.Nishant Dass is one part academic, one part entrepreneur – an ideas man, who is also eyeing the next big thing that will revolutionize businesses. Prof. Dass went to graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He went on to complete his Ph.D. from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and started his academic career at Georgia Tech in 2007. He is now a tenured professor of Finance at Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech.
He is deeply passionate about entrepreneurship and believes that startups are the biggest drivers of job-creation and economic growth in any economy. In addition to his deep expertise in finance, Prof. Dass has taught and advised numerous startups as well as dozens of executive teams from Fortune 500 corporations in methods like lean startup and disciplined entrepreneurship. He has also lectured extensively to MBA students and startups on the latest technological developments, such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, and IoT.
He is an enthusiastic preacher of the potential of blockchain technology. He has published numerous research papers in the areas of empirical corporate finance, with a special focus on financial intermediation, corporate governance, innovation, and supply chain. His papers have been presented in various academic conferences, such as the AFA, WFA, EFA, FIRS, FMA, NY Fed, and the World Bank.
He has published papers in the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and
Review of Finance. His work has also been cited in The New York Times. Dass is the father of two girls. In his spare time, he plays silly pranks on his daughters, enjoys architecture, photography, traveling, and cooking for his family and friends.
Areas of Expertise (8)
Role of CEOs
Boards of Directors
Selected Accomplishments (1)
Best paper in Banking at the 24th Australasian Finance & Banking Conference, December 2011, Sydney, Australia
INSEAD: Ph.D., Management (Finance) 2007
University of Michigan: M.S. 1999
University of Illinois: M.S. 2001
University of Rajasthan: B.A., Architecture 1998
Malaviya Regional Engineering College (with Honours)
- Financial Management : Associate Editor
- American Finance Association : Member
- American Economic Association : Member
- Western Finance Association : Member
- Financial Management Association : Member
Selected Media Appearances (3)
6 Interesting Classes Students Are Taking This Fall
Georgia Tech News Center online
Georgia Tech courses are plentiful and varied. They range from microelectronic circuits, to international affairs, to a College of Design workshop (ARCH 4803) — taught by Tech alumnus and Beltline founder Ryan Gravel — that will look at the growth of Atlanta’s Buford Highway, the corridor that runs through Brookhaven, Chamblee, and Doraville.
Is There a Local Culture of Corruption in the U.S.?
The CLS Blue Sky Blog online
Culture often helps explain the behavior of individuals and firms. The general finding in the law and economics literature is that certain societal norms, such as attitudes toward corruption, persist even when individuals relocate to a very different legal and social milieu (e.g., Fernandez, 2011). Studies show that individuals with cultural ties to more corrupt countries exhibit a greater propensity to engage in unethical behavior in the U.S., such as illegal parking by U.N. diplomats (Fisman and Miguel, 2007), corporate tax evasion (DeBacker, Heim, and Tran, 2015), and accounting fraud (Liu, 2016).
Do Directors from Related Industries Help Bridge the Information Gap?
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation online
Directors have two complementary functions in a firm: that of monitoring and offering strategic advice. Directors with current expertise in the firm’s own industry have the requisite information and therefore are clearly suited to perform these functions effectively. However, antitrust laws prohibit firms from having directors from other firms that compete in the same product market. Given these constraints, “directors from related industries” (DRIs) are well-positioned to perform these critical functions, particularly when firms face a severe information gap vis-à-vis their related upstream and downstream industries. For instance, DRIs can improve a firm’s ability to respond to demand/supply shocks or forecast trends in related upstream/downstream industries. They can also help shrink the information gap between the firm’s board and its managers regarding conditions in related industries, thereby enhancing the board’s ability to monitor managerial performance.
Selected Articles (5)
Nishant Dass, Vikram K. Nanda, Steven Chong Xiao
We test the hypothesis that U.S. corporations headquartered in states with greater public corruption are also prone to more unethical behavior. We exploit the passage of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that curtailed bribery of foreign officials, and find that firms in corrupt states, especially those exporting to more corrupt countries, suffer greater value (Tobin's Q) and performance (ROA) decline following FCPA, indicating larger losses from restrictions on bribery. Firms in corrupt states are also prone to greater agency problems: they are more likely to manage earnings, face securities fraud litigation, and be adversely affected by state-level anti-takeover laws.
Nishant Dass, Sheng Huang, Johan Maharjan, Vikram Nanda
We examine how stock liquidity affects acquisitions. Relying on a simple model, we hypothesize that liquidity enhances acquirer stock as an acquisition currency, especially when the target is relatively less liquid. As hypothesized, we find that greater acquirer (lower target) liquidity increases acquisition likelihood and payment with stock, reduces acquisition premiums, and improves acquirer announcement returns in equity deals. To exploit the benefits of liquidity, firms take steps to improve stock liquidity prior to stock acquisitions. Our identification strategy relies primarily on the liquidity shock induced by stock-market decimalization. A supplementary test using the variation in stock liquidity induced by changes in composition of Russell-1000/2000 indices yields similar results.
Annamaria Conti, Nishant Dass, Francesco Di Lorenzo, Stuart J.H. Graham
This paper employs the 2008 financial crisis as an empirical setting to examine how VCs’ investment strategies vary in the presence of a liquidity supply shock, and what are the performance implications of these strategies for their portfolio startups. We show that, while predictably venture capitalists (VCs) reduce investment, they lean towards startups operating in their core sectors. These effects are driven by more-experienced VCs, and are strongest for early-stage startups. Our findings are robust to controlling for VC-times-startup fixed effects, and time-variant VC and startup characteristics. Building on these findings, we find superior ex post performance among crisis-funded portfolio startups operating in more-experienced VCs’ core sectors.
Nishant Dass, Vikram Nanda, Qinghai Wang
The literature suggests that while decentralized decision making can allow for greater specialization in an organization, it heightens the cost of coordinating decisions. The mutual fund industry—in particular, sole- and team-managed balanced funds—provides an ideal setting to test the specialization versus coordination trade-off, as information on decision structures and fund actions is easily obtained. We show that sole-managed balanced funds, with centralized decision rights, exhibit significant market timing that requires reallocation across asset classes. However, consistent with coordination difficulties between managers specializing in particular asset classes, no market timing is evident in team-managed balanced funds. Team-managed funds exhibit greater returns from specialization, in the form of better security selection performance than sole-managed funds. These results hold cross-sectionally and for funds that switch management structures. The overall returns across different management structures are similar, indicating a market equilibrium. Investor flows reward market-timing performance for sole- but not team-managed funds.
Nishant Dass Massimo Massa Rajdeep Patgiri
This article studies one of the potential causes of the financial market bubble of the late 1990s: the herding behavior of mutual funds. We show that the incentives contained in the mutual funds' advisory contracts induce managers to overcome their tendency to herd. We argue that investing in bubble stocks amounts to herding and contracts with high incentives induce managers to diverge from the herd, thus reducing their holding of bubble stocks. The differential exposure to bubble stocks significantly impacted the funds' performance both in the period prior to March 2000, as well as afterwards.