Skip to main content

Laura Starks


Department:     Finance

Additional Titles:     George Kozmetsky Centennial University Distinguished Chair

Industry Areas:     Capital Markets, Financial Institutions, Investment Banking, Investment Management

Research Areas:     Asset Pricing, Corporate Governance, Finance - Corporate, Investment Management


Laura T. Starks is a professor of finance in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Starks teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on sustainable finance, global financial strategies, and other finance topics. She team-teaches a global Ph.D. class on the financial economics of climate and sustainability, and she has served the school as interim dean, associate dean for research, chair of the Department of Finance, and graduate adviser.

Starks’ current research focuses on sustainable finance issues including climate finance, as well as investor expectations, retirement investment, institutional investors, and shareholder activism. She is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economics Research; a senior fellow of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research; and a fellow of the American Finance Association, the Financial Management Association, the European Corporate Governance Institute, and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Starks has received several teaching and research awards. Most recently, she received the 2022 Swedish Skandia Research Award on Long-Term Savings for contributions to the field of banking, insurance, and financial services, and the 2021 Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Research in Sustainable Finance.

Starks has served as president of four major academic finance associations: the American Finance Association, the Society for Financial Studies, the Western Finance Association, and the Financial Management Association. She has also been an editor of The Review of Financial Studies and an associate editor of many journals.

She has previously served on boards and committees for mutual funds, pension funds, and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. Currently, she serves on advisory committees for AIF Global, FTSE Russell, the Investment Company Institute, Kroner Center for Financial Research, Netspar, Principles for Responsible Investing, and Texas Wall Street Women.

Starks earned a B.A. in sociology from UT Austin, an MBA from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in finance from Texas McCombs. She is a recipient of the 2024 University of Texas Distinguished Alumni Award.



European Corporate Governance Institute, Fellow


Skandia Research Award on Long-Term Savings


President of the American Finance Association


Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Research in Sustainable Finance for “Corporate ESG Profiles and Investor Horizons” 


Honourable Mention – ICPM Call for Research Papers for “Molecular Genetics, Risk Aversion, Return Perceptions, and Stock Market Participation”


McCombs School Award for Research Excellence 

Eliezer M. Fich, Laura T. Starks, and Anh L. Tran.
Target Firm Advertising and Firm Value.
Management Science.  Forthcoming.

Andreas G.F. Hoepner, Ioannis Oikonomou, Zacharias Sautner, Laura T. Starks, and Xiao Y. Zhou. Mar 2024. ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk.
Review of Finance 28(2): 483-510.

Natasha Burns, Kristina Minnick, and Laura Starks. Nov 2023. CEO Turnover: Cross‐country Effects. Corporate Governance: An International Review 31(6): 820-844.

Laura T. Starks. August 2023. Presidential Address: Sustainable Finance and ESG Issues – Value versus Values. Journal of Finance 78(4): 1837-1872.

Emirhan Ilhan, Philipp Krueger, Zacharias Sautner, and Laura T. Starks. July 2023. Climate Risk Disclosure and Institutional Investors. Review of Financial Studies. 36(7): 2617-2650.

Richard Sias, Laura T. Starks, and H.J. Turtle. March 2023. The Negativity Bias and Perceived Return Distributions: Evidence from a Pandemic. Journal of Financial Economics 147(3): 627-657.

Laura T. Starks. 2021. Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues and the Financial Analysts Journal. Financial Analysts Journal 77(4), 5-21.

Simi Kedia, Laura T. Starks, and Xianjue Wang . 2021. Institutional Investors and Hedge Fund Activism. Review of Corporate Finance Studies 10(1), 1-43.

Philipp Krueger, Zacharias Sautner, and Laura T. Starks. 2020. The Importance of Climate Risk for Institutional Investors. Review of Financial Studies 33(3), 1067-1111.

Luke DeVault, Richard Sias, and Laura T. Starks. 2019. Sentiment Metrics and Investor Demand. Journal of Finance 74(2), 985-1024.

Stuart L. Gillan, Jay C. Hartzell, Andrew Koch, and Laura T. Starks. 2018. Getting the Incentives Right: Backfilling and Biases in Executive Compensation Data. Review of Financial Studies 31(4), 1460-1498.

Natasha Burns, Kristina Minnick, and Laura T. Starks. 2017. CEO Tournaments: A Cross-Country Analysis of Causes, Cultural Influences, and Consequences. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 52(2), 519-551.

