Efraim Benmelech
Efraim Benmelech

Harold L. Stuart Professor of Finance
Director of the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research

Print Overview

Efraim Benmelech is the Harold L. Stuart Professor of Finance and the Director of the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research at the Kellogg School of Management and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He formerly taught at the Harvard University's economics department. Professor Benmelech research interests are in the field of corporate finance where he studies financial contracting, securitization, bankruptcy and financial distress. He has published numerous journal articles and was awarded the 2004 Lehman Brothers Fellowship for Research Excellence in Finance, an NSF CAREER Award, and the 2011 Brattle Prize for the outstanding research paper on corporate finance published in the Journal of Finance for his paper "Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel." He also writes extensively on the economics of terrorism and economic history. Professor Benmelech's research on financial distress, the financial crisis and on terrorism have received wide media coverage in outlets such as Bloomberg, the Boston Globe, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Economist and USA TODAY. He is an Editor of the Review of Corporate Finance Studies and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Finance. He holds BA and MBA degrees from the Hebrew University and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Print Vita
Ph.D., 2005, Finance, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
M.B.A., 2001, School of Business Administration, School of Business Administration, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
B.A., 1999, Economics and Business Administration, Department of Economics and the School of Business Administration, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Academic Positions
Director, Real Estate, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-present
Harold L. Stuart Professor of Finance, Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-present
Associate Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2014
Frederick S. Danziger Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 2011-2012
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 2009-2010
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 2005-2009
Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Organizational Economics, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, 2004-2005

Other Professional Experience
Program Committee, AFA 2010 (session chair), AFA 2013, European Summer Symposium in Financial Markets 2010, Finance Down Under, Melbourne 2011, Olin Business School Corporate Finance Conference (2010, 2011, 2012), WFA (2010, 2011, 2012), SITE 2008, 2010-2013
Organizer of the NBER Corporate Finance Meeting, NBER, 2010-2010
Research Associate (Corporate Finance and Development of the American Economy), National Bureau of Economic Research, 2006-present
Referee/reviewer, Referee/reviewer, American Journal: Macro, Econometrica, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal Conflict Resolution, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizaion, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Financial Intermediation, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organizations, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Political Economy, MacArthur Foundation, Management Science, National Science Foundation, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Rand Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Finance, and Review of Financial Studies, 2001-2001
Member, Board of Directors, Israel National Coal Supplies Company (State-owned company for coal supplies), 2000-2001
Assistant Director, Israel Ministry of Finance, 1998-2001
Major, Commander of Company and COO, Israeli Defense Forces, 1990-1996

Honors and Awards
The Review of Corporate Finance Studies best paper award, Financial Studies Society
The Review of Corporate Finance Studies Best Paper Award, 2012
The Journal of Finance Brattle Group Award, First Prize, 2011
Excellence in Refereeing Award, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011
National Science Foundation CAREER Award: Empirical Analysis of the Causes and Consequences of Financial Distress, 2009-2014
Excellence in Refereeing Award, American Economic Review, 2009
Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance, 2009
GARP Risk Management Research Program Grant, 2007
Andrew E. Furer Fellow, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 2006-2009
Warburg Fund, Harvard, 2006, 2007, 2008
Clark Fund, Harvard, 2006, 2008, 2009
John Leusner Family Fellowship, University of Chicago, GSB, 2005
The Lehman Brothers Fellowship for Research Excellence in Finance (1st Prize), 2004-2005
The FDIC Center for Financial Research Fellowship, 2004
The AFA Student Travel Grant, 2004
The Harry Simons Fellowship, 2003-2004
The CRSP Summer Paper Grant, 2002
The Solomon Fund Fellowship, 2002
The University of Chicago, GSB Fellowship, 2001-2005
The Maurice Falk Award for Outstanding Students Papers, 1999
The Israeli Defense Forces, Chief of General Staff Award for Outstanding Officers, (Award for Excellence and Leadership by Mr. Ehud Barak, Israel Former Prime Minister), 1994

Editorial Positions
Associate Editor, Journal of Finance, 2013-Present
Editor, Review of Corporate Finance Studies, 2011-Present

Print Research
Research Interests
Applied Corporate Finance, Banking, Bankruptcy, Financial Contracting

