Rebecca Lester

Rebecca Lester
Associate Professor, Accounting
Contact Info
RebeccaLester
Michelle R. Clayman Faculty Scholar for 2019-2020
Academic Area: 
Accounting

Research Statement

Professor Rebecca Lester's research documents the economic consequences of accounting information and tax policies on firms’ investment and employment decisions.

Research Interests

  • Taxation
  • Firm Investment
  • Multinational Location Decision
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

Teaching Statement

Professor Lester teaches the first year MBA Financial Accounting course. The objective of this course is to learn how a company's economic transactions are reflected on financial statements and to train students to be informed users of this financial information.

Bio

Rebecca Lester joined the Stanford Graduate School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Accounting in July 2015. She studies the effects of accounting rules and tax policies on domestic and multinational firm investment and employment decisions. Her recent work has examined how firms have responded to a U.S. manufacturing tax incentive that was intended to increase domestic investment and employment. Other work examines how U.S. tax rules previously encouraged firms to reinvest offshore and borrow domestically rather than repatriate cash to the U.S.

Professor Lester received her PhD in Accounting from the MIT Sloan School of Management and both a B.A. and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee. Prior to her studies at MIT, she was a Manager in the M&A Transaction Services practice of Deloitte in Chicago, Illinois.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Accounting, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015
  • Masters of Accountancy, University of Tennessee, 2002
  • BS, Accounting, University of Tennessee, 2002

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB, 2019 - present
  • Assistant Professor of Accounting, Stanford GSB, 2015 - 2019

Professional Experience

  • Manager, Deloitte M&A Transaction Services, 2003 - 2008
  • Tax Senior Consultant, Deloitte Lead Tax Services, 2001 - 2003
  • CPA, State of Illinois (Inactive), 2003

Awards and Honors

  • Michelle R. Clayman Faculty Scholar for 2019 - 2020
  • Michelle R. Clayman Faculty Scholar, 2018 - 2019
  • Best 40 Business School Professors under 40, Poets & Quants, 2018
  • Michelle R. Clayman Faculty Scholar, 2017 - 2018
  • R. Michael and Mary Shanahan Faculty Scholar, 2016 - 2017
  • ATA/PwC 2016 Outstanding Tax Dissertation Award
  • MIT Sloan Thesis Prize, First Place
  • Stanford MBA Distinguished Teaching Award - Honorable Mention (2016 and 2018)

Publications

Journal Articles

Rebecca Lester. Journal of Accounting Research. 2019, Vol. 57, Issue 4, Pages 1059-1114.
Rebecca Lester, Dominika Langenmayr. The Accounting Review. May 2018, Vol. 93, Issue 3, Pages 237-266.
Rebecca Lester, Cody Evans, Hanna Tian. State Tax Notes. 2018, Vol. 90, Issue 3, Pages 221-235.
Rebecca Lester, Ralph Rector. Tax Notes. August 2016, Vol. 152, Issue 9, Pages 1269-1292.
Michelle Hanlon, Rebecca Lester, Rodrigo Verdi. Journal of Financial Economics. 2015, Vol. 116, Issue 1, Pages 179-196.
SP Kothari, Rebecca Lester. Accounting Horizons. 2012, Vol. 26, Issue 2, Pages 335-352.

Working Papers

Net Operating Loss Carryforwards and Corporate Savings Policies | PDF
Heitzman Shane, Rebecca Lester, February 62019
Do Targeted Business Tax Subsidies Achieve Expected Benefits?
Rebecca Lester, Lisa De Simone, Aneesh Raghunandan, February 12019
Transparency and Tax Evasion: Evidence from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) | PDF
Lisa De Simone, Rebecca Lester, Kevin Markle, February 12019

Teaching

Degree Courses

2019-20

Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. Financial statements are a key product of this measurement process and an important component of firms' financial reporting activities. The objective of this course...

2018-19

Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. The objective of this course is not to train you to become an accountant but rather to help you develop into an informed user of financial statement information....

Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. Financial statements are a key product of this measurement process and an important component of firms' financial reporting activities. The objective of this course...

2017-18

Financial accounting is the measurement of economic activity for decision-making. Financial statements are a key product of this measurement process and an important component of firms' financial reporting activities. The objective of this course...

Stanford Case Studies

The Pfizer-Allergan Tax Inversion | A230
Rebecca Lester, Jaclyn Foroughi2017

In the Media

Poets & Quants, April 23, 2018

Insights by Stanford Business

July 22, 2019
A tough new law made it much harder for American tax cheats to hide their money offshore. But a new study shows they haven’t given up.
September 14, 2018
Stanford GSB faculty suggest books and articles related to the theme.
June 1, 2018
Stanford’s Rebecca Lester teams up with two graduate students to find out.
December 4, 2017
A new study by Stanford’s Rebecca Lester suggests that the GOP plan to cut corporate tax rates could also discourage risk-taking.

School News

July 18, 2018
This summer, MBA student Cody Evans is traveling to low-income areas targeted by a new federal program for economic investment to see how they could succeed.
June 1, 2016
Accounting professors Elizabeth Blankespoor and Ed deHaan, and Marketing Professor Harikesh Nair have been recognized by students for exceptional teaching.
October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.