Sophie Calder-Wang

Sophie Calder-Wang
  • Assistant Professor in Wharton Real Estate
  • Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy (Secondary)
  • Assistant Professor of Finance (Secondary)

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    427 Vance Hall
    3733 Spruce Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: industrial organization, digitization, urban economics

Links: CV, Personal Website


  • Sophie Calder-Wang and Paul Gompers (2021), And the Children Shall Lead: Gender Diversity and Performance in Venture Capital, Journal of Financial Economics, 142 (1).

    Abstract: Given the overall lack of gender diversity in the venture capital and entrepreneurship industry shown in Calder-Wang and Gompers (2017) we ask: What promotes greater gender diversity in hiring? Does diversity lead to better firm performance and higher investment returns? In this paper, using a unique dataset of the gender of venture capital partners’ children, we find strong evidence that when partners have more daughters, the propensity to hire female partners increases. Moreover, our instrumental variable results suggest that increased gender diversity improves deal and fund performance. Lastly, the effects are primarily driven by the gender of senior partners’ children.

  • Sophie Calder-Wang and Ariel Pakes (Under Review), Unobserved Heterogeneity, State Dependence, and Health Plan Choices.

    Abstract: We provide a new method to analyze discrete choice models with state dependence and individual-by-product fixed effects and use it to analyze consumer choices in a policy-relevant environment (a subsidized health insurance exchange). Moment inequalities are used to infer state dependence from consumers’ switching choices in response to changes in product attributes. We infer much smaller switching costs on the health insurance exchange than is inferred from standard logit and/or random effects methods. A counterfactual policy evaluation illustrates that the policy implications of this difference can be substantive.

  • Sophie Calder-Wang (Working), The Distributional Impact of the Sharing Economy on the Housing Market.

    Abstract: I estimate the welfare and distributional impact of the home-sharing platform Airbnb on New York City renters. I develop a structural model of an integrated housing market with two novel features. First, in addition to the traditional long-term rental market, absentee landlords can reallocate their housing units to the newly available short-term rental market. Second, residents can directly host short-term visitors, increasing housing utilization. Overall, renters in NYC suffer a welfare loss of $2.4 billion, where losses from increased rents dominate gains from hosting. Moreover, the increased rent burden falls most heavily on high-income, educated, and white renters. By characterizing winners and losers, this paper provides a framework for evaluating the impact of such technological innovations.

  • Sophie Calder-Wang and Paul Gompers (Working), Diversity and Performance in Entrepreneurial Teams.

    Abstract: We study the role of diversity on the performance of entrepreneurial teams by exploiting a unique experimental setting of over 3,000 MBA students who participated in a business course to build startups. First, we quantify the strong selection based upon shared attributes when students are allowed to choose teammates. Team formation based upon shared endowed demographic characteristics such as gender, race, and ethnicity is stronger than team formation based upon acquired characteristics such as education and industry background. Second, when team memberships are randomly assigned, greater racial/ethnic diversity leads to significantly worse performance. Interestingly, the negative performance effect of diversity is partially alleviated in cohorts where teams are formed voluntarily. Finally, we find that teams with more female members performed substantially better when their faculty section leader was female. These findings suggest that policy interventions targeting greater diversity should consider match-specific qualities in forming teams to prevent the potential negative impact of diversity. Our results on vertical diversity suggest that capital allocators could also play an important role in the mentoring and advising of minority entrepreneurs.

  • Sophie Calder-Wang, Paul Gompers, Patrick Sweeney (Working), Venture Capital’s Me Too Moment.

    Abstract: In this paper, we document the historically low rate of hiring of women in the venture capital sector. We find that the high-profile Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins gender discrimination trial had dramatic treatment effects. In difference-in-differences regressions, we find that the rate of hiring of female venture capitalists increased substantially after the trial and that the hiring was more pronounced in states that were more receptive to the exposure. We use the state-level mandated maternity benefits as an instrument for the receptivity to the treatment effects of the Pao Trial. We also show that the fraction of founders who are female increases after the Pao Trial, but that the increase is driven entirely by the hiring of female venture capitalists. There is no increase in the propensity of male venture capitalists to invest in female founders in the post-Pao Trial period.


Past Courses

  • REAL2090 - Real Estate Investments

    This course provides an introduction to real estate with a focus on investment and financing issues. Project evaluation, financing strategies, investment decision making and real estate capital markets are covered. No prior knowledge of the industry is required, but students are expected to rapidly acquire a working knowledge of real estate markets. Classes are conducted in a standard lecture format with discussion required. The course contains cases that help students evaluate the impact of more complex financing and capital markets tools used in real estate. There are case studies and two midterms, (depending on instructor).

Awards and Honors

Wharton Teaching Excellence Award, 2021


    Latest Research

    Sophie Calder-Wang and Paul Gompers (2021), And the Children Shall Lead: Gender Diversity and Performance in Venture Capital, Journal of Financial Economics, 142 (1).
    All Research

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