Ross Levine | Clausen Center

Ross Levine

Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance

Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Haas School of Business

Ross Levine is the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He is Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute, Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Professor Levine’s work focuses on financial regulation and economic growth, income inequality, and poverty; financial crises; the political economy of financial regulation; international capital flows; and the returns to entrepreneurship and the qualities of entrepreneurs.

Summary of recent papers:

Insider Trading and Innovation

Coauthors: Chen Lin (University of Hong Kong), Lai Wei ((University of Hong Kong)

Date: August 2016

Citation: Working Paper

This paper assesses whether restrictions on insider trading accelerate or slow technological innovation. Based on over 75,000 industry-country-year observations across 94 economies from 1976 to 2006, the authors find that enforcing insider-trading laws spurs innovation—as measured by patent intensity, scope, impact, generality, and originality. Furthermore, the evidence is consistent with the view that restricting insider trading accelerates innovation by improving the valuation of, and increasing the flow of equity financing to, innovative activities.


Acquiring Banking Networks

Coauthors: Chen Lin (University of Hong Kong), Zigan Wang ((University of Hong Kong)

Date: May 2017

Citation: Working Paper

Does the pre-deal geographic overlap of the subsidiaries and branches of two banks affect the probability that they merge and post-merger value creation and synergies? This paper presents comprehensive information on U.S. bank acquisitions from 1986 through 2014, constructs several measures of network overlap, and designs and implements a new identification strategy. The paper finds that greater pre-deal network overlap (1) increases the likelihood that two banks merge, (2) boosts the cumulative abnormal returns of the acquirer, target, and combined banks, and (3) is associated with larger labor cost reductions, managerial turnover, loan quality improvements, and revenue enhancements at target banks.

Clausen-Supported Research