My name is pronounced ma-NAY-ka HAM-pol

I am an assistant professor in the Finance department at Yale School of Management.

My research focuses on topics at the intersection of household finance and labor economics. My work is supported by the NBER, the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Peterson Foundation.

Prior to coming to Yale, I received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, a Master's degree from University College London, and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago.


menaka.hampole@yale.edu

CV

WORKING PAPERS

Financial Frictions and Human Capital Investments

This project is supported by grants from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and the Center for Financial Institutions at Kellogg School of Management

Seminars: Chicago Fed, McGill, Purdue, UIUC, Chicago Harris, Yale, MIT, HBS (Finance & Entrepreneurship), Wharton, Chicago Booth, UT Austin, LSE, LBS, Columbia Business School (Econ & Finance), Duke, WashU

ConferencesConference on Economic Mobility 2023, Labor and Finance 2023, NBER SI 2023, EFA 2023, UNC Junior Finance Conference 2023, UNC Conference on Market-Based Solutions for Reducing Wealth Inequality 2023, SFS Cavalcade North America 2023, FMA Napa/Sonoma Conference 2023, Georgia Tech- Atlanta Fed Household Finance Conference 2023, Financial Research Association FRA 2022, CEPR European Conference on Household Finance 2022, IZA Workshop on Education Economics 2022,  USC Marshall 2022 Finance Conference, ASSA 2021, Macro Finance Society 2021, Stanford Rising Scholars 2020

Awards: FMA Napa/Sonoma Best Paper Award 2023, AQR/HEC Top Finance Graduate Award 2023, Michael J. Barclay Young Scholar Award (FRA Conference) 2022, CEPR Best Student Paper in Household Finance 2022

How do financial frictions affect the type of human capital investments that students make in college? To study this question, I build a novel dataset covering more than 700,000 U.S. students, merging commencement records with address histories, credit bureau records, and professional resumes. I document that students trade-off initial earnings against lifetime earnings when choosing college majors, and that students from low-income families are more likely to choose majors associated with higher initial earnings but lower lifetime earnings. I provide causal estimates of how student debt affects this trade-off using the staggered implementation of Universal No-Loan Policies across 22 universities from 2001 to 2019. I find that students who are required to take on more student loans to finance their education choose majors with higher initial earnings but lower lifetime earnings. Furthermore, student debt differentially affects students depending on their family backgrounds: Students who grew up in low-income families display greater sensitivity to changes in student debt. Finally, I show that student debt leads to different job profiles and earnings later in life. Combined, these findings highlight the role of financial frictions in human capital investments and subsequent labor market trajectories. 


Peer Effects and the Gender Gap in Corporate Leadership: Evidence from MBA Students (with Ashley Wong and Francesca Truffa)

Presentations: WAPFIN NYU Stern 2023, Chicago Booth Empirical Finance Conference 2023, ASSA 2023,  AlpPop 2023, Stanford University, NBER Summer Institute 2022, ASSA 2021, IZA Workshop on Gender and Family Economics 2021

Awards: Best Paper Award for the Discrimination and Diversity Workshop University of East Anglia (2022), UniCredit Foundation Best Paper Award on Gender Economics (2021), Susan Schmidt Bies Prize for Doctoral Student Research on Economics and Public Policy (2019)

Women continue to be underrepresented in corporate leadership positions. This paper studies the role of social connections in women's career advancement. We investigate whether access to a larger share of female peers in business school affects the gender gap in senior managerial positions. Merging administrative data from a top-10 US business school with public LinkedIn profiles, we first document that female MBAs are 24 percent less likely than male MBAs to enter senior management within 15 years of graduation. Next, we use the random assignment of students into sections to show that a larger proportion of female MBA section peers increases the likelihood of entering senior management for women but not for men. This effect is driven by female-friendly firms, such as those with more generous maternity leave policies and greater work schedule flexibility. A larger proportion of female MBA peers induces women to transition to these firms where they attain senior management roles. We find suggestive evidence that some of the mechanisms behind these results include job referrals and gender-specific information transmission. These findings highlight the role of social connections in reducing the gender gap in senior management positions.