As a student, Lukas Fischer was always interested in financial markets and corporate finance. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration and decided he wanted to learn more about the theoretic foundations of the discipline. He went on to obtain his master’s in banking and finance and is now enrolled in Columbia Business School’s PhD program in finance and economics.
He decided to come to CBS because of the renowned faculty and proximity to New York City – the world’s largest financial hub. Fischer says, “As an empiricist, being close to Wall Street can have its perks when it comes to developing ideas as well as acquiring exciting new data to answer open research questions. I also enjoy the multicultural character of Columbia University and New York, making my studies an extraordinary experience.”
Fischer enjoys the wide range of courses PhD students can take, including those outside of CBS. “My favorite class so far has been Industrial Organization II, which is offered by Columbia’s Economics Department. While the course itself is not a finance one, the IO tools I got to know by taking it are indispensable in estimating structural models and shouldn’t be missing from anyone’s econometric toolbox. This is especially true since these models, which combine aspects of theory and empirics, are becoming more and more prevalent in the finance literature.”
The CBS community has also been a positive and collaborative experience for Fischer. “My cohort is amazing. We quickly became a very tight-knit group of aspiring researchers and we keep pushing each other to everyone’s benefit. Faculty is generally very approachable as well, both inside and outside the classroom. Working as TA and RA adds plenty more opportunities to interact with professors and discuss research ideas.”
His research interest currently lies in empirical corporate finance. “At the moment, I am thinking about the interaction between corporations and the government in federal procurement decisions. In particular, I am interested in the effect these contracts have on a firm’s financial performance and wellbeing. Another topic that I am working on is the use of securities lending by ETFs and its broader implications.”
Reflecting on his academic career, Fischer says, “At every stage I learned more about the workings of the financial markets and, after 2 years at CBS, I finally am at a position where I can contribute to the literature.”
As for future plans, his goal is to become a tenure-track business school professor. “My goal is to advance our understanding of corporate financial decision-making and the driving forces of the financial markets.”