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Adair Morse

Associate Professor, Haas Finance Group

Haas School of Business

University of California Berkeley



Adair Morse’s work in economics began when she was fresh out of college. After graduating from Colgate University in 1990, she moved to Poland to teach English. Instead, she wound up starting a business. Poland had just embarked on its rapid transformation to a capitalist economy and at the age of 21, Morse became not just an observer, but also a participant in this radical change. She started a company manufacturing leather goods and began to learn first-hand about the power and responsibility of being an employer. All of her employees had worked in state enterprise up until the transition and for many, her business was their first experience in private enterprise.

“There I was, at 21,” she recollects, laughing, “and of course I don’t know anything at 21.” But she paid in U.S. dollars, which gave her employees a secure footing in a shifting economy. Before her time in Click here to Read More


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Mara Faccio

Hanna Chair in Entrepreneurship & Professor of Finance

Krannert School of Management

Purdue University




It is not often that major research projects begin with daytime television. But this was the case for a series of groundbreaking studies about the relationships between politicians and firms. As a child growing up in Italy, Mara Faccio watched cartoons on the country’s new commercial TV networks. Those networks would soon turn into the media empire that brought Silvio Berlusconi to the public stage and launched his political career. Faccio was fascinated by Berlusconi’s transition from an entertainment mogul into a politician. Watching his electoral success, Faccio began to wonder how his business empire connected to his political career: “I decided to start to look at his case and to investigate the empirical value of political ties.”

This investigation was the starting point for her article, “Politically Connected Firms,” published in the American Economic Review (2006). The scope of the article went well beyond Berlusconi and Italy. Faccio studied 20,000 firms from around the globe to discover the implications of connections between politicians and firms. She found that political connections significantly added to firm value. By looking at firms from 47 different countries Click here to Read More