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 503
  • Publication
    Investment Decisions Depend on Portfolio Disclosures
    (1999) Musto, David K
    A weekly database of retail money fund portfolio statistics is uneconomical for retail investors to observe, so it allows direct comparison of disclosed and undisclosed portfolios. This makes possible a more direct and unambiguous test for “window dressing” than elsewhere in the literature. The analysis shows that funds allocating between government and private issues hold more in government issues around disclosures than at other times, consistent with the theory that intermediaries prefer to disclose safer portfolios. Cross-sectional comparisons locate the most intense rebalancing in the worst recent performers.
  • Publication
    The Role of Discount Vouchers in Market with Customer Valuation Uncertainty
    (2015-04-01) Gao, Fei; Chen, Jian
    Online discount voucher market In the discount voucher market, customers usually face two types of valuation uncertainty, namely, preference uncertainty and consumption state uncertainty. Preference uncertainty is related to the customer's lack of relevant experience with the merchant, whereas consumption state uncertainty is related to the advance selling nature of the discount voucher mechanism. By taking a comprehensive perspective (i.e., considering revenue management and promotion effect at the same time), we find (i) no show of voucher buyers may not be a good thing for the merchant, especially for those large or start-up ones; (ii) offering refund may always hurt the merchant's profit and the PayPal model may not be optimal in terms of maximizing social welfare; and (iii) market segmentation is not necessary for the profitability of promotion.
  • Publication
    Are Speculators Informed?
    (2012-01-01) Schwarz, Krista
    The positions of hedgers and speculators are correlated with returns in a number of futures markets, but there is much debate as to the interpretation of such a relationship—whether it reflects private information, liquidity, or trend-chasing behavior. This paper studies the relationship between positioning of hedgers and speculators and returns in equity futures markets. I propose a novel test of the private information hypothesis: analyzing the effect of public announcements about futures positions on prices, using high-frequency data in short windows around the announcements. I find that the revelation of speculators' positions is informative to investors more broadly, supporting the private information view.
  • Publication
    Hybrid Vigor: Securing Venture Capital by Spanning Categories in Nanotechnology
    (2014-10-01) Wry, Tyler; Lounsbury, Michael; Jennings, P. D
    This study develops and tests a set of novel theoretical predictions about the conditions under which category spanning is rewarded by external audiences. To do this, we revisit the assumption that comprehensible organizational identities are associated with individual categories. Drawing on insights from cognitive psychology, we suggest that category spanning does not necessarily lead to confusion, but, rather, to interpretations that rely on a “header–modifier” structure where one category anchors cognition but is modified by features of the other. Audiences may have clear understandings about how categories fit together and cognate schema for evaluating firms that hybridize by spanning between them. An empirical examination of venture capital in the carbon nanotechnology industry supports our approach: start-ups were rewarded or punished for hybridization contingent on how they mixed “science” and “technology” in their patents, top management team, and collaborations. As such, we show that the category a firm starts in, how it hybridizes, and the degree to which this affects core versus peripheral identity markers may all affect how it is perceived.
  • Publication
    Arbitrage Asymmetry and the Idiosyncratic Volatility Puzzle
    (2015-10-01) Stambaugh, Robert F; Yu, Jianfeng; Yuan, Yu
    Buying is easier than shorting for many equity investors. Combining this arbitrage asymmetry with the arbitrage risk represented by idiosyncratic volatility (IVOL) explains the negative relation between IVOL and average return. The IVOL-return relation is negative among overpriced stocks but positive among underpriced stocks, with mispricing determined by combining 11 return anomalies. Consistent with arbitrage asymmetry, the negative relation among overpriced stocks is stronger, especially for stocks less easily shorted, so the overall IVOL-return relation is negative. Further supporting our explanation, high investor sentiment weakens the positive relation among underpriced stocks and, especially, strengthens the negative relation among overpriced stocks.
