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
    What Happens When You Let the Hunger Games Loose? An Evaluation of Temptation Bundling as a Behavior Change for Good Strategy in the StepUp Program
    (2020-01-01) Mandel, Graelin H.; Mandel, Graelin H.
    Temptation bundling, an intervention involving the coupling of instantly gratifying activities with activities that provide long-term benefits but require some exertion of willpower, is a novel behavior change strategy. To date, despite the short and long-term benefits of such an approach, only one study has evaluated its efficacy in the field. This work found that restricting participants’ listening of tempting audiobooks to the gym improved participants’ gym visitation rates. In a subsequent forthcoming mega-study, receipt of a free audiobook, even when participants received no explicit instruction on temptation bundling as a behavior change strategy, again drove improvements in participants’ gym visits. These mega-study results raise an important question regarding whether temptation bundle can be intuited and applied as a motivational strategy even without explicit instruction. Two online surveys were conducted in which participants reviewed content identical to that of the mega-study sign-up and assessed the audiobook’s motivational value (Study 1) and intended use (Study 2). Findings indicate the strategy of temptation bundling can both be deduced from the mere receipt of a free audiobook (Study 2), and viewed as a valuable motivator of gym attendance (Study 1). Both studies support the value of temptation bundling as a behavior change technique, and offer suggestive evidence of its use as a potentially scalable, low-cost intervention to promote behavior change for good.
  • Publication
    Analyzing M&A: The Effects of Institutional Investor Cross Ownership
    (2020-05-01) Hua, David
    This study provides new evidence on the role of institutional investors in corporate strategy, specifically in mergers and acquisitions and for three subsets of deals. For firms that are harder to value with greater information asymmetry, institutional investor cross-ownership between two firms increases transaction fees, reduces deal premiums, and lowers cash consideration in deals. Firms with greater analyst following and cross ownership as a percentage of total institutional ownership pay less fees, lower deal premiums, and less cash consideration in deals. Higher analyst following also contributes to lower completion probabilities while higher cross ownership as a percentage of total institutional ownership increases completion probability. While my results suggest that synergies are largely unaffected by cross ownership and the subsets listed above, my overall results suggest that institutional cross-ownership will continue to affect strategic decision-making processes moving forward.
  • Publication
    Analyzing Price Limit Policy Under a Theoretical Framework
    (2018-01-01) Du, Shuangcheng
    This paper provides a theoretical framework to study the effects of implementing price limit policy on price movements and trading behaviors. Due to the high difficulty of isolating effects of price limits in empirical data, it is useful to develop a model to simulate the theoretically possible effects of enforcing price limits on stock trading. In addition, we offer two ways of expanding the model into 2-segments that could differentiate the effects of having price limits on individual investors from institutional investors. According to our model, hitting price limits can be summarized to eight different short-term scenarios and each results in different effects on the direction of price movement and short-term liquidity in the next trading period. Besides offering a theoretical perspective on price limit effects, our model provides two new ways of approaching price limits in stock market: i) it can be simplified to the identification of the eight types of patterns and ii) it can be transformed to a study of investor composition and their behaviors on risk bearing with the presence of price limits.
  • Publication
    Do Social Values Trump Economics for Wealthy Voters: An Empirical Analysis of "Trading and Voting"
    (2018-01-01) Gurock, Michael C; Gurock, Michael C
    Yilmaz and Musto (2003) theorized that with access to equity markets and theoretical election-contingent securities, voters could financially hedge against the outcome of an election so that social values and ideology were the only factors determining their vote. Mattozzi (2008) found that creating a portfolio of such election-contingent securities was realistic. This paper examines if this may be happening in practice by creating an index of economic and social variables within congressional districts compared to the district’s vote for Trump in the election. Looking at wealthier districts where voters are more likely to have investments, I find that only variables relating to the social values of a district are significant relative to economic variables, in line with the theory. Poorer districts vote based upon both economic and social factors. The analysis yields a similar result with Mitt Romney as the nominee, showing that the effect is not limited to Trump.
  • Publication
    University Community Engagement and Its Effect on University Brand Image
    (2020-05-01) Shi, Lina; Shi, Lina
    With rising competition between universities in recent years, higher education institutions face increasing pressure to establish a positive brand image among students, faculty, and other university stakeholders for a competitive advantage. While there have been numerous studies showing how corporations’ brand images have been positively affected by corporate social responsibility initiatives, there are few that establish the effect of university community engagement on university brand image. This study uses a mixed-methods approach involving a secondary data analysis, a case study that includes interviews with administrators on the University of Pennsylvania and the Netter Center’s community engagement endeavors and branding, and a survey of 337 US college freshmen and sophomores to examine (i) the current levels of community engagement across universities, (ii) the use of community engagement in current university branding, and (iii) the role that university community engagement plays in affecting students’ brand images of universities. The combination of Carnegie Classification and Campus Compact designation data identifies trends of current university community engagement levels segmented by ranking. The case study provides an example on how a high engagement research university incorporates values of community engagement explicitly and implicitly in current university branding. Survey results show that university community engagement has a statistically significant effect on branding, and that low engagement creates negative effects while high engagement produces positive effects on university brand image; additionally, results show differences in significance of community engagement with segmentation based on demographics and factor level preferences. Based on the research described, this study identifies what Penn, the Netter Center, and other higher education institutions could do to more successfully connect branding and community engagement.
  • Publication
    From Grocery Stores to Daycares: Analyzing the Desirability and Feasibility of a Proposed Intervention to Mitigate Child Hunger in North Philadelphia
    (2020-01-01) Volodarsky, Monica A; Volodarsky, Monica A
    The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether a proposed program with the goal of mitigating child hunger in North Philadelphia would be desirable, or accepted by key stakeholders, and feasible, meaning financially viable to implement. The program being considered is grocery stores selling to daycares, at a discounted price, excess edible and redistributable produce to be distributed to the children enrolled in the daycare, providing them with fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables. To determine whether the proposed program is desirable, a qualitative analysis was completed on a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with representatives of relevant stakeholder groups in the community. A cost-benefit analysis of the proposed program, assessing two different versions of the initiative, was conducted in order to determine its feasibility. The results of the analyses show that the program is desirable, being viewed positively by a majority of the stakeholder groups interviewed. Similarly, the proposed program was determined to be feasible overall. However, both versions of the program are only feasible for large grocery retailers, with only one of the versions being financially feasible for small- to medium-sized grocers. These results indicate that the program may be considered further, however several logistical and promotional challenges would need to be addressed prior to its possible application.
  • 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
    The Future for Oil & Gas Majors: Activity in the Low Carbon Space & Market Reactions
    (2023-01-01) Masom, Adam; 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
    Lost in Translation - Language Barriers in the SNAP Program
    (2023-01-01) Jury, Andrea M; 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
    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.