Professor Margarita Tsoutsoura, PhD

Current Position

since 1/23

Research Fellow Department of Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 1/22

Associate Professor of Finance

Washington University

Research Interests

  • corporate finance
  • entrepreneurship
  • innovation

Margarita Tsoutsoura joined the Department of Laws, Regulations and Factor Markets as a Research Fellow in April 2023. Her research focuses on corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Margarita Tsoutsoura is Associate Professor of Finance at Olin Business School, at the Washington University in St. Louis. She is also Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Fellow at CEPR and Research Member at ECGI.

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Professor Margarita Tsoutsoura, PhD
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Political Ideology and International Capital Allocation

Elisabeth Kempf Mancy Luo Larissa Schäfer Margarita Tsoutsoura

in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 2, 2023


Does investors’ political ideology shape international capital allocation? We provide evidence from two settings—syndicated corporate loans and equity mutual funds—to show ideological alignment with foreign governments affects the cross-border capital allocation by U.S. institutional investors. Ideological alignment on both economic and social issues plays a role. Our empirical strategy ensures direct economic effects of foreign elections or government ties between countries are not driving the result. Ideological distance between countries also explains variation in bilateral investment. Combined, our findings imply ideological alignment is an important, omitted factor in models of international capital allocation.

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Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency?

Morten Bennedsen Elena Simintzi Margarita Tsoutsoura Daniel Wolfenzon

in: Journal of Finance, No. 4, 2022


We examine the effect of pay transparency on the gender pay gap and firm outcomes. Using a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender-disaggregated wage statistics, detailed employee-employer administrative data, and difference-in-differences and difference-in-discontinuities designs, we find that the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing wage growth for male employees. The gender pay gap declines by 2 percentage points, or 13% relative to the prelegislation mean. Despite the reduction of the overall wage bill, the wage transparency mandate does not affect firm profitability, likely because of the offsetting effect of reduced firm productivity.

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Revealing Corruption: Firm and Worker Level Evidence from Brazil

Emanuele Colonnelli Spyridon Lagaras Jacopo Ponticelli Mounu Prem Margarita Tsoutsoura

in: Journal of Financial Economics, No. 3, 2022


We study how the disclosure of corrupt practices affects the growth of firms involved in illegal interactions with the government using randomized audits of public procurement in Brazil. On average, firms exposed by the anti-corruption program grow larger after the audits, despite experiencing a decrease in procurement contracts. We manually collect new data on the details of thousands of corruption cases, through which we uncover a large heterogeneity in our firm-level effects depending on the degree of involvement in corruption. Using investment-, loan-, and worker- level data, we show that the average exposed firms adapt to the loss of government contracts by changing their investment strategy. They increase capital investment and borrow more to finance such investment, while there is no change in their internal organization. We provide qualitative support to our results by conducting new face-to-face surveys with business owners of government-dependent firms.

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