  • Publication
    Is the Corporate Loan Market Globally Integrated? A Pricing Puzzle
    (2007-01-01) Carey, Mark; Nini, Gregory Paul
    We offer evidence that interest rate spreads on syndicated loans to corporate borrowers are economically significantly smaller in Europe than in the United States, other things equal. Differences in borrower, loan, and lender characteristics do not appear to explain this phenomenon. Borrowers overwhelmingly issue in their natural home market and bank portfolios display home bias. This may explain why pricing discrepancies are not competed away, though their causes remain a puzzle. Thus, important determinants of loan origination market outcomes remain to be identified, home bias appears to be material for pricing, and corporate financing costs differ across Europe and the United States.
  • Publication
    Federalism's Values and the Value of Federalism
    (2007-12-01) Inman, Robert P
    What is it about federal governance that makes it so attractive to economists, political philosophers and legal scholars and is there any evidence that would suggest all this attention is warranted? Proponents see federalism as a means to more efficient public and private economies, as the foundation for increased political participation and democratic stability and as an important check on governmental abuses of personal rights and liberties. This study provides a working definition of federal governance and classifies a sample of 73 countries as either a constitutionally based federal democracy, an administratively based federal democracy, a unitary democracy, a federal dictatorship or a unitary dictatorship. Governance is then related to 11 measures of economic, democratic, and rights performance. Three conclusions follow. First, decentralized policy-making does have a unique contribution to make to a society's ability to enforce property rights, to protect political and civil rights, and then because of such rights protections, to enhance private sector economic performance. Second, while policy decentralization is the key to federalism's strong rights and economic performance and can be achieved within a unitary government by fiat, constitutionally established provincial (or state) governments provide an extra and important protective barrier for policy decentralization. Federal institutions protect policy decentralization, and policy decentralization provides federalism's valued outcomes. Third, federalism needs democracy; there is no evidence that adding policy decentralization or provinces to a dictatorship significantly improves a dictatorship's economic or rights performance.
  • Publication
    Equilibrium Asset Pricing with Leverage and Default
    (2016-03-01) Gomes, Joao F
    We develop a general equilibrium model linking the pricing of stocks and corporate bonds to endogenous movements in corporate leverage and aggregate volatility. The model has heterogeneous firms making optimal investment and financing decisions and connects fluctuations in macroeconomic quantities and asset prices to movements in the cross-section of firms. Empirically plausible movements in leverage produce realistic asset return dynamics. Countercyclical leverage drives predictable variation in risk premia, and debt-financed growth generates a high value premium. Endogenous default produces countercyclical aggregate volatility and credit spread movements that are propagated to the real economy through their effects on investment and output.
  • Publication
    Why Is Long-Horizon Equity Less Risky? A Duration-Based Explanation of the Value Premium
    (2007-01-01) Lettau, Martin; Wachter, Jessica A
    We propose a dynamic risk-based model that captures the value premium. Firms are modeled as long-lived assets distinguished by the timing of cash flows. The stochastic discount factor is specified so that shocks to aggregate dividends are priced, but shocks to the discount rate are not. The model implies that growth firms covary more with the discount rate than do value firms, which covary more with cash flows. When calibrated to explain aggregate stock market behavior, the model accounts for the observed value premium, the high Sharpe ratios on value firms, and the poor performance of the CAPM.
  • Publication
    Investor Sentiment and the Mean–Variance Relation
    (2011-01-01) Yu, Jianfeng; Yuan, Yu
    This study shows the influence of investor sentiment on the market's mean–variance tradeoff. We find that the stock market's expected excess return is positively related to the market's conditional variance in low-sentiment periods but unrelated to variance in high-sentiment periods. These findings are consistent with sentiment traders who, during the high-sentiment periods, undermine an otherwise positive mean–variance tradeoff. We also find that the negative correlation between returns and contemporaneous volatility innovations is much stronger in the low-sentiment periods. The latter result is consistent with the stronger positive ex ante relation during such periods.