Joseph A. McCahery, Zacharias Sautner, and Laura T. Starks. 2016. Behind the Scenes: The Corporate Governance Preferences of Institutional Investors. Journal of Finance 71(6), 2905-2932.

Andrew Koch, Stefan Ruenzi, and Laura T. Starks. 2016. Commonality in Liquidity: A Demand-Side Explanation. Review of Financial Studies 29(8), 1943-1974.

Daehyun Kim and Laura T. Starks. 2016. Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards: Do Women Contribute Unique Skills? American Economic Review 106(5), 267-271.

Martijn Cremers, Miguel A. Ferreira, Pedro Matos, and Laura T. Starks. 2016. Indexing and Active Fund Management: International Evidence. Journal of Financial Economics 120(3), 539-560.

Clemens Sialm, Laura T. Starks, and Hanjiang Zhang. 2015. Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Mutual Fund Asset Allocation Changes. American Economic Review 105(5), 432-436.

Clemens Sialm, Laura T. Starks, and Hanjiang Zhang. 2015. Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Sticky or Discerning Money? Journal of Finance 70(2), 805-828.

Eliezer M. Fich, Laura T. Starks, and Adam. S. Yore. 2014. CEO Deal-Making Activities and Compensation. Journal of Financial Economics 114(3), 471-492.

Laura T. Starks and Kelsey D. Wei. 2013. Cross-Border Mergers and Differences in Corporate Governance. International Review of Finance 13(3), 265-297.

Kelsey D. Wei and Laura T. Starks. 2013. Foreign Exchange Exposure Elasticity and Financial Distress. Financial Management 42(4), 709-735.

Clemens Sialm and Laura T. Starks. 2012. Mutual Fund Tax Clienteles. Journal of Finance 67(4), 1397-1422.

Ron Kaniel, Arzu Ozoguz, and Laura T. Starks. 2012. The high volume return premium: Cross-country evidence. Journal of Financial Economics 103(2), 255-279.

Laura T. Starks. 2009. EFA Keynote Speech: "Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility: What Do Investors Care About? What Should Investors Care About?". Financial Review 44(4), 461-468.

Alexander Ljundqvist, Felicia Marston, Laura T. Starks, Kelsey Wei, and Hong Yan. 2007. Conflicts of Interest in Sellside Research and the Moderating Role of Institutional Investors. Journal of Financial Economics 85, 420-456.

Gillan, Stuart L. and Laura T. Starks. 2007. The Evolution of Shareholder Activism in the United States. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance 19, 55-73,19p.

Richard W. Sias, Laura T. Starks, and Sheridan Titman. 2006. Changes in Institutional Ownership and Stock Returns: Assessment and Methodology. Journal of Business 79, 2869-2910.

Laura T. Starks, Li Yong, and Lu Zheng. 2006. Tax-loss Selling and the January Effect: Evidence from Municipal Bond Closed-End Funds. Journal of Finance 61, 3049-3067.

Jay C. Hartzell, Andres Almazan, and Laura T. Starks. 2005. Active Institutional Shareholders and Costs of Monitoring: Evidence from Executive Compensation. Financial Management (Financial Management Association) 34, p5-34.

Joseph Golec and Laura T. Starks. 2004. Performance Fee Contract Change and Mutual Fund Risk. Journal of Financial Economics 73, 93-118.

Stuart L. Gillan and Laura T. Starks. 2003. Corporate Governance, Corporate Ownership, and the Role of Institutional Investors: A Global Perspective. Journal of Applied Finance 13, 4-22.

James A. Bennett, Richard W. Sias, and Laura T. Starks. 2003. Greener Pastures and the Impact of Dynamic Institutional Preferences. Review of Financial Studies 16.

Jay C. Hartzell and Laura T. Starks. 2003. Institutional Investors and Executive Compensation. Journal of Finance 58, 2351-2374.

Neil Doherty, Joan Lamm-Tennant, and Laura T. Starks. 2003. Insuring September 11th: Market Recovery and Transparency. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 26, 179-199.

Robert Parrino, Richard W. Sias, and Laura T. Starks. 2003. Voting With Their Feet: Institutional Ownership Changes Around Forced CEO Turnover. Journal of Financial Economics 68, 3-46.

Mark Huson, Robert Parrino, and Laura T. Starks. 2001. Internal Monitoring Mechanisms and CEO Turnover: A Long-term Perspective. Journal of Finance 56, 2265-2297.

