Nandini Gupta

Associate Professor of Finance
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Telephone: (812) 855-3416; Fax: (812) 855-5875
Email: nagupta at indiana dot edu
CV, Google Scholar SSRN
Education: BSc in Economics Presidency College, Calcutta; PhD in Economics, University of Pittsburgh

My research is in the areas of corporate and international finance with a focus on financial development, politics and finance, and labor and finance. My research has considered the impact of privatization on firm performance, the political economy of the privatization decision, the political economy of foreign direct investment liberalization, the effect of stock market liberalization on economic growth, the effect of banking deregulation on corporate bankruptcy outcomes, the impact of corrupt lobbying on firm value, the effect of financial access on micro-entrepreneurship, and the careers of superstar workers who move to finance due to financial sector growth.
Media mentions

  • "Banking and finance have vacuumed up the talent: Many engineering graduates have chosen Wall Street and the City over manufacturing,” Andrew Hill, The Financial Times , March 26, 2018.
  • Automation, productivity, and the future of work in the National Affairs Blog, April 25, 2018.
  • "How engineers get into banking. And why they stay there," Sarah Butcher, efinancialcareers blog, March 25, 2019.
  • The Corporate Value of Corrupt Lobbying in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Regulation.
  • Are PSUs the Government's Cash Reserve? in Business Standard, January 8, 2012.
  • “India losing the privatization race,” The Wall Street Journal , March 10, 2011
  • “Private enterprise can save the public sector,” The Times of India , January 30, 2011
  • “Some home truths about privatisation,” The Indian Express , January 27, 2008
  • “Seasoning the Stock,” The Indian Express , November 19, 2009
  • From Commanding Heights to Family Silver: The Halting Progress of Privatization in India (2009) in Privatization Barometer Report 2009.


  • Partial Privatization and Firm Performance (2005), The Journal of Finance, Vol. LX, No. 2, 987-1015.
  • Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction? (2006), with Archishman Chakraborty and Rick Harbaugh RAND Journal of Economics, Volume 37-1, pages 176-194.
  • Incumbents and Protectionism: The Political Economy of Foreign Entry Liberalization (2008), with Anusha Chari, Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 88, pages 633-656.
  • Priorities and Sequencing in Privatization: Theory and Evidence from the Czech Republic (2008), with John Ham and Jan Svejnar, The European Economic Review.
  • Privatization in South Asia (2008) in Gerard Roland (ed.) Privatization:Successes and Failures, Columbia University Press: New York, NY, pages 170-198.
  • On the Growth Effect of Stock Market Liberalizations (2009), with Kathy Yuan, The Review of Financial Studies, Volume 22(11), pages 4715-4752.
  • The Decision to Privatize: Finance, Politics and Patronage (2011), with Serdar Dinc, The Journal of Finance Volume LXVI, Number 1, February 2011, pages 241-270.
  • Selling the Family Silver to Pay the Grocer's Bill? The Case of Privatization in India (2013) in Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya (ed.) Reforms and Economic Transformation in India, Oxford University Press.
  • The Corporate Value of (Corrupt) Lobbying (2016), with Alex Borisov and Eitan Goldman, The Review of Financial Studies Volume 29 (4), pages 1039-1071.
  • Quiet Life No More? Corporate Bankruptcy and Bank Competition with Anand Jha and Todd Gormley, accepted Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

    Working Papers

    Gupta, Nandini and Isaac Hacamo, Early Career Choices of Superstar Entrepreneurs (Slides)

    Using a dataset on career paths of elite U.S. engineers, including superstar entrepreneurs, we examine the effect of early career choices on long-run entrepreneurial outcomes. Exploiting exogenous variation in entry labor market conditions, driven by local financial sector growth, and comparing classmates in the same school-major-year, we find that talented engineers are more likely to switch from engineering jobs to finance in high finance growth areas. Compared to classmates who remain in engineering, these individuals create fewer startups that are large employers, receive VC funding, are acquired, and issue patents. A quasi-experimental design using state-wise banking deregulation produces similar results.

