Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Thomas, Jacob


In the first chapter of my dissertation, I present the evidence of the effect of financial regulators’ social media use on corporate and individual behavior. Using the staggered launch of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regional offices’ Twitter accounts, I find that financial regulators’ presence on social media reduces opportunistic insider trading, customer complaints against investment advisers, and financial misreporting. Additional tests suggest that the salience and dissemination of regional offices’ enforcement activities via Twitter play a role. The deterrence effect of SEC regional offices’ Twitter use is concentrated among offices with more followers, firms with more retail investors, and advisers with more retail clients. I also show that investors react more strongly to enforcement actions after the enforced firm’s regional office initiates Twitter use. Taken together, the results suggest that financial regulators’ use of social media helps deter misconduct. In the second chapter, I study how antitrust concerns arising from product markets influence corporate disclosure in capital markets. While securities regulators encourage disclosure, product-market regulators discourage disclosure of competitively sensitive information. Thus, firms may refrain from disclosing such information when antitrust regulators and private plaintiffs use corporate disclosure to infer collusion. Using peer firms’ announcements of product price increases as a shock to antitrust concerns, I find that companies with more antitrust concerns reduce their disclosure of competitively sensitive information, such as information on future strategies, sales, production, and product markets. Additional analyses suggest that firms with more antitrust concerns may also raise their product prices without issuing explicit press releases. To avoid further attention from antitrust regulators and plaintiffs, these companies limit their disclosure of competitively sensitive information. The third chapter, coauthored with Bingxin Zhao, uses a large biomedical dataset and advanced methods in genetics to study the genetic endowment of holding managerial positions. We also investigate the phenotypic and genetic correlations of being a manager with a broad range of traits, including physical attributes, intelligence, mental health, and diseases. Among all traits we examine, general risk tolerance and risky behaviors have the strongest phenotypic and genetic correlations with holding managerial positions. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) reveals that holding managerial positions is associated with genetic markers in a region that has been linked to risk tolerance and adventurousness. Additionally, compared to males, females exhibit higher genetic correlations between risk-taking traits and being a manager. However, their phenotypic correlations between risk-taking traits and being a manager are similar or even lower. Furthermore, we show that being a manager is positively associated with better mental health but not related to intelligence.