Students interested in research assistant openings:


I am a Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship at Caltech.  I am also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a co-editor of the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy and Associate Editor at the Journal of Corporate Finance.

I received my PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego in 2010. Since 2006 I have worked as a quantitative advisor for Correlation Ventures, a quantitative-focused venture capital firm based in San Diego, CA.  From 2010 -2014, I was on the faculty at Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Recent Research

March 2021, Working paper

Venture Capitalists’ Access to Finance and Its Impact on Startups

With: Jun Chen (Renmin Univ.)

Although an extensive literature shows that startups are financially constrained and constraints vary by geography, the source of these constraints is still relatively unknown. We explore a channel studied in the banking literature, but only implicitly addressed in the VC literature: intermediary financing constraints.

Paper summary Coming soon

January 2021

Regulatory Costs of Being Public: Evidence from Bunching Estimation

Kairong Xiao (Columbia) and Ting Xu (Univ. of VA)
Working Paper

Consistent with firms seeking to avoid costly regulation, we document significant bunching around multiple regulatory thresholds introduced from 1992 to 2012. We present a revealed preference estimation strategy that uses this behavior to quantify regulatory costs. Our estimates show that various disclosure and internal governance rules leads to a total compliance cost of 4.3% of the market capitalization for a median U.S. public firm.

September 2020, R&R

The Evolution of CEO Compensation in Venture Capital Backed Startups

Ramana Nanda (Imperial) and Christopher Stanton (HBS)

We document new facts on the evolution of founder-CEO compensation in venture capital-backed startups. Having a tangible product (“product market fit”) is a fundamental milestone in CEOs’ compensation, marking the point where liquid cash compensation increases significantly – well before an IPO or acquisition.

DeCEMBER 2020, Working Paper

Board Dynamics over the Startup Lifecycle

With: Nadya Malenko (Univ. of Michigan)

We explore the dynamics of VC-backed startup boards using novel data on director entry, exit, and characteristics. We document new facts about board composition, allocation of control, and dynamics, and examine the roles of independent directors. At formation, a typical board is entrepreneur-controlled. Independent directors join the median board after the second financing, when board control becomes shared, with independent directors holding the tie-breaking vote between entrepreneurs and VCs.

Ongoing Projects

Not all my projects are papers.  Here is a list of conferences and workshops that I co-organize, code and data associated with my papers and some longer-term initiatives.  Contact me if you want to learn more or get involved.

Workshop on Entrepreneurial Finance (WEFI)

A virtual workshop, seminar and lecture series featuring research in entrepreneurial finance and innovation. WEFI site

Southern California PE Conference

An annual conference bringing together leading academics studying private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurial finance. Conference website

Data and Code

Repositories of both data and code from many of my research projects.
Github page

Private Capital Data Lab (PCDL)

A standardized, free and researcher-focused database will lower entry barriers for researchers interested in entrepreneurial finance.  Stay tuned.

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