Christopher Hennessy

Professor of Finance

BA (Swarthmore) MA PhD (Princeton)

Professor Christopher Hennessy's research focuses on information economics, moral hazard and debt, debt restructuring, tax planning, financing dynamics and credit risk. His work has been published in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies. He is a three-time winner of the Brattle Prize for outstanding corporate finance research and was named one of four rising stars in financial economics for 2010.

He is a Professor of Finance at London Business School and formerly Associate Professor and Finance Area Chair at the Walter A Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Master of Public Affairs degree and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.

Professor Hennessy is currently editor of the Review of Corporate Finance Studies and associate editor of the Review of Finance, Finance Research Letters, and Management Science. He is also a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He is a regular visitor at the Vienna Graduate School of Finance and University of Paris-Dauphine.

Formerly a senior associate at KPMG Peat Marwick and research analyst at the United States Treasury Office of Tax Analysis, Professor Hennessy has chaired the academic advisory board at Acumen Global Partners – a London-based derivatives advisory boutique – and served on the academic advisory panel of Benchmark Metrics. He recently received a grant from the European Research Council to study the affect of tax changes on corporate financing decisions.

Research Awards

  • European Research Council Starting Independent Researcher Grant, 2011-2015.

  • Finance Rising Star Award, 2010.

  • Brattle Prize (Outstanding Paper in Journal of Finance), 2004, 2005, and 2007.

  • Barbara and Gerson Bakar Faculty Fellow for 2008, University of California, Berkeley.

  • Guttmann Fellow, 2007, Vienna.

  • Schwabacher Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2006. 

  • Junior Faculty Research Grant,  University of California, Berkeley, 2004 and 2005. 

  • Beinkecke Fellowship, 1992-1994.

  • Phi Beta Kappa, Swarthmore College, 1992.

  • Chicago Business Fellow, 1991.

  • Academic All-American, 1988.

  • Taxation
  • Valuation of convertible and callable debt
  • Dynamic capital structure
  • Information economics


Goodhart’s Law and Machine Learning: A Structural Perspective

Hennessy C; Goodhart C

International Economic Review 2023 Vol 64:3 p 1075-1086


Markets versus Mechanisms

Boleslavsky R; Hennessy C A; Kelly D L

Review of Financial Studies 2022 Vol 35:7 p 3139-3174

Signaling, instrumentation, and CFO decision-making

Hennessy C; Chemla G

Journal of Financial Economics 2022 Vol 144:3 p 849-863


Equilibrium Counterfactuals

Hennessy C; Chemla G

International Economic Review 2021 Vol 62:2 p 639-669


Beyond random assignment: credible inference and extrapolation in dynamic economies

Hennessy C A; Strebulaev I A

Journal of Finance 2020 Vol 75:2 p 825-866

Empirical analysis of corporate tax reforms: what is the null and where did it come from?

Hennessy C A; Kasahara A; Strebulaev

Journal of Financial Economics 2020 Vol 135:3 p 555-576

Learning, Parameter Drift, and the Credibility Revolution

Hennessy C A; Livdan D

Journal of Monetary Economics 2020

Rational expectations and the paradox of policy-relevant natural experiments

Chemla G; Hennessy C

Journal of Monetary Economics 2020 Vol 114 p 386-3381


Controls, belief updating, and bias in medical RCTs

Chemla G; Hennessy C A

Journal of Economic Theory 2019 Vol 184


Learning and leverage cycles in general equilibrium: theory and evidence

Hennessy C A; Radnaev B

Review of Finance 2018 Vol 22:1 p 311-335


Government as a borrower of first resort

Chemla G; Hennessy C

Journal of Monetary Economics 2016 Vol 84 p 1-16

Secondary market liquidity and security design: theory and evidence from ABS markets

Friewald N; Hennessy C; Jankowitsch R

Review of Financial Studies 2016 Vol 29:5 p 1254-1290


Skin in the game and moral hazard

Chemla G; Hennessy C

Journal of Finance 2014 July Vol 69:4 p 1597-1641


Model before measurement

Hennessy C

Critical Finance Review 2013 Vol 2:1 p 193-215


A theory of debt market liquidity and leverage cyclicality

Hennessy C; Zechner J

Review of Financial Studies 2011 August Vol 24:10 p 3369-3400


Acquisition values and optimal financial (in) flexibilty

Hennessy C; Hege U

Review of Financial Studies 2010 March Vol 23:7 p 2865-2899

Repeated signaling and firm dynamics

Hennessy C; Livdan D; Miranda B

Review of Financial Studies 2010 March Vol 23:5 p 1981-2023


Debt, bargaining, and credibility in firm-supplier relationships

Hennessy C A; Livdan D

Journal of Financial Economics 2009 September Vol 93:3 p 382-399


Taxation, agency conflicts, and the choice between callable and convertible bonds

Hennessy C; Tserlukevich Y

Journal of Economic Theory 2008 November Vol 143:1 p 374-404


Can the tradeoff theory explain debt structure?

Hennessy C; Hackbarth D; Leland D

Review of Financial Studies 2007 Vol 20:5 p 1389-1428

How costly is external financing? Evidence from a structured estimation

Hennessy C; Whited T

Journal of Finance 2007 Vol 62:4 p 1705-1745

Testing Q theory with financing frictions

Hennessy C; Whited T; Levy A

Journal of Financial Economics 2007 Vol 83:3 p 691-717

Why does capital structure choice vary with macroeconomic conditions

Hennessy C; Levy A

Journal of Monetary Economics 2007:54 p 1545-1564


Debt dynamics

Hennessy C; Whited T

Journal of Finance 2005 Vol 60:3


Tobin's Q, debt overhang and investment

Hennessy C

Journal of Finance 2004 Vol 59:4 p 1717-1742

The paradox of policy-relevant natural experiments

Hennessy C; Chemla G

CEPR Discussion Paper


Natural experiment policy evaluation: a critique

Hennessy C; Strebulaev I

CEPR Discussion Paper

Secondary market liquidity and security design: theory and evidence from ABS markets

Friewald N; Hennessy C A; Jankowitsch R

Working Paper


Government as borrower of first resort

Chemla G; Hennessy C

Social Sciences Research Network


Security design: signaling versus speculative markets

Chemla G; Hennessy C

CEPR Discussion Paper

Teaching portfolio

Our teaching offering is updated annually. Faculty and programme material are subject to change.