The Corporate Partners’ Research Award 2018 is awarded to Marcus Opp for his distinguished research in finance. He defended his thesis at the University of Chicago in 2008 and thereafter joined the University of California, Berkeley before joining the Stockholm School of Economics as an Associate Professor. His work on financial institutions and contracts is of high quality and very impactful. In applications ranging from regulation to compensation, he has demonstrated the importance of power to compensation contracts, the perverse effects of excessive (regulatory) reliance on credit ratings, and the interaction between financial frictions and regulation. He often applies principal-agent models in innovative and productive ways.
His current project on executive compensation is a great example: what happens when compensation is deferred by law (one of the main regulatory responses to the financial crisis)? They show how small interventions in pay duration can be beneficial, while excessively long deferrals tend to be harmful.