Skip to main content
Faculty Viewpoints

Our Most-Read Stories of 2023

This year, Yale SOM research examined sustainable investing, the dynamics of social media, the role of race in school discipline, and the complexities of airline pricing. And faculty offered expertise on issues in the news, including the changing workplace, noncompete agreements, the politics of ESG investing, the effectiveness of masks, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, and the Barbie movie phenomenon.

A collage of illustrations and photographs

Smarter Ways to Look Ahead: Research-Based Suggestions for a Better 2023

January 05, 2023

We asked faculty from the Yale School of Management to put a scholarly lens on improving our personal and professional lives in the coming year.

Taking a Disciplined Look at Irrational Investors

January 06, 2023

The school of behavioral finance argues that markets are moved by psychological factors—not just rational actors. The reaction from other financial economists has sometimes been hostile. Nicholas Barberis, Stephen and Camille Schramm Professor of Finance, says that applying an analytical eye to the irrational ways we form beliefs and how those beliefs collectively drive financial decisions can lead to a truer understanding of markets.

Black Boys Face Double Jeopardy at School

January 09, 2023

Teachers tend to blame Black boys more than White boys for identical misbehaviors and are more likely to send them to the principal’s office, according to a new study by Yale SOM’s Jayanti Owens. Black and Latino boys also receive harsher punishment because the schools they attend tend to have more punitive cultures.

The End of Noncompete Agreements May Be Near

January 24, 2023

Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled a proposal that would block companies from limiting their employees’ ability to work for a rival through noncompete agreements, a move President Biden applauded. We asked Yale SOM’s Fiona Scott Morton, an expert on antitrust policy and director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale, about the ban’s potential impact on wages, innovation, and the economy as a whole.

Will the Backlash from the Right Slow ESG Investing?

February 08, 2023

A string of Republican-led states have pulled funds from firms that use ESG—environmental, social, and governance—criteria in making investments. Most recently, Oklahoma’s state treasurer announced that “we will not do business with financial companies that discriminate against or boycott our energy industries and businesses.” We asked Yale SOM’s Todd Cort, an expert on sustainable finance, what the political backlash means for the future of ESG investing.

No, That New Study Doesn’t Show that Masks Are Useless

March 08, 2023

Earlier this year, a review of research on masks by the prestigious Cochrane Library prompted headlines declaring that community masking has little impact on the spread of COVID-19. We asked Prof. Jason Abaluck, who co-authored a landmark randomized trial of mask promotion in Bangladesh, what conclusions we can draw from the review—and what the evidence says about the effectiveness of masks.

Is the Collapse of SVB the Start of a Banking Panic?

March 11, 2023

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a financial hub for tech startups, failed and was seized by regulators this week. Prof. Andrew Metrick, who has studied past financial crises, explains how SVB’s balance sheet got squeezed and how the risk of other banks experiencing similar losses could constrain the Fed’s future decisions. He also warns that concern about bank solvency is a risk in its own right.

How Social Media Rewards Misinformation

March 31, 2023

A majority of false stories are spread by a small number of frequent users, suggests a new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Gizem Ceylan. But they can be taught to change their ways.

Personal Finance: Popular Authors vs. Economists

April 25, 2023

Before teaching a personal finance course, Prof. James Choi dipped into some popular books on the topic. He found that much of what personal finance gurus suggest is at odds with economic research—but that they also have insights into human nature that are sometimes missing from economic analyses.

Is Dynamic Airline Pricing Costing Us?

May 08, 2023

Prices for airline tickets rise and fall depending on demand. Yale SOM’s Aniko Öry and Kevin Williams investigated whether such pricing makes airlines and customers better off.

Green Investing Could Push Polluters to Emit More Greenhouse Gases

May 15, 2023

One common approach to sustainable investing is to provide capital for companies with low carbon emissions and withhold it for high-emissions firms. But rather than incentivizing polluters to cut back, research co-authored by Yale SOM’s Kelly Shue shows, such an approach may actually cause them to pollute more.

Data from Twitter Can Predict a Crypto Coin’s Ascent

June 21, 2023

Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. But listening carefully to social media chatter can help identify winning short-term investments in crypto, according to a new Yale study carried out as the crypto bubble expanded and finally popped. The methodology in the study, co-authored by Prof. Tauhid Zaman and PhD student Khizar Qureshi, could also be used to translate online buzz into predictions in other domains.

As Incomes Rise, Variability in Happiness Shrinks

July 25, 2023

Can money really buy happiness? In general, surveys say yes; people with higher incomes report that they are happier than poorer people do. New research from Yale SOM’s Gal Zauberman and former postdoc Bouke Klein Teeselink looks under the averages and finds there’s also greater happiness inequality among those with lower incomes. They suggest that this fact only strengthens the argument that redistributive policies can benefit the unhappiest among us.

The Secret of the Barbie Movie’s Marketing Success

August 08, 2023

Barbie is a genuine phenomenon, reaching $1 billion in worldwide box office in only three weeks on the strength of legions of pink-clad moviegoers. We asked Yale SOM’s Zoe Chance, a former Mattel brand manager, about the movie’s marketing and message.

Dating, Marriage, Parenting, and the Gender Wage Gap

August 21, 2023

Women earn 79 cents for every dollar that men make. But look beyond that widely cited statistic, and you’ll find a complex story of causes, effects, and correlations. Prof. Mushfiq Mobarak surveys the literature on the subject and argues that, to close the gap, we need to address society’s differing expectations around who bears the burden of family and parenting responsibilities.

Reinventing the Way We Work—Again

August 22, 2023

The pandemic changed where we work and how we work, how we think about the place of work in our lives and vice versa—all against a backdrop of rapid technological change, economic upheaval, and a reckoning with racism. We talked with Heidi Brooks, who teaches leadership at Yale SOM and advises companies on everyday leadership and organizational culture, about how to have necessary conversations about a new experience of work.

Lower-Income Employees Are More Likely to Remain at 401(k) Defaults, Even If It Costs Them Money

September 11, 2023

Automatically enrolling employees in retirement plans is a powerful tool for increasing savings. But Yale SOM’s James Choi and his coauthors find that once enrolled, people with lower incomes are more likely to remain at default contribution rates, even if they aren’t optimal, and argue policymakers should set automatic enrollment defaults with that fact in mind.

Construction on a school building

Construction at Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda, California, in 2020.

Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Does Capital Spending on Schools Improve Education?

September 26, 2023

In a new study, Yale SOM’s Barbara Biasi and her co-authors drew on data covering most of the United States in order to track the effects of capital investments by school districts, such as new buildings or athletic facilities. They found that some projects improve test scores and others boost local property values—but they aren’t the same ones.

Does Having a Choice Provide an Illusion of Control?

October 18, 2023

For more than 40 years, researchers have believed that giving people a choice makes them think they are more likely to achieve a positive outcome. A study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Joowon Klusowski and Deborah Small finds that isn’t true and provides an explanation of why it can appear to be.

The Breathing Technique that Can Make You a Better Leader

December 05, 2023

Yale SOM’s Emma Seppälä found that a weeklong training in the SKY Breath technique provides a lasting reduction in anxiety and greater resilience to stress, even for those who don’t continue to practice it.

Department: Faculty Viewpoints