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Gonzalo Maturana - Emory University, Goizueta Business School. Atlanta, GA, US

Gonzalo Maturana

Goizueta Foundation Term Associate Professor of Finance | Emory University, Goizueta Business School








Poor Ethics, Bad Business



Gonzalo Maturana joined the Goizueta Business School in 2015 after completing his PhD in Finance at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

Professor Maturana’s primary research focuses are in corporate finance, household finance, real estate finance, and conflicts of interest. His research has been published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and Management Science. His research has also appeared in nonacademic outlets such as Bloomberg, MarketWatch, and the CFA digest. Among his awards are the Michael J. Brennan Award for best paper in the Review of Financial Studies in 2017 and the Rising Scholar Award for best paper by a young researcher in the Review of Financial Studies in 2020.

Prior to joining the faculty at Goizueta, Professor Maturana held positions at the University of Chile and IM Trust, a Chilean investment bank. At Goizueta, he has taught Corporate Finance to undergraduate students, Financial Services to MBA students, and Applied Methods in Corporate Finance to PhD students.

Education (3)

The University of Texas at Austin - McCombs School of Business: PhD, Finance

University of Chile - Center for Applied Economics: MA, Applied Economics

University of Chile - School of Engineering: BS, Engineering

Areas of Expertise (5)

Corporate Finance

Household Finance


Real Estate

Conflicts of Interest

Publications (11)

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Research Production in Economics and Finance?

Review of Financial Studies

Samuel Kruger, Gonzalo Maturana, and Jordan Nickerson


Following the onset of COVID-19, research production in economics and finance (measured by the posting of working papers) increased by 29%. Production increases were widespread across geographies, job titles, departments, and ages with larger increases in top departments and for people under the age of 35. Men and women both experienced production increases with the exception of women between the age of 35 and 49, who experienced no production gains despite large increases for men in the same age group. COVID-19 increased reliance on past coauthorship networks, with larger production gains for authors that are more central to the network.

Agglomeration, Knowledge Spillovers, and Corporate Investment

Journal of Corporate Finance

William Grieser, Gonzalo Maturana, Ioannis Spyridopoulos, and Santiago Truffa


Agglomeration is positively correlated with productivity and exhibits substantial heterogeneity across industries. Yet, the connection between agglomeration and corporate investment, an important driver of production, remains relatively underexplored. We study this relation using counterfactuals that account for the empirical distribution of industry size and firm locations, and by employing network methods that exploit firm geographic location and patent citation connections. We find a strong positive relation between industry peers’ proximity, investment externalities, uncertainty, and knowledge capital. Collectively, our evidence supports the notion that knowledge spillovers generate positive investment externalities that drive firm location decisions and explain industry-level agglomeration patterns.

What Drove the 2003–2006 House Price Boom and Subsequent Collapse? Disentangling Competing Explanations

Journal of Financial Economics

John M. Griffin, Samuel Kruger, and Gonzalo Maturana


Ten years after the financial crisis, the central question of what explains the rise and fall in house prices remains unresolved. We provide a unified framework to examine four excess credit supply variables and three speculation variables that have been proposed in the literature. Credit supply variables, particularly subprime share and worse originator share, strongly relate to future zip-code-level house price changes in the boom and bust, whereas none of the speculation variables consistently relate to house prices within MSAs. Pre-trends, supply elasticity, and depressed areas suggest these relations are not driven by lenders anticipating house price growth.

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Collateral Misreporting in the Residential Mortgage-Backed Security Market

Management Science

Samuel Kruger and Gonzalo Maturana


Securitized mortgage appraisals routinely target pre-specified valuations, 45% of purchase loan appraisals exactly equal purchase prices, and appraisals virtually never fall below purchase prices. As a result, appraisals exceed automated valuation model (AVM) valuations 60% of the time and are 5% higher than AVM valuations on average. High appraisals and indicators of appraisal targeting predict loan delinquency and residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) losses and are priced at the loan level through higher interest rates, but have essentially no impact on RMBS pricing. Selection bias simulations and unfunded loan application appraisals indicate that high appraisals are intentional. The extent to which appraisals exceed AVM valuations varies across loan officers, mortgage brokers, and appraisers, and high appraisals are associated with more repeat business for appraisers, potentially incentivizing appraisers to inflate their appraisals

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Real effects of workers’ financial distress: Evidence from teacher spillovers

Journal of Financial Economics

Gonzalo Maturana and Jordan Nickerson


This paper studies the effects of financial distress on workers’ productivity, using detailed data from the public school system in Texas. We show that the student passing rate in the median-sized grade decreases by 1.2 percentage points following a declaration of bankruptcy by one teacher in the grade. The effect of financial distress increases with the complexity of the task. Overall, our results suggest a potential feedback effect of worker financial distress on local economic conditions and thus contribute to the understanding of the propagation, and potential amplification, of shocks through a local economy.

