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

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).

    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: What is the impact of the sharing economy, pioneered by companies such as Airbnb, on the housing market? In this paper, I estimate the welfare and distributional impact of Airbnb on the residents of New York City. I develop a model of an integrated housing market, where a landlord can offer a housing unit for rent on either the traditional long-term rental market or the newly available short-term rental market. By estimating a structural model of residential choice and linking it to detailed Airbnb usage data, I estimate the effect of such reallocation on the equilibrium rent across different housing types and demographic groups. In addition, to evaluate the gains from direct home-sharing, I estimate a supply system featuring heterogeneous costs. Overall, renters in New York City suffer a loss of $178mm per annum, as the losses from the rent channel dominate the gains from the host channel. I find that the increased rent burden falls most heavily on high-income, educated, and white renters, because they prefer housing and location amenities most desirable to tourists. Moreover, there is a divergence between the median and the tail, where a few enterprising low-income households obtain substantial gains from home-sharing, especially during demand peaks. Thus, this paper delivers a more nuanced characterization of the winners and losers of the sharing economy, and provides a framework for understanding the consequences of regulating such technological innovations.

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

    Abstract: We study the role of diversity and performance in entrepreneurial teams. We exploit a unique dataset of MBA students who participated in a required course to propose and start a real micro-business that allows us to examine horizontal diversity (i.e., within the team) as well as vertical diversity (i.e., team to faculty advisor) and their effect on performance. The course was run in multiple cohorts in otherwise identical formats except for the team formation mechanism used. In several cohorts, students were allowed to choose their teams from among students in their section (roughly 90 students). In other cohorts, students were randomly assigned to teams based upon a computer algorithm. In the cohorts that were allowed to choose, we find strong selection based upon shared attributes. Shared race/ethnicity and gender increase the probability of forming a team by over 20% compared to a random match. Shared school and workplace experience increase the probability by 17% and 11%. Among the randomly assigned teams, greater diversity along the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity reduced performance. However, the negative effect of diversity is alleviated in cohorts in which teams are endogenously formed. Finally, we find that teams with more female members perform substantially better when their faculty section leader was also female. These findings suggest that diversity policies should take adequate consideration of idiosyncratic match qualities to avoid unintended and potentially negative consequences.

  • 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.

Teaching

Past Courses

  • FNCE209 - 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).

  • REAL209 - 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).

Activity

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).
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