David Thesmar


David Thesmar

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David Thesmar is the Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics and a Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He is an expert in corporate finance, financial intermediation, entrepreneurship, and behavioral economics. Recently, he has studied the impact of financing constraints on the real economy. Thesmar also investigates risk management and systemic risk in banking. He has also researched firm organization and non-rational decision making on corporate strategies. His work makes systematic use of large datasets but emphasizes a parsimonious modelling approach to address economic questions.

A native of France, Thesmar has been involved in policy advising both at the French and European level. He was a member of the council of economic advisors to the French prime minister from 2007 to 2013, and is currently a scientific adviser to the European Systemic Risk Board. An active participant in the public debate, Thesmar is the author of several books, and a regular columnist for the French daily newspaper Les Echos. He has also held numerous consulting positions in the private sector, with a focus on big data related topics.

Thesmar holds a BA in physics and economics from École Polytechnique, and a PhD from the Paris School of Economics.

Current Research Focus: Thesmar's research is in corporate finance. One first area is valuation, with an emphasis on forecasting rules and valuation methods. This line of research employs survey data as well as laboratory experiments in order to shed light on the efficiency of the capital budgeting process. Another related area is corporate governance: He shows that ESG investment does not contradict value creation. A third line of research argues that finance benefits the economy by allocating capital to the right projects: He finds that this contribution is very large.


Thesmar wins Brattle Group Distinguished Paper Prize


"The Effects of Mandatory Profit-sharing on Workers and Firms: Evidence from France."

Nimier-David, Elio, David Sraer, and David Thesmar, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6966-23. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2023. NBER Working Paper 31804.

"Overreaction in Expectations: Evidence and Theory."

Afrouzi, Hassan, Spencer Yongwook Kwon, Augustin Landier, Yueran Ma, and David Thesmar. Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 138, No. 3 (2023): 1713-1764. SSRN Preprint.

"How to Use Natural Experiments to Estimate Misallocation."

Sraer, David Alexandre, and David Thesmar. American Economic Review Vol. 113, No. 4 (2023): 906-938. SSRN Preprint.

"Private Sanctions."

Hart, Oliver, David Thesmar, and Luigi Zingales, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6880-22. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2023.

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New research suggests accommodations by banks and the courts can help at least some small businesses survive bankruptcy.

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Data from France shows that unemployment benefits can encourage entrepreneurs to open up new businesses and boost the economy.

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Media Highlights

Press Source: Les Echos (Subscription Required)

La fable des lombrics

Professor David Thesmar recommends reading Gaspard Koenig's "Humus," which he feels perfectly illustrates the moral dilemmas of our time.

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Press Source: Financial Times

Why take risk in fixed income?

The thesis of Prof. David Thesmar's study is that IICCs, not Capm outputs, are the right discount rates to use in each category of company.

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Press Source: BFM TV | Business (Video)

Le Grand Journal de l'Éco

Prof. David Thesmar discusses his recently published book "Le prix de nos valeurs: Quand nos idéaux se heurtent à nos désirs matériels."

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