Essays in Law & Finance

Date of Award

Fall 10-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Spiegel, Matthew


This dissertation explores topics at the intersection of the law and finance literatures. The first chapter is an empirical study that examines theories of executive compensation. It leverages an exogenous shock and tests predictions regarding the resulting firm and executive level variation. The results offer context on board level compensation decisions as well as executives’ outside options on the labor market. The second chapter examines questions of corporate governance. It examines changes in the legal protections offered to corporate directors who disclose concerns regarding management. It compiles a new dataset based on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission to study these questions. The third chapter offers a shareholder centric framework of capital allocation. This framework explains puzzling empirical findings regarding financial slack and generates new testable predictions.

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