Adair Morse | Clausen Center

Adair Morse

Assistant Professor

Finance Department, Haas School of Business

Adair Morse is assistant professor of finance at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Her research covers the areas of household finance, entrepreneurship, corruption and governance, and asset management. Recent work has been instrumental in re-directing the debate on tax reform in Greece. Her work on fraud helped to shape the bounty provisions in the Dodd Frank law of financial reform; and, her work on trickle down consumption has contributed to the debate on the financial crisis and income inequality.

Summary of recent papers:

Stock Returns over the FOMC Cycle

Date: June 2016

Coauthors: Anna Cieslak, Annette Vissing-Jorgensen

Citation: Jacob Gold & Associates Best Paper Prize, ASU Sonoran Winter Finance Conference, 2015

We document that since 1994 the equity premium in the US and worldwide is earned entirely in weeks 0, 2, 4 and 6 in FOMC cycle time, i.e. in even weeks starting from the last FOMC meeting. We tie the even-week pattern causally to the Fed. The even-week returns are driven primarily by the Fed reacting to poor stock returns with more accommodation than expected (a “Fed put”). The timing comes from Fed monetary-policy decision-making tending to happen in even weeks. Evidence suggests systematic informal communication of Fed officials with the media and financial sector is the information transmission channel.


Impact Investing

Date: March 2016

Coauthors: Brad M. Barber, Ayako Yasuda

Citation: Very Preliminary

We study investments in impact funds, which we define as venture or growth private equity with a stated intent to generate both financial returns and positive externalities. In a choice-of-funds framework covering 3,500 limited partners, 5,000 funds, and 25,000 capital commitments and controlling for general determinants of fund choice, we find a 13.5% higher investment rate for impact funds compared to the benchmark investment rate of traditional venture funds. Our results imply that the supply of impact funds is incomplete, failing to meet demand. Certain types of investors drive the effect: development organizations, foundations, banks, insurance companies, and public pension funds. This set of impact investor types encompasses those with externalities in their utility function as well as those who respond to political, regulatory or local goodwill incentives to incorporate social responsibility in investing (SRI). Further, when investors signal their demand for impact or adherence to SRI principles by being a United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) signatory, the excess demand for impact funds increases to 25% higher than the baseline rate by expanding the list of impact investors to include private pensions and institutional asset managers who have SRI branding.