PhD, University of California at Berkeley, 2001; MA, University of California at Berkeley, 2001; BA, University of California at San Diego, 1992
Academic Positions Held
Wharton: 2004-present. Previous appointments: Duke University, Fuqua School of Business; University of California at Berkeley
Co-Editor, Journal of Finance; Editorial Boards: Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Review of Corporate Finance Studies, Financial Research Letters, International Review of Finance
Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2007; Financial Engineer, FEA Inc., 1998-1999; Senior Analyst, Regional Economic Research, 1992-1995
Abstract: We present evidence on the performance of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). CLO debt tranches have consistently outperformed their benchmarks over the last twenty years, though by a small amount. CLO equity tranches issued before the 2008 crisis outperformed their benchmarks by a wide margin -- a consequence of the ``term leverage'' in CLO structures that amplified the effects of the post-crisis economic recovery. Equity has underperformed its benchmarks since the crisis. Cross-sectional variation in CLO equity performance is driven to a large extent by persistent differences across CLO managers. Top-performing managers select loans with higher coupon rates and generate more value by trading in the secondary market.
Michael Roberts and Michael Schwert (Working), Interest Rates and the Design of Financial Contracts.
Abstract: We show that variation in short-term nominal interest rates produces an endogenous response in the design of and commitment to corporate loan contracts. Interest rates are inversely related to the cash flow rights and positively related to the control rights granted to creditors. An implication of this contractual response is a sharp increase in the ex post renegotiation of contracts originated in low interest rate environments, as well as a muted effect of interest rate variation on the cost of debt capital. Our findings illustrate how the design of financial contracts in practice reflects a multi-dimensional tradeoff among contract features that aligns incentives and apportions risk among the contracting parties in a state-contingent manner.
This course will introduce students to data science for financial applications using the Python programming language and its ecosystem of packages (e.g., Dask, Matplotlib, Numpy, Numba, Pandas, SciPy, Scikit-Learn, StatsModels). To do so, students will investigate a variety of empirical questions from different areas within finance including: FinTech, investment management, corporate finance, corporate governance, venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneurial finance. The course will highlight how big data and data analytics shape the way finance is practiced. Some programming experience is helpful though knowledge of Python is not assumed.
Integrates the work of the various courses and familiarizes the student with the tools and techniques of research.
This course serves as an introduction to business finance (corporate financial management and investments) for both non-majors and majors preparing for upper-level course work. The primary objective is to provide the framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial theory. The approach is rigorous and analytical. Topics covered include discounted cash flow techniques; corporate capital budgeting and valuation; investment decisions under uncertainty; capital asset pricing; options; and market efficiency. The course will also analyze corporate financial policy, including capital structure, cost of capital, dividend policy, and related issues. Additional topics will differ according to individual instructors.
(Formerly FNCE 614) This half-semester course serves as an introduction to corporate investments for non-majors. The primary objective is to provide a framework, concepts, and tools for analyzing financial decisions based on fundamental principles of modern financial theory. Topics covered include discounted cash flow techniques, corporate capital budgeting and valuation, investment decisions under uncertainty, and capital asset pricing. The approach is rigorous and analytical but the course will not cover several topics included in the full semester Corporate Finance course, including: market efficiency, corporate financial policy (including capital structure, cost of capital, dividend policy, and related issues), and options.
Independent Study Projects require extensive independent work and a considerable amount of writing. ISP in Finance are intended to give students the opportunity to study a particular topic in Finance in greater depth than is covered in the curriculum. The application for ISP's should outline a plan of study that requires at least as much work as a typical course in the Finance Department that meets twice a week. Applications for FNCE 8990 ISP's will not be accepted after the THIRD WEEK OF THE SEMESTER. ISP's must be supervised by a Standing Faculty member of the Finance Department.
The course will cover a variety of micro-econometric models and methods including panel data models, program evaluation methods e.g. difference in differences, matching techniques, regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables, duration models, structural estimation, simulated methods of moments. The structure of the course consists of lectures, student presentations, and empirical exercises. Published studies will be utilized in a variety of fields such as corporate finance, labor economics, and industrial organization to illustrate the various techniques. The goal of the course is to provide students with a working knowledge of various econometric techniques that they can apply in their own research. As such, the emphasis of the course is on applications, not theory. Students are required to have taken a graduate sequence in Econometrics, you should be comfortable with econometrics at the level of William Green's "Econometric Analysis of Cross-Section and Panel Data".
Best paper on corporate finance and organizations published in the Journal of Financial Economics
Generative AI will play an important role in addressing financial literacy, but it will also place increased pressure on financial education, says Wharton’s Michael Roberts. …Read MoreKnowledge at Wharton - 6/27/2023
Common Cents helps students focus on an oft-overlooked aspect of finances—their own.Wharton Magazine - 10/16/2018
Let’s face it: finance can be intimidating. Whether you’re trying to finance a home, save for retirement, or start a business, all the jargon, acronyms, and numbers just keep coming at you. Professor Michael Roberts gets it. Which is why he is on a mission to help students as early…Wharton Stories - 08/19/2022