    Dehejia, Rajiv and Nandini Gupta, Financial development and micro-entrepreneurship
    Does financial development facilitate micro-entrepreneurship? Using randomized surveys of over 1 million Indian households and district-level bank branch location pre-determined by government policy, we find instead that financial access shifts workers from informal entrepreneurship into formal employment. Investigating the mechanism using randomized surveys of 400,000 firms and pre-determined bank location, we find that in districts with more banks, established firms borrow more, are more productive, employ more workers, and pay higher wages than firms in less banked districts. This evidence suggests a labor market mechanism by which financial development facilitates growth: by shifting workers from unproductive micro-entrepreneurship into productive employment.
    Cella, Cristina, Andrew Ellul, and Nandini Gupta, Learning through a smokescreen:Earnings management and CEO compensation over tenure
    Career concerns imply that CEOs have an incentive to engage in earnings management to extend their tenure (Fudenberg and Tirole (1995)). These incentives are likely to be more acute in the early years of tenure when there is greater uncertainty about CEO ability. However, it is also during the early years, when there is more uncertainty about business strategy, that earnings management is informative about the CEO’s expectations regarding future business conditions. As boards learn about managerial ability from independent signals over the CEO’s tenure, they can distinguish strategic from informative earnings management, and CEOs who continue to aggressively manage earnings are penalized. Consistent with this argument, we find that compensation is positively associated with earnings management in the early years of a CEO’s tenure, but the relationship becomes less significant and eventually negative in later years. These results are robust to treating earnings management as endogenous using instrumental variables. The relationship between earnings management and compensation over tenure is stronger for firms with better governance and higher institutional ownership and for CEOs with greater career concerns.
    Gupta, Nandini and Xiaoyun Yu, Does Money Follow the Flag? (Slides)
    We examine whether bilateral political relations can explain investment and trade flows between the United States and other countries. We treat political relations as endogenous using instrumental variable analysis and investigate whether an exogenous shock to political relations, the 2003 war in Iraq, leads to a shift in economic flows. The results suggest that a deterioration in bilateral relations is followed by a significant decrease in economic flows between the United States and that country. These results are robust to country fixed effects, income, industry growth, financial market development, and risk.
    Published Papers with Abstracts

