Max Miller

Max Miller

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3620 Locust Walk
    Finance Department, #2437
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: Asset Pricing, Macro-finance, and Political Economy


I am currently a third-year PhD student studying finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. I am interested in empirical and theoretical topics within asset pricing, macro-finance, mutual funds, and the intersection of financial markets and political economy.

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Democratization, Inequality, and Risk Premia (Working Paper)

Grants: Rodney White Center Research Grant

This paper examines the effect of democratizations on asset returns. Using a panel data set covering 57 countries over 200 years, I show that during periods of democratization, the equity premium and corporate credit spreads are significantly elevated, despite little to no effect on aggregate consumption and dividends. Further, I use a quasi-natural experiment coming from a shift in Catholic church attitudes toward democracy and show that this change was associated with a large increase in average excess returns for majority Catholic and autocratic countries. Finally, I show that these results can be rationalized through a standard political economy model in which the wealthiest segments of society are negatively impacted by the consolidation of democracy. These results are key to understanding how political institutions and the distribution of wealth and political power influence asset returns.


Teaching Assistant

FNCE 921 – Empirical Methods in Finance (PhD) – Spring 2019, Spring 2020 (Scheduled)

FNCE 205/720 – Investment Management – Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

FNCE 393/893 – Policy Decisions by Central Banks (Monetary Policy) – Fall 2018

FNCE 385/885 – Financial Technology (FinTech) – Spring 2019

Awards and Honors

Conference and Seminar Presentations:

Econometric Society – European Winter Meeting (2019; Scheduled)

Wharton Macro Lunch Seminar (2019)


Rodney White Center Grant (2019)

Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center Grant (2019)


    Containing the Coronavirus: What’s the Risk to the Global Economy?

    As the human toll mounts in the COVID-19 outbreak, so does the economic damage. Experts from Wharton and Penn discuss what we know – and don’t know – about the virus and its potential impact.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/02/25
    Changing Communities: How to Bring Fairness into Finance

    Georgetown University’s Beeck Center has developed a framework with metrics to enable equitable investments in distressed communities.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/02/25
    Will India’s Budget Help Turn Around Its Economy?

    India’s economy is in dire straits -- but the latest Union Budget did little to address problems of slow growth and unemployment, according to experts.

    Knowledge @ Wharton - 2020/02/24