Photo of Jillian Popadak

Jillian Popadak

Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Research Interests: corporate finance, law and economics, entrepreneurship and innovation, applied econometrics

Links: Curriculum Vitae, Linkedin, SSRN

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Phone: (202) 265-6111

Email: jpopadak@wharton.upenn.edu

ReSEARCH PAPERS:

"A Corporate Culture Channel: How Increased Shareholder Governance Reduces Firm Value"

Media Coverage: Columbia LAW SChool's BLUESKY BLOG

I show corporate culture is an important channel through which shareholder governance affects firm value. I develop a novel data set to measure aspects of corporate culture and use a regression discontinuity strategy to demonstrate stronger shareholder governance significantly changes aspects of culture. I find greater results-orientation but less customer-focus, integrity, and collaboration. Consistent with a positive link between governance and value, shareholders initially realize financial gains: increases in sales, profitability, and payout occur. However, over time, I find intangible assets associated with customer satisfaction and employee integrity deteriorate, which partly reverses the gains from greater results-orientation. These findings are consistent with a model of multitasking where stronger governance incentivizes managers to concentrate on easy-to-observe benchmarks at the expense of the harder-to-measure intangibles, even though such actions are not in the firm's best long-term interest. On average, I find firm value declines 1.4% through this corporate culture channel. I use an instrumental variable design and interventions by activist hedge funds to test the external validity of the inferences. Across these complementary research designs, I consistently find strong support for the economic importance of a corporate culture channel.

"Dividend Payments as a Response to Peer Influence"

I show peer firms play an important role in determining the timing and magnitude of U.S. corporate dividends.  In particular, dividend changes by peer firms accelerate the time to a dividend change by 132 days.  Peer firm dividend changes lead to increases in dividend payments of 15% – an effect that is larger than many previously identified dividend determinants.  At the industry level, peer effects alter dividend yields; if expected yields are 3%, peer effects inflate (deflate) yields to 3.4% (2.6%).  Cross-sectional heterogeneity suggests elements of strategic behavior and behavioral biases are producing the estimated peer effects.  Excess-variance, instrumental variable and partial identification strategies are used to address the difficult challenge of establishing peer effects, and because each strategy uses different identifying assumptions, the conclusions are not fragile to any single identifying assumption.

"Patent Value and Citations: Creative Destruction or Strategic Disruption?"

(with David Abrams and Ufuk Akcigit)

Prior work suggests that more valuable patents are cited more and this view has become standard in the empirical innovation literature. Using an NPE-derived dataset with patent-specific revenues we find that the relationship of citations to value in fact forms an inverted-U, with fewer citations at the high end of value than in the middle. Since the value of patents is concentrated in those at the high end, this is a challenge to both the empirical literature and the intuition behind it. We attempt to explain this relationship with a simple model of innovation, allowing for both productive and strategic patents. We find evidence of greater use of strategic patents where it would be most expected: among corporations, in fields of rapid development, in more recent patents and where divisional and continuation applications are employed. These findings have important implications for our basic understanding of growth, innovation, and intellectual property policy.

REFERENCES:

Ronald O. Perelman
Professor of Finance
Department Chair, Finance 
The Wharton School 
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(267) 441-2304 
Rowen Family Foundation 
Professor of Business Economics
Department Chair, Business Economics 
The Wharton School 
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-0928 
Professor of Finance
The Wharton School 
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 573-9780 
Rudd Family Professor of Finance
Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Management
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 342-2138 
Assistant Professor of Finance
The Wharton School 
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 746-0496