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Teachers Teaching Teachers: The Role of Workplace Peer Effects in Financial Decisions

Review of Financial Studies

Gonzalo Maturana and Jordan Nickerson


This paper studies the role of workplace peers in the transmission of information pertinent to an important household financial decision: the mortgage refinancing choice. Exploiting commonalities in teaching schedules of school teachers in Texas to identify peer groups, we find that refinancing activity among teachers’ peers increases their likelihood of refinancing by 20.7%. The effect of peers increases with the potential savings realized upon refinancing and is stronger among younger teachers. Peers also affect teachers’ choice of lender. Overall, our findings suggest that peer interactions greatly reduce a household’s cost of acquiring and processing financial information.

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Do labor markets discipline? Evidence from RMBS bankers

Journal of Financial Economics

John M. Griffin, Samuel Kruger, and Gonzalo Maturana


This paper examines whether employees involved in residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) securitization experienced internal and external labor market consequences relative to similar non-RMBS employees in the same banks and why. Senior RMBS bankers experienced similar levels of job retention, promotion, and external job opportunities. Even signers of RMBS deals with high loss and misreporting rates or deals implicated in lawsuits experienced no adverse internal or external labor market outcomes. These findings are likely not explained by targeted or delayed employee discipline, small legal fines, or protection due to pending litigation but are consistent with implicit upper-management approval of RMBS activities.

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Personal infidelity and professional conduct in 4 settings

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

John M. Griffin, Samuel Kruger, and Gonzalo Maturana


We study the connection between personal and professional behavior by introducing usage of a marital infidelity website as a measure of personal conduct. Police officers and financial advisors who use the infidelity website are significantly more likely to engage in professional misconduct. Results are similar for US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defendants accused of white-collar crimes, and companies with chief executive officers (CEOs) or chief financial officers (CFOs) who use the website are more than twice as likely to engage in corporate misconduct. The relation is not explained by a wide range of regional, firm, executive, and cultural variables. These findings suggest that personal and workplace behavior are closely related.

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When Are Modifications of Securitized Loans Beneficial to Investors?

Review of Financial Studies

Gonzalo Maturana


Loan modification is widely discussed as an alternative to foreclosure, but little research has focused on quantifying its effect on loan performance. I quantify this effect early in the housing crisis by exploiting exogenous variation in the incentives to modify securitized nonagency loans. An additional modification reduces loan losses by 35.8% relative to the average loss; this reduction suggests that the marginal benefit of modification likely exceeded the marginal cost. Consistent with the idea that high-income borrowers may be better equipped to withstand bad economic times, I find that modifications are especially beneficial when borrowers have larger loans.

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Did Dubious Mortgage Origination Practices Distort House Prices?

Review of Financial Studies

John M. Griffin and Gonzalo Maturana


ZIP codes with high concentrations of originators who misreported mortgage information experienced a 75% larger relative increase in house prices from 2003 to 2006 and a 90% larger relative decrease from 2007 to 2012 compared with other ZIP codes. Several causality tests show that high fractions of dubious originators in a ZIP code lead to large price distortions. Originators with high misreporting gave credit to borrowers with high ex ante risk, yet further understated the borrowers' true risk. Overall, excess credit facilitated through dubious origination practices explain much of the regional variation in house prices over a decade.

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Who Facilitated Misreporting in Securitized Loans?

Review of Financial Studies

John M. Griffin and Gonzalo Maturana


This paper examines apparent fraud among securitized nonagency loans using three indicators: unreported second liens, owner occupancy misreporting, and appraisal overstatements. We find that around 48% of loans exhibited at least one indicator of misrepresentation. Surprisingly, misreporting is similar in both low and full documentation loans and is associated with a 51% higher likelihood of delinquency. Two-thirds of loans with unreported second liens had the same originator issuing both the first and second lien. Misrepresentations in MBS pools can explain substantial cross-sectional differences in future losses. Losses were predictable and initiating from apparent fraud by MBS underwriters and loan originators.

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Research Spotlight

In the News (3)

CEOs Who Cheat in Bedroom Will Cheat in Boardroom, Study Shows

Bloomberg  online


Cheating on your spouse goes hand in hand with cheating in the workplace. That’s the conclusion of a provocative new academic study that found a strong correlation between adultery and workplace misconduct by corporate executives and financial advisers.

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Mortgage Bankers and Hedge-Fund Revivals

Bloomberg  online


Why didn’t the bankers with the closest ties to the pre-crisis fraud lose their jobs? In their line of thinking, the fraud was not a feature of the people, but a feature of the asset class.

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How J.P. Morgan and Barclays Mistakes Inflated the Housing Bubble

Market Watch  online


Gonzalo Maturana, an assistant professor of finance at Emory University in Atlanta, combed through 3.1 million mortgages originated between 2002 and the end of 2007. More than one-quarter of these loans subsequently defaulted. While looking for inconsistencies in appraisal values and owner-occupancy status, the most interesting part of the investigation exposes how some mortgage securities were riddled with undisclosed second liens. These hidden debts reduced the borrowers’ incentive to repay their obligations. Griffin and his co-author found the gaps by comparing bank securities documents to county courthouse records.

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