Peter Koudijs is a member of the Finance group at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research is characterized by a broad perspective on finance. Common to all of his work is the use of unique historical settings and newly constructed datasets to answer questions at the center of financial economics. Financial markets have been around for centuries. This creates opportunities to (a) analyze different historical settings that often are closer to the simplified setting of theoretical models than markets today, (b) take a long term perspective on important questions, and (c) benefit from interesting natural experiments in the past that provide exogenous variation in key variables. Koudijs’ research features all three elements.
His work is organized around two themes. First, his research aims to improve the understanding of asset price movements in both the short and long run. He has analyzed short run fluctuations in the context of the Dutch and English securities markets in the 18th century, a setting that is uniquely suited to study the impact of public and private information. He analyzes long run asset price movement using a newly constructed dataset of stock prices and dividends that goes back to 1629. This allows him to identify the fundamental drivers of stock price movements, providing an out-of-sample test of modern theories. In related work, he uses a natural experiment from the 18th century to better understand the role of credit in financial markets, in particular studying the role of personal experience in explaining fluctuations in the leverage of financial intermediaries. Second, Koudijs is interested in the impact of bankruptcy protection on risk taking by financial institutions and investment decisions by households. This work uses the introduction of a particular set of marital laws in the U.S. around 1850 that gave newly wedded couples significant bankruptcy protection that was otherwise unavailable. He uses two newly constructed databases to analyze economic outcomes.