James Nordlund


Financial Economist
Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University
Director of Graduate Studies, Finance Ph.D. Program

james nordlund.ai


  1. Demographic, jurisdictional, and spatial effects on social distancing in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (with Rajesh Narayanan, R. Kelley Pace, and Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara)
    PLOS One, 2020

  2. The efficiency of the benchmark revisions to the current employment statistics (CES) data
    (with Keith Phillips)
    Economics Letters, 2012

Working Papers

  1. CEO Narcissism, Human Capital, and Firm Value
    (with Shane Johnson and Adam Kolasinski)
    R&R at Review of Finance

    Clinically-established defining characteristics of narcissists suggest CEO narcissism likely impacts firm value through human capital channels. Consistent with classic narcissist traits of undervaluing people and lacking empathy influencing CEO decisions, we find narcissistic CEOs are more likely to initiate layoffs, do so after less severe downturns in performance, and put less weight on potential human capital losses when making layoff decisions. Event study results imply narcissistic CEOs destroy value through suboptimal layoff decisions in high human capital intensity industries. Defining characteristics of narcissism also suggest CEO narcissism likely impacts firm value through an executive human capital channel. We find turnover of non-CEO executives with pay closer to their CEO’s is greater under narcissistic CEOs, and stock price reactions to these departures are more negative the longer their tenure. Event study results for CEO departures imply a negative net impact of CEO narcissism on firm value through both human capital channels.
    Presentations: Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University

  2. The Disclosure of Cybersecurity Risk

    Following a data breach, interlocking firms are more likely to disclose exposure to cybersecurity risk in their annual report. Firms connected by auditors, via economic rivalry, or along a supply chain do not show similar disclosure propagation. The evidence suggests that disclosure propagation over interlocking firms is driven by a director’s self-interests or by a behavioral response to cybersecurity risk saliency, rather than by an improved monitoring for risk exposure. This finding sheds insight into the expanding length of risk factor disclosures and suggests that not all of this growth may be in the best interests of shareholders.
    Presentations: FMA 2018 Annual Meeting, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University

  3. Spillovers from Creditor Control
    Presentation slides: Covenant Spillovers
    Example code: Spillover Modeling

    A loan covenant violation is informative to parties outside of the lender-firm pair that agreed to the covenant term. Using a hierarchical matching estimator to measure causal spillover effects from covenant violation, I find that covenant violators have more severe reductions in financing and investment when a greater fraction of rival firms are also in violation of a covenant. Consistent with the ex post utilization of peer violation rates to inform the renegotiation decision, I find that, ex ante, creditors use stricter covenants on new loans when uncertainty about industry risk is high and a shorter effective maturity is desirable. I also find that causal spillover effects to non-violators are beneficial in that non-violators capture market share relative to violators in response to peer firm violation.

  4. Reputation and the Labor Market for Corporate Directors
    (with Shradha Bindal)

    Using a network regression framework that allows for joint determination of all possible appointments of directors to firms, we find that there is two-sided matching in board appointments. A director is 14.5 times more likely to join a firm’s board when the director and the firm share similar reputations for management friendliness. Reputational matching between directors and firms is more important when coordination costs for rejecting mismatched directors are lower. Directors are more likely to take on board appointments at firms where the appointment would shift the director’s reputation towards her target reputation. Moreover, consistent with theory, we find that a reputational shock to a subset of firms has economy-wide effects on the incentives for directors to change their reputations.

  5. When Does Common Ownership Matter
    (with Shradha Bindal)

    We find that the effects of common ownership vary depending on firms’ product market characteristics. When firms are in a more competitive industry, marked by lower product differentiability, higher rates of common ownership lead to higher prices. In these environments, firms also lower research and development expenditures and benefit from higher profitability. We use mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions as a quasi-natural experiment to exogenously vary a firm’s common ownership levels and establish causality. Our findings suggest that any regulation to curb the anticompetitive effects of common ownership needs more industry-level consideration and should take into account the product-market characteristics of firms.

Work in Progress

  1. Cybersecurity Events and Bank Deposits
    (with Rajesh Narayanan)

  2. Auditor liability and management earnings forecasts
    (with Zhihong Chen and Nan Yang)
    Example code: Grammar in Python

  3. Local Yield Curves
    (with Rajesh Narayanan)