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Guillermo Casasnovas

Degree:

DPhil Programme in Management Studies

Location:

Spain

Industry:

Finance

Year:

Started in 2012

By Guillermo Casasnovas

Spring Doctoral Conference

A few weeks ago, Saïd Business School hosted its fourth annual Doctoral Conference. This conference aims to showcase and celebrate the work of our DPhil community and to facilitate the exchange of ideas between students and faculty members. Organised by Prof Thomas Noe (Director of the DPhil Programme), Dr Felix Reed-Tsochas (Associate Dean of Research), and Prof Peter Tufano (Dean of the School), it hosted lively presentations from 10 doctoral students at different stages in their studies.

The event was a clear reflection of the variety of research carried out at Saïd Business School, with topics ranging from frugal innovation to customer engagement with microblogs, from social stratification to Islamic entrepreneurship, from additive manufacturing to currency risk, or from Schumpeterian views of innovation to the importance of outliers in project management.

The award to the best presentation was for Nicholas Sabin, who introduced us to his research in microfinance. Previously working as a Kiva fellow in Sierra Leone, he has done very interesting fieldwork in this country for his DPhil, where he has mixed qualitative and network data with quantitative analysis. Nick told us about the use of social collateral in microfinance through group lending, and how the group’s structure is related to the economic performance of the loans. While prior work has suggested that the more socially connected, the more likely the group will repay its loan, he showed that the relation is actually an inverted U-shape. First, economic performance of the loan improves as cohesion increases, but there is a point where the fact of the borrowers being too close to each other actually makes default more likely.

Mehmet Ihsan Canayaz was given the best extended abstract award by a committee of Saïd Business School faculty members. Mehmet presented a working paper on the revolving door of Washington that links employees moving between public and private jobs to excess corporate returns. A fine-grained analysis of years in which ‘revolvers’ move in and out of their jobs provides empirical support to the hypothesis that public officials use their power in government to favour their future corporate employers. Mehmet also presented an economic mechanism that explains the excess performance of revolvers’ future corporate employers using the allocation of government contracts. This paper is the first to study the value of ‘hidden’ connections between revolvers and US public firms.

The day ended with a dinner at the School, which was yet another opportunity for our research community to learn about each other’s work and be aware of the connections between what might seem very different areas of focus.

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