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Scott Weisbenner

Professor of Finance and Karnes Professorship

Biographical Sketch

Scott Weisbenner is a Professor of Finance and a James F. Towey Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois.  He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been on the Illinois faculty since 2000.  Before coming to Illinois, he worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in the capital markets section.  Professor Weisbenner was a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) from 2002-2009 and has been a Research Associate at the NBER since 2009.  He currently serves as Associate Editor of Management Science, a top-tier general interest journal in management and business.  He also served as Editor of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, a journal focusing on the economics and finance of pensions and retirement-income programs, from 2010-2013.

Professor Weisbenner is an award-winning teacher at Illinois where he teaches MBA and MSF courses in corporate finance and behavioral finance.  He also teaches investment finance in the Executive MBA program.  Professor Weisbenner has been selected to the List of Teachers Rated as Excellent at the University of Illinois every year since 2002 and was the winner of the prestigious College of Business Alumni Association Excellence-in-Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching in 2011 (one winner selected in the College of Business).  He has also been recognized by students in the Master of Science in Finance program as "Best Professor" in the 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 academic years for his teaching in corporate finance and behavioral finance, was selected the Best First-Year Professor in the Executive MBA Program in 2013, and was selected the Best Professor in the Full-Time MBA Program in 2014.

Weisbenner’s research studies household portfolio decisions and the financial and operational decisions made by corporate executives and other institutional managers.  It draws on a number of different identification strategies and data sets to provide insights on these issues, often with implications for broader questions in finance and economics.  To answer the questions posed by his research, Professor Weisbenner uses variation in the conditions facing households and institutions by geography, changes to tax and other policy parameters, and financial shocks.

He has published articles in several leading finance and economics journals, including The American Economic Review (three times), The Journal of Finance (five times), The Journal of Financial Economics (twice), The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, The Journal of Public Economics (three times), The Review of Economics and Statistics, and The Review of Financial Studies.  His papers have won multiple "Best Paper" awards at various conferences around the world and his research has been heavily cited in the academic finance and economics literatures, with over 600 citations in articles published in journals listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (source: ISI Web of Knowledge) and over 3,000 citations in published and working papers (source: Google Scholar).

Weisbenner’s work has also been cited in numerous news publications including Barron’s, Business Week, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Smart Money, The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, and The Washington Times.  It has been referenced in important government policy outlets as well, including the Economic Report of the President and briefings to the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee.