Spring 2021 Seminars

Seminars will be on Wednesdays from 1-2pm ET unless noted otherwise. The format is a 40-min presentation and 20-min Q&A session. The WebEx platform will be used, accessible here: njit.webex.com/meet/rroy

Date Title/Speaker Abstract

A Multifactor Perspective on Volatility-Managed Portfolios

Alberto Martin Alberto Utrera, MTSM, NJIT

Moreira and Muir (2017) show that one can time equity risk factors by scal- ing them by the inverse of their variance. However, Cederburg, O’Doherty, Wang, and Yan (2020) show that volatility-managed portfolios do not outperform their unmanaged counterparts out of sample and Barroso and Detzel (2020) show that they do not survive transaction costs. We show that a conditional mean-variance multifactor portfolio whose weights on each factor vary with market volatility outperforms even out of sample and net of transaction costs both unconditional multifactor portfolios and volatility-managed individual-factor portfolios. Our conditional multifactor portfolio performs particularly well during periods of financial turmoil, such as the Early 2000s Recession and the Great Recession. The success of these strategies, even out of sample and net of transaction costs, raises questions about the most fundamental relation in finance, that between risk and return.


Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) space: It's history and recent popularity in the investment world, and its viability as persistent component of portfolio construction techniques

David Reeve, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Inc.

Rob Jarvis, Portfolio Strategist, ISG Team

Devin Taylor, Investment Strategist, CIO Team – ESG Specialist


Speakers will cover their current thoughts on the ESG space, its history and recent popularity in the investment world, and its viability as persistent component of portfolio construction techniques moving forward.  They will be utilizing the slides and plan to speak for about 30 minutes followed by a Q&A session.


Antecedents of unicorn startups

Xi Zhang, Ph.D. Student, MTSM, NJIT

Literature suggests that startup ventures seek CVC ties for resources, including financial capital, complementary assets, and endorsement. Our study examines the effects of entrepreneurs' heterogeneity on the chances of creating a unicorn venture. We find that the startup firm's intellectual property partially mediates the effects of the founder's experience on the chances of becoming a unicorn. Further, we find that CVCs negatively moderate the effect of founder's experience on their intellectual property. We explain the theoretical mechanisms that underpin our findings.


Stakeholder Orientation and Venture Funding: The Role of Political Values and Ideologies of Entrepreneurs and Financiers

Peter G. Klein, W. W. Caruth Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Baylor University

We examine how entrepreneurs’ political values affect their ventures’ stakeholder orientation, and how this orientation affects venture funding. We also show how the political ideologies of financiers influence their investment choices and relationships with entrepreneurs. Using a sample of 652 ventures backed by 332 financiers and information on entrepreneurs’ and financiers’ political values, along with text-based analyses of documents to infer stakeholder orientation, we find that ventures with a narrow orientation obtain more funding than those with a broader orientation, but this relationship is moderated by financiers’ political ideologies. The findings have implications for stakeholder theory in entrepreneurship.


Using Satellite Imagery Analytics for Institutional Crop Credit Management - A Technologies-Driven Social Innovation

Gopalakrishnan NarayanamurthySenior Lecturer, University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS), UK

A social challenge that agriculture actors in developing economies, especially small-scale farmers, face, is the lack of access to formal sources of institutional credit (e.g., loans from banks). The resulting dependence on informal sources of non-institutional credit (e.g., loans from money lenders) was found to explain farmers’ low income and their relatively high suicide rates. However, these disadvantages of informal lending could be tackled by an improved accessibility of formal sources of institutional credit. One of the biggest roadblocks to the expansion of institutional credit in agriculture financing has been the lack of reliable data on the historical performance of a farmer. Given that 87% of the agricultural households possess less than or equal to two hectares of land (deemed as ‘small and marginal’ farmers according to the definition of Reserve Bank of India), monitoring individual farm-level data and estimating creditworthiness represents a key challenge for institutional credit providers. Institutionalized financing processes are further complicated by the overwhelming dependence on timely monsoon for reasonable yields and its susceptibility to extreme weather events. This makes it very complicated and at times impossible for financial institutions to assess the credit applications and monitor the usage of credit taken by the farmers. By relying on stakeholder theory, this study (1) identifies the bottlenecks within financial institutions that occur when providing institutional credit and (2) examines how a technology-driven social innovation based on the use of satellite imagery analytics (SIA) could alleviate these hindrances. By longitudinally studying a SIA firm named ‘Agri-Sat- Inno’ and complementing the case data with interviews from different stakeholder groups including banks and informal money lenders, this research will explain how technology- driven social innovation can introduce capabilities that incentivizes different stakeholder groups to interact and collaborate for achieving the common objective of financial inclusion of small and marginal farmers.

Peer-to-Peer Risk Sharing with an Application to Flood Risk Pooling

Stephen Taylor, Assistant Professor, MTSM, NJIT

Runhuan Feng, Chongda Liu Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois

In contrast with classic centralized risk sharing, a novel peer-to-peer risk sharing framework is proposed. The presented framework aims to devise a risk allocation mechanism that is structurally decentralized, Pareto optimal, and mathematically fair. An explicit form for the pool allocation ratio matrix is derived, and convex programming techniques are applied to determine the optimal pooling mechanism in a constrained variance reduction setting. A tiered hierarchical generalization is also constructed to improve computational efficiency. As an illustration, these techniques are applied to a flood risk pooling example. It is shown that peer-to-peer risk sharing techniques provide an economically viable alternative to traditional flood policies.

A Real Options Approach to Evaluating Ergonomics Projects to Reduce MSDs in the Workplace

Cheickna Sylla, Professor, MTSM, NJIT

Bay Arinze, Professor, College of Business, Drexel University

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a Health and Safety workplace problem that costs companies millions of dollars annually. Despite the human and organizational costs and widely available ergonomic solutions, many other companies are still resistant to investing in ergonomics programs. A Cost/Benefit justification framework can help managers appreciate the full benefits of well-designed ergonomics programs. This research study proposes a Real Options approach for valuing ergonomics projects that is superior to the traditional Net Present Value (NPV) model to help managers appreciate the benefits of MSD programs. Using three types of embedded options - accelerate, expand, and contract, this study demonstrates that the value of ergonomics project can be more accurately evaluated; it also shows that the value of the original project increased when a Real Options approach is used.

Problemistic search for India’s first lunar spacecraft

Raja Roy, Assistant Professor, MTSM, NJIT

M. Annadurai, Former Project Director, Indian Space Research Organization

Soumodip Sarkar, University of Evora, Portugal

We explore an organization’s search for a solution under low slack resources and with a high opportunity cost due to a strict timeframe. Concentrating on India’s efforts to search for the solution to a complex technological problem—its first lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1—we find that organizations searching for solutions under those conditions rely on a mechanism that modifies the components, mitigates the interdependencies between the components in the complex system, and subsequently identifies the product architecture. Our deep-dive investigation of India’s search for a solution extends the organizational search literature and uncovers findings that are generalizable to the broader innovation literature.

What Happens AFTER Crowdfunding?

Haisu Zhang, Assistant Professor, MTSM, NJIT

Crowdfunding, a channel for entrepreneurs to seek financial resources for their innovations, has been booming significantly in recent years. As such, this phenomenon has been attracting a great deal of attention from scholars across several major disciplines, including entrepreneurship, finance, information systems, marketing, and computer science. Nearly all existing studies, however, focus on how to boost crowdfunding success. Surprisingly, very few scholars asked this question: What happens AFTER crowdfunding? Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to develop or manufacture their innovations, but the challenge after crowdfunding is perhaps more substantial – they must commercialize the innovations to the (mass) market. In this research, the author combines two sources of web data to examine one question: Can crowdfunding success predict commercial success? Due to the exploratory nature of this research, the author adopts a practice-driven, theory-oriented approach to pursue the answer. Results, in contrast to the author’s expectation, are counterintuitive. The author will discuss possible theoretical explanations based on the findings at the presentation.

Factors that affect the rate of preterm birth: an examination of the inter-related impacts of social determinants, behavior and physical health status

Krystal Hunter, MBA, NJIT

Time: 12:30pm

Location: njit.webex.com/meet/ehrlich

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines preterm birth as any birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation, or fewer than 259 days since the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.  Causes of preterm birth are complex and the pathophysiology that triggers preterm birth is largely unknown. However, contributing maternal, fetal and placental predisposing factors have been identified.(Quinn et al., 2016)  Risk factors complicit are chronic diseases, mental illness and social determinants like race, social status, access to healthcare and area of residence.  

The purpose of this work is to examine significant factors of PTB and how they interact with each other.  Policy proposals to reduce the rates of PTB will be made based on the results of analysis.  These results are important because of the financial and societal costs.  Complications of PTB were the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years of age globally in 2016.  It is estimated that in the United States, PTB costs the healthcare system an estimated $26 billion dollars.  This figure only includes hospital costs and does not take into account of the side effects that may present during the survivors’ life cycle like therapy for disabilities. It is estimated that 22% of PTB survivors may develop a severe disability that is secondary to early birth, 24% may develop a moderate disability or have special needs while 34% may develop a mild disability.(Dolezel, 2019)

This work has found that healthy behaviors, social determinants and existing chronic disease are significant factors.  It was also found that obesity has a significant curvilinear relationship with PTB for those who have a lower socioeconomic status.  Obesity is not a significant factor in PTB for women who have a higher socioeconomic status.  These results indicate that when treating pregnant women, there should be consideration of social environment in addition to one’s current health status.