    Gupta, Nandini (2005), Partial Privatization and Firm Performance, The Journal of Finance, Vol. LX, No. 2, 987-1015.
    Most privatization programs begin with a period of partial privatization in which only non-controlling shares of firms are sold on the stock market. Since management control is not transferred to private owners it is widely contended that partial privatization has little impact. This perspective ignores the role that the stock market can play in monitoring and rewarding managerial performance even when the government remains the controlling owner. Using data on Indian state-owned enterprises we find that partial privatization has a positive impact on profitability, productivity, and investment.
    Chakraborty, Archishman, Nandini Gupta, and Rick Harbaugh (2006), Best Foot Forward or Best for Last in a Sequential Auction? RAND Journal of Economics, Volume 37-1, pages 176-194.
    Should a seller with private information sell the best or worst goods first? Considering the sequential auction of two stochastically equivalent goods, we find that the seller has an incentive to impress buyers by selling the better good first because the seller’s sequencing strategy endogenously generates correlation in the values of the goods across periods. When this impression effect is strong enough, selling the better good first is the unique pure-strategy equilibrium. By credibly revealing to all buyers the seller’s ranking of the goods, an equilibrium strategy of sequencing the goods reduces buyer information rents and increases expected revenues in accordance with the linkage principle.
    Gupta, Nandini, John Ham, and Jan Svejnar (2008), Priorities and Sequencing in Privatization: Theory and Evidence from the Czech Republic,The European Economic Review, Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 183-208.
    While privatization of state-owned enterprises has been one of the most important aspects of the economic transition from a centrally planned to a market system, no transition economy has privatized all its firms simultaneously. This raises the question of whether governments privatize firms strategically. In this paper we examine the determinants of the sequencing of privatization. To obtain testable predictions about the factors that may affect sequencing, we investigate the following competing government objectives: (i) Maximizing efficiency through resource allocation; (ii) maximizing public goodwill from the free transfers of shares to the public; (iii) minimizing political costs; (iv) maximizing efficiency through information gains; and (v) maximizing privatization revenues. Next, we use firm-level data from the Czech Republic to test the competing predictions about the sequencing of privatization. Consistent with the hypotheses of a government priority on revenues and public goodwill, we find strong evidence that more profitable firms were privatized first. The sequencing of privatization is also consistent with maximizing efficiency through information gains. Our results indicate that many empirical studies of the effects of privatization on firm performance suffer from a selection bias.
    Chari, Anusha and Nandini Gupta (2008), Incumbents and Protectionism: The Political Economy of Foreign Entry Liberalization, Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 88, pages 633-656.
    This paper investigates the influence of incumbent firms on the decision to allow foreign direct investment into an industry. Using data from India’s economic reforms, the results show that firms in concentrated industries are more successful at preventing foreign entry, state-owned firms are more successful at stopping foreign entry than privately-owned firms, and profitable state-owned firms are more successful at stopping foreign entry than unprofitable state-owned firms. The pattern of foreign entry liberalization supports the private interest view of policy implementation and suggests that it may be necessary to reduce the influence of state-owned firms to optimally enact reforms.
    Gupta, Nandini and Kathy Yuan (2009), On the Growth Effect of Stock Market Liberalizations, Review of Financial Studies, Volume 22(11), pages 4715-4752.
    We investigate the e®ect of a stock market liberalization on industry growth in emerging markets. Consistent with the view that liberalization reduces financing constraints, we find that industries that are more externally dependent and face better growth opportunities grow faster following liberalization. However, this growth increase appears to come from an expansion in the size of existing firms rather than through the entry of financially constrained new firms. We show that following liberalization new firm growth occurs in countries and industries with lower entry barriers. Hence, liberalization has a more uniform growth impact if accompanied by competition-enhancing reforms.
    Dinc, Serdar and Nandini Gupta, The Decision to Privatize: Finance, Politics and Patronage, The Journal of Finance, Volume LXVI, Number 1, February 2011, pages 241-270. (Slides)
    We investigate the influence of financial and political factors on the decision to privatize government-owned firms using firm-level data from India. The results suggest that larger firms and firms with lower wage expenses are more likely to be privatized early. Based on data at the electoral district level from all elections held since the start of the privatization program, we find that the government delays the privatization of firms located in constituencies where the governing party faces more competition from opposition parties. This result is robust to constituency-level differences in income, literacy, urbanization, and growth opportunities, and to industry and time effects. As an indication that political patronage is important, no government-owned firm located in the home state of the politician in charge of that firm is ever privatized. Using political variables as an instrument for the endogenous privatization decision, we find that privatization has a positive and significant impact on firm performance.
    Gupta, Nandini Selling the Family Silver to Pay the Grocer's Bill? The Case of Privatization in India. (2013) in Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya (ed.) Reforms and Economic Transformation in India, Oxford University Press.
    Using data on Indian government-owned firms, we investigate the effect of privatization on the performance of these firms. Our results suggest that privatization is positively associated with the profitability and efficiency of of government-owned firms. Despite the small number of transactions, selling majority equity stakes to private owners has an economically significant impact on firm performance. Moreover, privatization is not associated with layoffs or a decline in employee compensation. These results are robust to controlling for the observable and unobservable characteristics of firms selected for privatization, and industry and country level reforms.
    Borisov, Alex, Eitan Goldman, and Nandini Gupta, The Corporate Value of (Corrupt) Lobbying, The Review of Financial Studies, Volume 29 (4), pages 1039-1071. (Slides)
    Using an event study, we examine whether the stock market considers corporate lobbying to be a value-enhancing investment. On January 3, 2006, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing politicians, which generated intense scrutiny of lobbyists, limiting their political influence. Using this event as a negative exogenous shock to the ability of firms to lobby, we show that a firm that spends $100,000 more cumulatively on lobbying in the three years prior to 2006, experiences a loss of about $1.3 million in value around the guilty plea. We also find suggestive evidence that part of the value from lobbying arises from potentially unethical practices.
    Gormley, Todd, Nandini Gupta, and Anand Jha, Quiet life no more? Corporate bankruptcy and bank competition forthcoming, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (Slides)
    Bankruptcy procedures around the world involve long delays that erode firm value and raise the cost of capital (Djankov, et al., 2008). These inefficiencies are likely to be greater in an uncompetitive banking sector, where creditors lack the incentive to undertake the costly effort required to recover assets from delinquent borrowers. Using a unique dataset on the population of corporate bankruptcy filings in India, we analyze whether entry deregulation in the banking sector affects creditors’ incentives to pursue delinquent firms. Exploiting district-level variation in the entry of new private banks, we find that bank entry is associated with an increase in filings by firms seeking a stay on assets to escape increased repayment pressure from creditors. This increase in filings is more pronounced in regions with stronger creditor rights. Bank entry is also associated with a significant decline in the duration of bankruptcy proceedings and a shift towards workouts rather than liquidations. The results are consistent with creditors exerting greater effort to pursue delinquent firms and to resolve bankruptcies more quickly following deregulation.