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BYU Marriott Finance Professor Receives Best Paper Award

BYU Marriott School of Business finance professor Taylor Nadauld and several colleagues recently won the Michael J. Brennan Best Paper award from The Review of Financial Studies (RFS). Nadauld, along with David O. Lucca, who works at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Karen Shen, a PhD student at Harvard University, received the award in recognition of the research published in their article, “Credit Supply and the Rise in College Tuition: Evidence from the Expansion in Federal Student Aid Programs.” The winning trio also received a $10,000 prize.

Taylor Nadauld
BYU Marriott finance professor Taylor Nadauld.

For Nadauld, the recognition of his group’s work is an important accomplishment. “We try to do careful work that makes an impact. We are grateful for the professional acknowledgment this award represents.,” Nadauld says. “The Review of Financial Studies receives thousands of submissions each year, and we were selected and published as the best paper for 2020.”

Every year, the RFS presents four main awards to those who have made a significant impact in the financial world. The Michael J. Brennan Best Paper award, which is one of those four awards, was established in 1989, and every award submission goes through multiple rounds of approval before the RFS editorial board determines the winning paper.

In their research, Nadauld and his co-authors used fifteen years of detailed student financial data to study the relationship between federal assistance for students and the cost of college tuition. The winning article addresses the issue of rising tuition costs with the increase of federal assistance and acknowledges the ensuing financial problems for schools and college students. Nadauld explains that schools such as BYU try hard to alleviate some of those financial problems. “I hope that students appreciate the benefits they receive by going to BYU and gaining a high-quality education for low cost,” Nadauld says.

Craig Merrill, chair of the Department of Finance at BYU Marriott, expressed his excitement for Nadauld’s accomplishment. “The Review of Financial Studies is one of the top journals in finance research. Only about 6 percent of papers submitted to the journal are published,” Merrill says. “As a department, we are happy to have Taylor working on such high-impact research here at BYU Marriott.”

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.


Writer: Erin Kratzer