The Wharton School

In 1881, American entrepreneur and industrialist Joseph Wharton established the world’s first collegiate school of business at the University of Pennsylvania — a radical idea that revolutionized both business practice and higher education.

Since then, the Wharton School has continued innovating to meet mounting global demand for new ideas, deeper insights, and  transformative leadership. We blaze trails, from the nation’s first collegiate center for entrepreneurship in 1973 to our latest research centers in alternative investments and neuroscience.

Wharton's faculty members generate the intellectual innovations that fuel business growth around the world. Actively engaged with the leading global companies, governments, and non-profit organizations, they represent the world's most comprehensive source of business knowledge.

For more information, see the Research, Directory & Publications site.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 294
  • Publication
    Measuring Firm Innovation and its Relationship with IPO and M&A Activities
    (2019-05-01) Jiang, Wan
    This paper examines the changes in firms’ innovation performance around initial public offerings (IPO) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) using innovation data based on patent applications, new product introductions, and scientific article publications. The quantity of innovation is measured by number of innovative outputs and the quality of innovation is measured by a variety of metrics including patent or article citation count and content-based novelty score. Results generally show that innovation quantity increases while innovation quality declines following IPO and M&A events. The findings are consistent among patent-based, product-based, and publication-based metrics, and confirm with the results from previous literature. In addition, innovation performance is found to vary with financial performance and industry characteristics. Firms that exhibit larger asset and cash holdings, higher profitability, and more R&D investments are in general more innovative in terms of both quality and quantity. In post-IPO or post-M&A years, higher industry sales concentration and geographic concentration tend to correlate with lower innovation quantity and higher innovation quality. This paper also attempts to study the mobility of innovative employees around IPO and M&A, but the results lack sufficient insights on whether the observed post-event decline in innovation quality can be explained by changes in the composition of innovators. Overall, despite the ability to produce more innovations after going public or acquiring another company, firms should be mindful of the potential loss in innovation quality.
  • Publication
    Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards: A Holistic Analysis
    (2016-01-01) Choobineh, Neeka
    Gender quotas for corporate boards have risen in popularity ever since Norway implemented the first quota in 2003. Proponents point to economic arguments (i.e. enhanced return on assets and return on equity) as well as social good rationales (i.e. bolstered corporate social responsibility and reduced fraud) to validate their enactment. Advocates further gloss over a moral justification rooted in a broad notion of equality, although more heavily relying on empirical claims. This article demonstrates how empirical rationales in support of gender quotas are unconvincing. Economic evidence is ultimately inconclusive, and the social good justifications alone do not serve as compelling policy objectives. With respect to equality, the article distinguishes between equality of outcome and equality of opportunity, explaining how gender quotas provide equal outcome but do not satisfy equal opportunity. Finally, the article points to two more robust objectives for all gender workplace advancement policies, namely, equal opportunity and autonomy.
  • Publication
    Lost in Translation - Language Barriers in the SNAP Program
    (2023-01-01) Jury, Andrea M
    As U.S. communities become increasingly diverse, it is necessary for policymakers and officials to cater more purposely for the heterogeneous needs of their constituents. This thesis focuses on the SNAP participation of Hispanic households, the country’s largest racial or ethnic minority that also has an above-average food insecurity rate. The primary analysis leverages variation in the availability of online English and Spanish applications across 25 states between 2005 and 2016 to see if and how the introduction of both simultaneously affects Hispanic participation differently from the introduction of just online in English. Contrary to expectations, the availability of just online in English directionally decreased the number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic households that received SNAP benefits in a given state and year. In contrast, the availability of both online English and Spanish increased the number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic households that received SNAP benefits, with larger and more significant estimates for the latter. I propose that these unanticipated findings are a product of higher digital illiteracy prevalence in the Hispanic community and greater capacity to process an additional influx of applications from a new format in the states that roll out both online English and Spanish. The final sections identify paths for further research as well as key limitations of and possible improvements to the data and empirical methods used.
  • Publication
    The Future for Oil & Gas Majors: Activity in the Low Carbon Space & Market Reactions
    (2023-01-01) Masom, Adam
    This paper explores the influence of the green energy transition on oil and gas majors – namely, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies. Specifically, this study examines greenhouse gas emissions reductions strategies, investments in the low carbon space, and public market reactions to the energy transition. The global energy supply is forecasted to shift rapidly from hydrocarbons – oil, natural gas, and coal – to cleaner, lower-emission sources – hydrogen, bioenergy, solar, and wind – as economies target a net zero emission future. It is important to understand the strategies oil and gas majors are employing to drastically reduce their carbon footprint and position themselves within the energy transition. Using corporate sustainability reports and press releases, this paper analyzes empirical data relating to the energy transition, delving into the respective strategies of each oil and gas major. Additionally, this paper uses event studies to analyze abnormal returns on low carbon activities over time. The results indicate that emissions are starting to decline, but future net zero targets are inconsistent and relatively ineffective. Further, it finds that the U.S. majors lag behind their European counterparts, employing mitigative strategies whereas the European majors are building diversified portfolios of renewable energy technologies. Finally, it finds that activity in the low carbon space does not have a significantly accretive or dilutive effect on the market capitalization of each major.
