Jonathan B. Berk

Professor, Finance

The A.P. Giannini Professor of Finance

Academic Area:

Research Statement

Jonathan Berk’s research is primarily theoretical in nature and covers a broad range of topics in finance including delegated money management; asset pricing (the relation between stock returns and characteristics of the firm, such as accounting numbers, investment, firm size, etc.); valuing the firm’s growth potential, the firm’s capital structure decision, and the interaction between labor markets and financial markets. He has also explored individual rationality in an experimental setting.

Bio

Jonathan Berk is the A.P. Giannini Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). His research is primarily theoretical in nature and covers a broad range of topics in finance, including delegated money management; the pricing of financial assets; valuing a firm’s growth potential; the capital structure decision; and the interaction between labor markets and financial markets. He has also explored individual rationality in an experimental setting.

Professor Berk has coauthored two finance textbooks: Corporate Finance and Fundamentals in Finance. The first edition of Corporate Finance is the most successful first edition textbook ever published in financial economics, and is a standard text in almost all top MBA programs around the world. At the GSB, he teaches courses in Institutional Money Management and Critical Analytical Thinking.

Professor Berk’s research is internationally recognized and has won numerous awards, including the Stephen A. Ross Prize in Financial Economics, the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award, the Smith Breeden Prize, Best Paper of the Year in the Review of Financial Studies, and the FAME Research Prize. His article, “A Critique of Size-Related Anomalies,” was selected as one of the two best papers ever published in the Review of Financial Studies, and was also honored as one of the 100 seminal papers published by Oxford University Press. In recognition of his influence on the practice of finance, he has received the Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence, the Roger F. Murray Prize, and the Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award.

He served as an associate editor of the Journal of Finance from 2000-2008, is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Portfolio Management, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Also, he is a member of the board of directors of the Financial Management Association.

Professor Berk received his PhD in finance from Yale University. Before joining Stanford he was the Sylvan Coleman Professor of Finance at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Yale University, 1990
  • MA, MPhil, Yale University, 1989
  • B.A. in Physics, Rice University, 1984

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, Financial Management Association
  • “A Critique of Size Related Anomalies” selected as one of 100 seminal papers published in the history of Oxford University Press
  • “A Critique of Size Related Anomalies” selected as one of the two best papers ever published in The Review of Financial Studies
  • Bernstein-Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award, Journal of Portfolio Management, 2006 (“Five Myths of Active Portfolio Management”)
  • TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award, 2005 (“Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets”)
  • FAME Research Prize, 2003 (“Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets”)
  • Roger F. Murray Prize (3rd Place), The Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance, 2003 (“Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets”)
  • Best Paper, Utah Winter Finance Conference, 2003 (“Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets”)
  • Honorable Mention (Teaching), Evening MBA program, 2000–01
  • Honorable Mention (Teaching), Evening MBA program, 1999–2000
  • Smith Breeden Prize (Distinguished Paper), Journal of Finance, 1999 (“Optimal Investment, Growth Options and Security Returns”)
  • Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence, Financial Analysts Journal, 1997 (“Does Size Really Matter?”)
  • Best Paper, Review of Financial Studies, 1995 (“A Critique of Size Related Anomalies”)
  • First Prize, 1996 Roger F. Murray Prize Competition, The Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance (“Does Size Really Matter?”)
  • Second Prize, Chicago Quantitative Alliance Third Annual Academic Competition, 1996 (“Optimal Investment, Growth Options and Security Returns”)
  • Richard D. Irwin Doctoral Fellowship, 1990

Publications

Journal Articles

Books

Working Papers

Stanford Case Studies

Conferences, Talks & Speaking Engagements

Jonathan Berk turns the efficient market hypothesis, which popularized the belief that mutual fund managers were “monkey investors” who consistently perform worse than the overall market, on its head to prove that mutual fund managers are in fact highly skilled investors.

Service to the Profession

  • Director, American Finance Association, 2013-2016
  • Director, Western Finance Association, 2014-2016
  • Academic Director, Financial Management Association, 2010-2013
  • Advisory Board, The Journal of Portfolio Management, 2009-present

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