Benmelech, Efraim, Ralf Meisenzahl and Rodney Ramcharan. Forthcoming. The Real Effects of Liquidity During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from Automobiles. Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Benmelech, Efraim, Claude Berrebi and Esteban Klor. 2015. Counter-Suicide-Terrorism: Evidence from House Demolitions. Journal of Politics. 77(1): 27-43.
Benmelech, Efraim and Carola Frydman. 2015. Military CEOs. Journal of Financial Economics. 117(1): 43-59.
Benmelech, Efraim, Juliano Assuncao and Fernando S.S. Silva. 2013. Repossession and the Democratization of Credit. Review of Financial Studies. 27(9): 2661-2689.
Benmelech, Efraim and Eyal Dvir. 2013. Does Short-Term Debt Increase Vulnerability to Crisis? Evidence from the East Asian Financial Crisis. Journal of International Economics. 89: 485-494.
Benmelech, Efraim. 2012. An Empirical Analysis of the Feds Term Auction Facility. CATO Papers on Public Policy. 2: 57-91.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2012. Credit Traps. American Economic Review. 120(6): 3004-3032.
Benmelech, Efraim, Nittai Bergman and Ricardo Enriquez. 2012. Negotiating with Labor Under Financial Distress. Review of Corporate Finance Studies. 1: 28-67.
Benmelech, Efraim, Jennifer Dlugosz and Victoria Ivashina. 2012. Securitization without Adverse Selection: The Case of CLOs. Journal of Financial Economics. 106(1): 91-113.
Benmelech, Efraim, Claude Berrebi and Esteban Klor. 2012. Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism. Journal of Politics. 74: 113-128.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2011. Bankruptcy and the Collateral Channel. Journal of Finance. 66(2): 337-378.
Benmelech, Efraim. 2011. Discussion of Ramseyer and Rasmusen’s "Can the Treasury Exempt its Own Companies from Tax? The $45 Billion GM NOL Carryforward,". CATO Papers on Public Policy.: 36-43.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2011. Vintage Capital and Creditor Protection. Journal of Financial Economics. 99(2): 308-332.
Benmelech, Efraim, Eugene Kandel and Pietro Veronesi. 2010. Stock Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 125(4): 1769-1820.
Benmelech, Efraim, Claude Berrebi and Esteban Klor. 2010. The Economic Cost of Harboring Terrorism. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 125(4): 1769-1820.
Benmelech, Efraim. 2010. The Credit Rating Crisis. NBER Reporter 2010.(1): 8-10.
Benmelech, Efraim and Tobias J. Moskowitz. 2010. The Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Evidence from U.S. Usury Laws in the 19th Century. Journal of Finance. 65(3): 1029-1073.
Benmelech, Efraim and Jennifer Dlugosz. 2009. The Credit Rating Crisis. NBER Macro Annual 2009.: 161-207.
Benmelech, Efraim and Jennifer Dlugosz. 2009. The Alchemy of CDO Credit Ratings. Journal of Monetary Economics, Carnegie-Rochester Conference Volume. 56(5): 617-634.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2009. Collateral Pricing. Journal of Financial Economics. 91(3): 339-360.
Benmelech, Efraim. 2009. Asset Salability and Debt Maturity: Evidence from 19th Century American Railroads. Review of Financial Studies. 22(4): 1545-1583.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2008. Liquidation Values and the Credibility of Financial Contract Renegotiation: Evidence from U.S. Airlines. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 123(4): 1635-1677.
Benmelech, Efraim and Claude Berrebi. 2007. Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 21(3): 223-238.
Benmelech, Efraim, Mark J. Garmaise and Tobias J. Moskowitz. 2005. Do Liquidation Values Affect Financial Contracts? Evidence from Commercial Loan Contracts and Zoning Regulation. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 120(3): 1121-1154.
Working Papers
Benmelech, Efraim and Esteban Klor. 2016. What Explains the Flow of Foreign Fighters to ISIS?.
Benmelech, Efraim, Nittai Bergman and Amit Seru. 2015. Financing Labor.
Benmelech, Efraim, Sumit Agarwal, Amit Seru and Nittai Bergman. 2014. Did the Community Reinvestment Act lead to Risky Lending?.
Benmelech, Efraim, Nittai Bergman, Anna Milanez and Vladimir Mukharlyamov. 2015. The Agglomeration of Bankruptcy.
Benmelech, Efraim and Nittai Bergman. 2013. Capacity Utilization Around the World.
Benmelech, Efraim, Nittai Bergman and Ricardo Enriquez. 2013. Leasing and Capital Reallocation.
Benmelech, Efraim and Michael Bordo. 2012. The Financial Crisis of 1873 and 19th Century American Corporate Governance.
Benmelech, Efraim. 2007. Managerial Entrenchment and Debt Maturity: Theory and Evidence.
Book Chapters
Benmelech, Efraim. 2016. "Discussion of Patrick Bolton's "Corporate Finance, Incomplete Contracts, and Corporate Control"." In The Impact of Incomplete Contracts on Economics, edited by Philippe Aghion, Mathias Dewatripont, Patrick Legros, Luigi Zingales, 138-143. New York: Oxford University Press.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Corporate Finance, Corporate Bankruptcy
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Financial Decisions (FINC-442-0)
This course uses case studies to enhance the student's understanding of managerial financial decision making, specifically investment and financing decisions. Topics include short- and long-term financing, capital structure and dividend decisions, cost of capital, capital budgeting, firm valuation, financial and operational restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. The course emphasizes the basic principles of corporate finance and is sufficiently general so as to be of interest to all students. The course provides students with the opportunity to apply the concepts and theories developed in other finance courses. At its most fundamental level, the course attempts to improve problem-solving skills: problem definition, gathering and organizing the relevant information, developing feasible alternative courses of action, evaluating alternative choices, and recommending and defending the best course of action.

International Real Estate (REAL-922-5)
This course was formerly known as REAL 922-B
This half-credit course will expose students to the importance of both strategy and execution in the world of cross-border real estate investments. Topics will include the rationale for international investing (opportunities and risks); top-down macro factors influencing real estate markets; micro-market factors influencing real estate investment performance; and the role of transparency, taxes and legal rights in different countries. Students will analyze international private equity funds and internationally listed real estate companies and they will examine case studies of cross-border investment decisions.

Corporate Finance II (FINC-486-2)
These courses provide a theoretical and empirical treatment of major topics in corporate finance, including: capital structure and financial contracting; theory of the firm; investment decisions; bankruptcy; and the market for corporate control.

Corporate Finance III (FINC-486-3)
These courses provide a theoretical and empirical treatment of major topics in corporate finance, including: capital structure and financial contracting; theory of the firm; investment decisions; bankruptcy; and the market for corporate control.