  • Publication
    Circumscribing China’s NPL "Puzzle"
    (2008-05-01) Richter, Jonathan
    The problem of the Chinese financial system with non performing loans is significant and murky. If China's non performing loan problem exists on a certain level of severity and is not trending toward a more manageable state, then China could be moving toward financial crisis. Empirical and theoretical studies in recent years have implied that this might be the case. It might be impossible to conclusively prove or disprove notions that non-performing loans will cause financial crisis in China. However, little academic inquiry has very recently been focused toward the holistic "puzzle" of China's NPL issue, and it could be considered worthwhile to simply attempt to trace a broad outline of the issue. The aim of this study is two-fold: first, it attempts to basically identify and circumscribe the different "puzzle pieces" that exist in trying to understand China's bad asset issue. Second, it aims to combine basic perspectives on the issue from multiple disciplines in a generalized way, and tentatively evaluate the inventoried "puzzle pieces" to propose a limited holistic interpretation of available facts and opinions.
  • Publication
    Multivariate Comparison of Experts' Versus Users' Reviews Online
    (2018-01-01) Repsold, Mariana
    This study aims to compare and contrast professional critics’ movie reviews with those of general public users’ to understand the differences and similarities between both and its effect. This will allow better informed decisions to be made highlighting when and for what ends the use of each type is more appropriate. This study analyzes length, ease of reading, sentiment analysis, main topics, emotional tones and the effect of time to evaluate the reviews. All the data used in this study pertains to the movie Avatar and was obtained from the IMDb movie database online. The research conducted found that while critics’ and users’ reviews may truly have some generally expected differences in fields like length or ease of reading, they may also present unexpected similarities in others that include, but are not limited to, the polarity, the main topics and even certain emotional tones of the reviews. Evaluating how users’ reviews changed over time additionally allows for a comprehension of the change in sentiment with the gradual distancing from the movie release date.
  • Publication
    Classifying Laughter: An Exploration Of The Identification and Acoustic Features of Laughter Types
    (2021-01-01) Browdy, Maggie
    This thesis seeks to improve the classification of laughter by uncovering its purpose in communication, identifiability, and acoustic features. Reviewing the existing literature, this paper identifies three main types of laughter: affiliative, de-escalative, and power. Consulting with research assistants, this paper then classifies 113 instances of laughter from 62 Congressional Committee meetings published on C-SPAN. The interrater classification agreement suggests individuals can identify and categorize the different types of laughter with context. Additionally, 14 participants were recruited to complete exercises designed to elicit archetypes of the three laughter categories. These study recordings, which included 124 laughter bouts, were analyzed for acoustic features (pitch (Hz), energy (dB), duration, and proportion of voiced laughter vs. silence). The audio analysis indicates acoustic features of laughter are not overall significantly different amongst the three categories and therefore suggests social context, including proximal language and visual cues, predominantly explains the identifiability of the laughter types.
  • Publication
    Examining Teacher Quality Gaps in the Philadelphia School District
    (2019-01-01) Heard, Cecilia
    This paper compares the presence of teacher quality gaps (TQGs) in charter schools to those present in traditional public schools (TPS) within the Philadelphia School District. No significant difference in TQGs was found to exist when student disadvantage was defined by socioeconomic status and teacher quality was defined by years of experience, but there was a significant difference favoring traditional public schools when student disadvantage was defined as identification with an underrepresented minority group (URM). An examination of the value-added score distributions of charter and traditional public schools found TPS to have higher minimum, median and maximum scores than charter schools. Despite these differences in distribution, the use of these scores to quantify TQGs according to both socioeconomic and URM status of students failed to show a significant difference except for when math value-added scores were the measure of teacher quality and student disadvantage was determined by socioeconomic status.
  • Publication
    Liquidity Shocks and the Demand for Pawn Loans
    (2016-01-01) Block, Philip Barrett
    Utilizing the proprietary data of a company operating 10 pawnshops throughout Kentucky and Ohio, and exploiting the randomized variation of the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008, this paper studies the effect of positive liquidity shocks on pawn loan utilization. We uncover a statistically significant 67% decrease in pawn loan utilization in the week following receipt of ESP checks. However, in the year following receipt of the ESP via check or direct deposit, a statistically significant increase of 20% and 138% respectively in pawn loan utilization occurs. A distributed lag regression model corroborates this effect— an initial decrease, but then dominating increase in pawn loan utilization following receipt of an ESP. This propensity of short term, transitory changes in income to drastically affect the borrowing patterns of households proves difficult to reconcile with Permanent Income/Life Cycle Hypothesis.
  • Publication
    Advertising on Social Networking Websites
    (2008-05-01) Todi, Mrinal
    The rise of social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook over the past decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. Once regarded as nothing more than a passing "fad", these websites have grown to astronomical proportions; each website currently boasts 60+ million unique visitors each month. Certain businesses are beginning to notice the potential for reaching out to their target audiences through this new medium and have already begun a series of advertising efforts in order to do so; however, the spend on this form of advertising is relatively minor compared to other efforts. This paper will establish why social networks are important to businesses as an advertising medium and attempt to review the current advertising methods that are in place.