Areas of Expertise (6)
Corruption & Governance
Tax Policy in Greece
Adair Morse is Associate Professor of Finance at Berkeley Haas and a Fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Business. She holds a PhD in finance from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and master’s degrees in statistics and agricultural economics from Purdue University. She began her career as an entrepreneur in Poland.
Morse has taught New Venture Finance, Global Entrepreneurial Finance, and Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity at Berkeley Haas and the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Her research covers the areas of household finance, impact investing, entrepreneurship, corruption, and asset management. Recent work has been instrumental in redirecting 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. A number of papers on household finance and corruption appear in the Journal of Finance and Journal of Financial Economics, where she has won, respectively, the Brattle Prize and the Jensen Prize (second prize) for the best paper in Corporate Finance.
Ross School of Business, University of Michigan: PhD, Finance
Purdue University: MS, Agricultural Economics
Purdue University: MS, Statistics
Colgate University: BA
Honors & Awards (4)
New Zealand Finance Meeting - 2nd Best Paper
RAFI Best Paper Award for ESG
2018 Runner-up The RAFI Best Paper Award for ESG-related research, sponsored by RAFI Indices, LLC, recognizes creative and impactful research that advances the investment industry’s understanding of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria utilized in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing strategies.
European Finance Association Prize
2012 CommonFund Best Paper relevant to Endowment and Foundation Asset Management
Journal of Financial Economics Jensen Prize for Corporate Finance and Organizations
2009 Winner of 2nd Prize
Selected External Service & Affiliations (3)
- 2012 – present, Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic
- 2012 – present, Small and Medium Enterprise Affiliate, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
- 2012 – present, Member of Working Group on Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation
Positions Held (1)
At Haas since 2012
2016 – present, Associate Professor of Finance, Haas School of Business 2013 – 2016, Assistant Professor of Finance, Haas School of Business 2012 – 2013, Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Haas School of Business 2012 – 2013, Associate Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago 2007 – 2012, Assistant Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
Media Appearances (15)
Environmental, Social, And Governance: Why Corporations' Responses To George Floyd Protests Matter
S&P Global Ratings online
The horrific May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in Minneapolis police custody, sparked protests across the U.S. This incident came at a time when many communities were already reeling from the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on people of color, and it was captured on video for the world to see.
Bay Area group raising $1 billion for small businesses hurt by virus, theft, curfews
Los Angeles Times online
The expected high default rate for small-business recovery loans is translating into interest rates “way above normal times,” said Adair Morse, a finance professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. For the hardest-hit areas, she estimates rates “in the order of 25% to 30%, if not a lot more.” So loan programs “must at least be partially subsidized by government or philanthropy backstops,” she said.
City of Berkeley announces loan fund to support small businesses
Daily Californian online
UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business developed the project proposal for the SOS Business Loan Fund in March, authored in part by Adair Morse, the director of the business school’s Sustainable and Impact Finance Initiative. According to Morse, the Haas School’s role in the SOS Business Loan Fund is to be a neutral party between the city of Berkeley and financial institutions.
This Is What Racism Sounds Like in the Banking Industry
New York Times online
Jimmy Kennedy earned $13 million during his nine-year career as a player in the National Football League. He was the kind of person most banks would be happy to have as a client.
Apple’s credit card may discriminate, just like lots of banking algorithms
Adair Morse is an associate professor of finance at University of California, Berkeley, and studies the bias in those algorithms. She said they weigh thousands of variables, including where you went to school.
Bad, biased, and unethical uses of AI
The Enterprisers Project online
Looking at cases of unethical uses of AI can help managers avoid pitfalls. One such case was studied by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Soloman P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics; Prof. Nancy Wallace, the Lisle and Roslyn Payne Chair in Real Estate Capital Markets; and Prof. Richard Stanton, Kingsford Capital Management Chair in Business. In looking at online housing lenders, they found that even if the people writing the algorithms intended to create neutral systems, they've ended up discriminating against minority borrowers.
Can algorithms be racist? Trump’s housing department says no
A new rule would would make it nearly impossible for banks, landlords, or insurance companies to be sued when their algorithms result in people of color being disproportionately denied housing. But algorithms aren't necessarily unbiased. Research by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Prof. Nancy Wallace, and Prof. Richard Stanton has found that online lenders habitually charged borrowers of color higher interest rates than white borrowers with similar credit profiles.
Sustainable finance goes to business school
Wall Street journal online
Berkeley Haas is giving students hands-on experience with the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund, which students have managed since 2007. And interest by students in socially responsible investment only continues to rise, according to Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse.
Berkeley Haas’s Morse: FinTech Also Practices Housing Discrimination
Poets & Quants online
Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse of the Haas Finance Group, Prof. Richard Stanton, Kingsford Capital Management Chair in Business, and Prof. Nancy Wallace, Professor and Chair of the Real Estate Group, found that fintech lenders who use algorithms to determine mortgages are just as bad as traditional mortgage operations in discriminating against African American and Hispanic loan-seekers.
Digital mortgages are here, but some buyers are hesitant to use them. Here's what you should know.
Chicago Tribune online
Algorithmic bias has replaced human bias in lending, according to research by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse of the Haas Finance Group.
Say goodbye to all that paperwork: Digital mortgages have arrived
Washington Post online
Work by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse of the Haas Finance Group has raised questions about statistical discrimination and pricing disparities. “Our results tell us that lenders have pricing schemes that enable them to charge higher interest, and thus take higher profits from minorities," she said.
Online lending hasn't removed discrimination, study shows
A study by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Prof. Richard Stanton, and Prof. Nancy Wallace, found that both online and face-to-face lenders charge higher interest rates to black and Latino borrowers.
How some algorithm lending programs discriminate against minorities
NPR Morning Edition radio
Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary discusses work by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Prof. Richard Stanton, and Prof. Nancy Wallace, that found a bias in lending: for people with similar qualifications applying for home loans, race did play a factor.
A little oil, a little Brexit and some puppets
Work by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Prof. Richard Stanton, Kingsford Capital Management Chair in Business, and Prof. Nancy Wallace, Lisle and Roslyn Payne Chair in Real Estate Capital Markets, has found that there's bias in lending: for people with similar qualifications applying for home loans, race did play a factor.
Even machines are discriminating against black and Latino homebuyers
Washington Post online
Research by Assoc. Prof. Adair Morse, Prof. Richard Stanton, Kingsford Capital Management Chair in Business, and Prof. Nancy Wallace, Lisle and Roslyn Payne Chair in Real Estate Capital Markets, has found that even with automation, mortgage bias exists.
Selected Papers & Publications (6)
Adair Morse, Anna Cieslak and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen
Adair Morse, Wei Wang and Serena Wu
Adair Morse and Marianne Bertrand
Adair Morse, Nikolaos Artavanis and Margarita Tsoutsoura
Adair Morse, Vikram Nanda, and Amit Seru
Global Entrepreneurial Finance Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity