FT Business Books of the Year; FT/ISFFC Award for Excellence in Sustainable Finance Education
– Korean translation (published as “ESG 파이코노믹스”)
– Preface to the Updated and Revised paperback edition
Sept 22: New paper, The End of ESG. ESG is both very important and nothing special. It’s very important for long-term value, and thus relevant for everyone, not just ESG folks. It’s nothing special versus other drivers of value and shouldn’t be put on a pedestal.
April 22: New paper, Socially Responsible Divestment. Blanket exclusion of “brown” industries provides no incentives for brown firms to take corrective actions, as they will be divested regardless. We show that the most effective strategy is often “tilting” – underweighting a brown industry but being willing to hold best-in-class firms.
Jan-Feb 22: When People Listen to Happy Songs, the Market Outperforms. Harvard Business Review magazine “Defend Your Research” interview.
Jan 22: How Should Performance Signals Affect Contracts? published in Review of Financial Studies. The informativeness principle demonstrates that a contract should depend on informative signals. This paper studies how they should do so.
Sept 21: The Long-Term Consequences of Short-Term Incentives forthcoming in Journal of Accounting Research. Vesting equity is associated with a higher likelihood of M&A and share repurchases, and higher short-term returns but lower long-term returns to these actions.
Jul 21: Music Sentiment and Stock Returns Around the World forthcoming in Journal of Financial Economics. We introduces a real-time, continuous measure of national sentiment – the positivity of songs that citizens listen to – and link it to abnormal stock returns (which subsequently reverse), volatility, and mutual fund flows.
Jul 21: New paper, When Is (Performance-Sensitive) Debt Optimal? Existing theories of debt assume output is the only contractible performance measure available. We show that debt continues to be optimal when the firm has access to other performance signals – and how these signals should affect the debt repayment, leading to performance-sensitive debt.
Jun 21: New paper, CEO Compensation: Evidence From the Field. We survey directors and investors on how they set CEO pay in practice, revealing a number of departures from mainstream academic models.
Letter to the SEC on their proposal for Share Repurchase Disclosure Modernization
How the SEC’s Swaps Proposal Could Choke Off Shareholder Activism (Wall Street Journal)
Is Sustainable Investing Really A Dangerous Placebo? A response to Tariq Fancy
May 22: The Pie-Growing Mindset TEDx talk
Nov 21: ESG: Do We Need It and Does It Work? Talk hosted by European Corporate Governance Institute / Indiana Institute for Corporate Governance
Oct 21: The Promise of Stakeholder Capitalism: Illusory or Real. Debate with Lucian Bebchuk, moderated by the FT’s Gillian Tett
Jan 21: Is Short Termism Really a Problem? Talk at the American Finance Association 2021 annual meeting (special session on “Short-Termism and Investment”)
Dec 20: The Case For Stakeholder Capitalism. ebate with Lucian Bebchuk, moderated by the FT’s Gillian Tett
Nov 20: Critique of European Commission’s Study on Sustainable Corporate Governance. Talk at European Corporate Governance Institute