Lukas F. Fischer

I am a PhD student in Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School. My research interests are in empirical corporate finance, household finance, and the political economy. Using novel microdata combined with state-of-the-art econometrics I am working on shedding light on the impact of the largest (i.e., the government) and smallest (i.e., individuals) agents on the economy.

Before joining the PhD, I obtained an MA in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and a BSc from the University of Mannheim, Germany.  Over the course of my studies, I got the opportunity to spend time at the University of Chapel Hill and the University of Toronto.

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Working Papers

‘Did You Catch the Game Last Night?’ SSRN

Peer Group Effects in Sell-Side Analyst Forecasts, with Edward P. Shore

Evidence suggests that peer groups have significant implications for economic decision-making, yet ambiguity remains on the precise mechanism of these effects. In particular, it is often unclear whether peer effects are driven by the sharing of information or the local diffusion of sentiment. In this paper, we identify a source of peer group influence that is plausibly orthogonal to information provision yet nonetheless affects economic decision-making. Using novel data on equity analyst education, merged with earnings-per-share forecasts, we identify a source of exogenous variation in analyst forecasts: the shock to an analyst of their undergraduate college football team winning the NCAA Championship Game. We first find that analysts' forecasts respond positively to the analysts' undergrad school's football team winning the NCAA final. We then show that the sentiment shock of 'winning' spreads within an analyst's brokerage, positively influencing the forecasts of their colleagues. Brokerages where the degree of this diffusion is greater have lower female representation in their analyst teams, as well as lower ESG scores.

Sharing is Caring? SSRN

Knowledge Diffusion in Researcher Networks

Social interaction is at the core of research and development, yet our understanding of how it shapes innovation is lacking. A novel dataset on more than 19,000 economists linked to more than one million unique research projects and fifty million tweets (#EconTwitter) is used as laboratory to explore the relationship between different social interactions and research outcomes. On the one hand, more active authors author more papers, which subsequently have greater visibility. On the other hand, these papers are less impactful as measured by citation counts. These findings are consistent with a model in which time-constrained researchers need to allocate effort between improving research projects and promoting them.

The Missing Link(s) SSRN

Government Contracting, R&D Spending, and Patenting

The U.S. government is the single largest buyer of U.S. products and services. Previous research indicates that entering a federal procurement contract leads to a reduction in default risk for the contractor. R&D projects are among the most risky and uncertain ones a corporation can take. On the one hand, entering federal contracts might increase risk bearing capacity and thus lead to higher levels of R&D. On the other hand, federal contracts are a stable source of revenue, making risky projects less profitable to equity owners (akin to gambling for resurrection). Using transaction-level data, I aim to isolate the causal effect of federal contracting on private sector innovation and patenting.