Richard Sias, Laura T. Starks, and Sena Tinic. 2001. Is Noise Trader Risk Priced? Journal of Financial Research 24, 311-329.

Stuart Gillan and Laura T. Starks. 2000. Corporate Governance Proposals and Shareholder Activism: The Role of Institutional Investors. Journal of Financial Economics 57, 275-305.

Laura T. Starks. 1999. Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors: Implications for Latin America. AB ANTE, Estudios en Direccion de Empresas 2, 161-182.

Paul Laux, Laura T. Starks, and Pyung Yoon. 1998. The Relative Importance of Competition and Contagion in Intra-Industry Information Transfers: An Investigation of Dividend Announcements. Financial Management 27, 5-16.

Kemal Saatcioglu and Laura T. Starks. 1998. The Stock Price-Volume Relationship in Emerging Stock Markets. International Journal of Forecasting 14, 215-225.

Keith C. Brown and Laura T. Starks. 1997. Getting the Compensation Structure Right in the Mutual Fund Industry. Strategy and Business 7, 16-18.

Richard Sias and Laura T. Starks. 1997. Institutions, Individuals and the Turn-of-the Year. Journal of Finance 52, 1543-1562.

Richard Sias and Laura T. Starks. 1997. Return Autocorrelations and Institutional Investors. Journal of Financial Economics 46, 103-11.

Joan Lamm-Tennant, Laura T. Starks, and Lynne Stokes. 1996. Considerations of Cost Trade-Offs in Insurance Solvency Surveillance Policy. Journal of Banking and Finance 20, 835-852.

Keith C. Brown, Van Harlow, and Laura T. Starks. 1996. Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry. Journal of Finance 51, 85-110.

Kathy Rehbein and Laura T. Starks. 1995. Changes in U.S. Trade Policies: The Wealth Effects on Japanese Steel Firms. Japan and the World Economy 7, 309-327.

Pyung Yoon and Laura T. Starks. 1995. Signaling, Investment Opportunities and Dividend Announcements. Review of Financial Studies 8, 995-1018.

Richard Sias and Laura T. Starks. 1995. The Day of the Week Anomaly: The Role of Institutional Investors. Financial Analysts Journal 51, 58-67.

Keith C. Brown and Laura T. Starks. 1994. Mutual Fund Managers. Discovery 14, 14-19.

A.J. Senchack and Laura T. Starks. 1993. Short Sale Restrictions and Market Reaction to Short Interest Announcements. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 28, 177-194.

Joan Lamm-Tennant and Laura T. Starks. 1993. Stocks Versus Mutual Ownership Structures: The Risk Implications. Journal of Business 66, 29-46.

Joan Lamm-Tennant, Laura T. Starks, and Lynne Stokes. 1992. An Empirical Bayes Approach to Estimating Loss Ratios. Journal of Risk and Insurance 59, 426-442.

Stefanie Lenway, Kathy Rehbein, and Laura T. Starks. 1990. The Impact of Protectionism on Firm Wealth: The Experience of the Steel Industry. Southern Economics Journal 56, 1079-1093.

Michael Smirlock and Laura T. Starks. 1988. An Empirical Analysis of the Stock Price-Volume Relationship. Journal of Banking and Finance 12, 31-41.

Susan Cohen and Laura T. Starks. 1988. Estimation Risk and Incentive Contracts for Portfolio Relationship. Management Science 34, 1067-1079.

Laura T. Starks. 1987. Performance Incentive Fees: An Agency Theoretic Approach. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 22, 17-32.

Michael Smirlock and Laura T. Starks. 1986. Day of the Week and Intraday Effects in Stock Returns. Journal of Financial Economics 17, 197-210.

Robert Jennings and Laura T. Starks. 1986. Earnings Announcements, Stock Price Adjustments and the Existence of Exchange-Listed Options. Journal of Finance 41, 107-125.

Michael Smirlock and Laura T. Starks. 1985. A Further Examination of Stock Price Changes and Transactions Volume. Journal of Financial Research 8, 217-225.

Robert Jennings and Laura T. Starks. 1985. Information Content and the Speed of Stock Price Adjustment. Journal of Accounting Research 23, 336-350.

Christopher Barry and Laura T. Starks. 1984. Investment Management and Risk Sharing with Multiple Managers. Journal of Finance 39, 477-491.

Robert Jennings, Laura T. Starks, and John Fellingham. 1981. An Equilibrium Model of Asset Trading with Sequential Information Arrival. Journal of Finance 36, 143-161.