Professor Shai B. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Aktuelle Position

seit 7/23

Research Fellow der Abteilung Gesetzgebung, Regulierung und Faktormärkte

Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH)

seit 2020

Associate Professor

Harvard Business School


  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Innovation

Shai B. Bernstein ist seit Juli 2023 Research Fellow am IWH. Ein Großteil seiner Forschung konzentriert sich auf Finanzfragen im Zusammenhang mit Neugründungen und wachstumsstarken Unternehmen sowie auf die Wechselwirkung dieser Fragen mit Innovation und unternehmerischer Tätigkeit.

Shai B. Bernstein ist Marvin Bower Associate Professor in der Entrepreneurial Management Unit an der Harvard Business School und Faculty Research Fellow am National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

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Professor Shai B. Bernstein, Ph.D.
Mitglied - Abteilung Gesetzgebung, Regulierung und Faktormärkte
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Contracting with Heterogeneous Externalities

Shai B. Bernstein Eyal Winter

in: American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Nr. 2, 2012


We model situations in which a principal offers contracts to a group of agents to participate in a project. Agents' benefits from participation depend on the identity of other participating agents. We assume heterogeneous externalities and characterize the optimal contracting scheme. We show that the optimal contracts' payoff relies on a ranking, which arise from a tournament among the agents. The optimal ranking cannot be achieved by a simple measure of popularity. Using the structure of the optimal contracts, we derive results on the principal's revenue extraction and the role of the level of externalities' asymmetry.

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Who Creates New Firms When Local Opportunities Arise?

Shai B. Bernstein Emanuele Colonnelli Davide Malacrino Timothy McQuade

in: Journal of Financial Economics, Nr. 1, 2022


We examine the characteristics of the individuals who become entrepreneurs when local opportunities arise. We identify local demand shocks by linking fluctuations in global commodity prices to municipality-level agricultural endowments in Brazil. We find that the firm creation response is mostly driven by young and skilled individuals. The characteristics of these responsive entrepreneurs are significantly different from those of average entrepreneurs in the economy. By structurally estimating a novel two-sector model of a local economy, we highlight how the demographic composition of the local population can significantly affect the entrepreneurial responsiveness of the economy.

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Do Household Wealth Shocks Affect Productivity? Evidence From Innovative Workers During the Great Recession

Shai B. Bernstein Richard R. Townsend Timothy McQuade

in: Journal of Finance, Nr. 1, 2021


We investigate how the deterioration of household balance sheets affects worker productivity, and in turn economic downturns. Specifically, we compare the output of innovative workers who experienced differential declines in housing wealth during the financial crisis but were employed at the same firm and lived in the same metropolitan area. We find that, following a negative wealth shock, innovative workers become less productive and generate lower economic value for their firms. The reduction in innovative output is not driven by workers switching to less innovative firms or positions. These effects are more pronounced among workers at greater risk of financial distress.

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