Brian Melzer
Brian Melzer

Assistant Professor of Finance

Print Overview

Brian Melzer is an assistant professor in the Finance Department. His research interests include household finance, real estate, financial institutions and financial regulation. His recent research examines the impact of interest rate regulations on the automobile loan market. He has also studied the default and investment behavior of heavily indebted homeowners, the costs and benefits of retail financial advice and the impact of payday loans on household well-being.

Professor Melzer received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 2008. Prior to graduate study, he worked as a research analyst in the investment management business.

Areas of Expertise
Banking and Financial Institutions
Corporate Finance
Household Finance
Regulation of Financial Markets

Print Vita
PhD, 2008, Economics, University of Chicago
MLitt, 2000, Philosophy, St. Andrews University
AB, 1999, Philosophy, Princeton University, Summa Cum Laude

Academic Positions
Affiliate, Center for Applied Microeconomics, Economics, Northwestern University, 2016-present
Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 2014-present
Affiliate, Center for the Study of Industrial Organization, Northwestern University, 2014-present
Assistant Professor of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2008-present

Honors and Awards
2015 Canadian Investment Research Award, CFA Society Toronto & Hillsdale Investment Management

Print Research
Research Interests

Household finance; real estate; financial institutions; financial regulation

Melzer, Brian. 2011. The Real Costs of Credit Access: Evidence from the Payday Lending Market. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 126(1): 517-555.
Melzer, Brian, Alessandro Previtero, Stephen Foerster and Juhani Linnainmaa. Forthcoming. Retail Financial Advice: Does One Size Fit All?. Journal of Finance.
Melzer, Brian. Forthcoming. Mortgage Debt Overhang: Reduced Investment by Homeowners at Risk of Default. Journal of Finance.
Melzer, Brian and Donald P. Morgan. 2015. Competition in a Consumer Loan Market: Payday Loans and Overdraft Credit. Journal of Financial Intermediation. 24(1): 25-44.
Working Papers
Linnainmaa, Juhani, Brian Melzer and Alessandro Previtero. 2016. The Misguided Beliefs of Financial Advisors.
Melzer, Brian, Jonathan A. Parker and Daniel Green. 2015. Accelerator or Brake? Microeconomic estimates of 'Cash for Clunkers' and Aggregate Demand.
Melzer, Brian and Aaron Schroeder. 2015. Loan Contracting in the Presence of Usury Limits: Evidence from the Auto Loan Market.
Melzer, Brian and Camelia M. Kuhnen. 2014. Non-cognitive Abilities and Loan Delinquency.
Melzer, Brian. 2014. Spillovers from Costly Credit.
Matsa, David A.Brian Melzer and Joanne W. Hsu. 2014. Positive Externalities of Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Consumer Credit.

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests
Corporate finance
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Finance II (FINC-431-0)

**This version of Finance II is designed for students who took Finance I during or after Fall 2014. This course will be offered in Fall 2014 in Evanston & Chicago and offered in Winter 2015 in Chicago.**

Finance II: Corporate Finance covers the financial knowledge you need to run a firm, whether the firm is a multi-billion international conglomerate or a three-person start up. You will learn how to answer the three fundamental question of corporate finance: (1) Capital structure or the funding decision: which source(s) of capital should you use to fund the firm's project? (2) Capital budgeting or the investment decision: which projects should you invest in? (3) Dividend decision: how should you deploy the capital that the project returns?

We will cover the three fundamental methods for valuing projects and firms: discounted cash flow (or net present value), real options, and multiples analysis. The class begins with a theoretical framework. The world of finance is very complex. Without a logical structure that you can use to frame and answer questions, you will rapidly become lost and will be unable to defend your position. The theoretical framework is valuable, however, only if you can use it to examine real world decisions. Thus the majority of class time will be devoted to applying the logical framework.

This course is important for anyone who plans to run a firm or a division, who hopes to be involved in the investment or funding decisions of the firm, who plans to work for a service provider who will assist the firm in analyzing these decisions (e.g., banking and consulting), or who plans to invest in firms or advise clients who will invest in firms. Even if you initially specialize in a different functional area, you want to understand how the finance function works. The most brilliant idea isn't useful if you cannot get it funded.

Recommended Prerequisites: ACCT-430 and MECN-430