Elizabeth Tashjian


Department of Finance

Faculty, Tenure Track

Elizabeth Tashjian is a Professor of Finance and Director of the Advanced Financial Analysis Program at the University of Utah. She is Director of the Garn Institute of Finance and Garn Faculty Fellow. She has been on the faculty at Tulane University and has been a visiting professor at INSEAD, a management institute in France, and at Hebrew University in Israel. Tashjian received her Ph.D. in Finance from Purdue University and her B.A. in Mathematics from Boston College. Her primary research interests are in corporate financial distress and futures contract design. Her paper with John McConnell of Purdue documenting the design flaw which contributed to the demise of the first interest rate futures contract, the GNMA CDR, won the best paper of the year award in the Review of Financial Studies. She serves on the Academic Advisory Council of the Turnaround Management Association. She has won numerous teaching awards and is the faculty advisor for the University of Utah Student Investment Fund.

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  • B.A. 1980, Mathematics (with honors), Boston College
  • M.S. 1985, Management (quantitative methods), Purdue University
  • Ph.D. 1986, Finance, minor field econometrics, Purdue University
Research Summary

My research has focused on the subtle features of two types of securities: debt contracts and futures contracts. A debt contract or a futures contract can be defined quite simply: a debt contract is an agreement to repay a lender a specified amount of money on a specific date or dates and a futures contract may be defined as an agreement to buy an asset at a specific date in the future at a negotiated price. In practice, these contracts contain many features that influence pricing and outcomes.

My work on debt contracts explores empirically the outcomes of firms experiencing financial distress. The debt renegotiation process can be viewed as a bargaining problem between the debtor corporation and its creditors, where the outcome depends on the complexity of the bargaining problem and the incentives of the parties to settle or hold out for better terms. In this context, a workout represents a consensual solution between the debtor and a sufficiently large coalition of creditors. Since failure to achieve a workout generally results in a bankruptcy filing, the bargaining environment is shaped by the threat of and rules governing bankruptcy. My recent work explores how both economic factors and legal factors influence bankruptcy outcomes for distressed firms. I am also interested in how bankruptcy influences the trading partners of distressed firms.

Futures contracts contain a complex combination of a simple futures contract and assorted options, giving the contracts’ participants significant flexibility in satisfying the terms of the contract. Most of my research in futures contracts involves exploring why these features exist either theoretically or empirically.

  • Elizabeth Tashjian & Madhuparna Kolay and Michael Lemmon (2015). Spreading the Misery? Sources of Bankruptcy Spillover in the Supply Chain. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Accepted, 06/2015.
  • Tashjian, E., & Avner Kalay and Rajeev Singhal. (2007). Is Chapter 11 Costly?. Journal of Financial Ecnomics. 84-3, 772-796. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 06/2007.
  • Tashjian, E., & Bermudez J, Agutter J, Foresti S, Westenskow D, Syroid N, Drews F. (2005). Between Art, Science, And Technology: Data Representation Architecture. Leonardo. 38, 280-285. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 2005.
  • Tashjian, E., & Bermudez J , Foresti S, Agutter J, Westenskow D, Syroid N, Drews F, Tashjian E, Adams V. (2004). Interdisciplinary methodology supporting the design research & practice of new data representation architectures. Proceedings of the 2004 EAAE-ARCC Research Conference. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 2004.
  • Tashjian, E., & Bermudez J, Foresti S, Agutter J, Westenskow D, Syroid N, Drews F, Tashjian E, Adams V. (2003). Metodologia Interdisciplinaria para Disear Nuevas Arquitecturas de Representaci?n de Datos. Proceedings of the 7th. SIGraDi Conference., 334-338. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 2003.
  • Tashjian, E., & Ronald C. Lease and John J. McConnell. (2000). Outcomes in Prepackaged Bankruptcies. (pp. 4-). Journal of Corporate Renewal. Practice – other, Published, 03/2000.
  • Tashjian, E., & Lawrence A. Weiss. (1997). Navigating a course off the rocks. Financial Times (of London)., 8-9. Practice – other, Published, 02/1997.
  • Tashjian, E., & Ronald C. Lease and John J. McConnell. (1996). Prepacks: An Empirical Analysis of Prepackaged Bankruptcies,’ with Ronald Lease and John McConnell. Journal of Financial Economics. 40, 135-162. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 1996.
  • Tashjian, E., & Ronald C. Lease and John J. McConnell. (1996). Prepacks As A Mechanism For Resolving Financial Distress: The Evidence. (pp. 99-106). Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. Practice – other, Published, 1996.
  • Tashjian, E., & Maayana Weissman. (1995). Advantages to Competing with Yourself: Why an Exchange Might Design Futures Contracts with Correlated Payoffs. Journal of Financial Intermediation. 4, 133-157. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 1995.
  • Tashjian, E.(1995). Optimal Futures Contract Design. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. 35, 153-162. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 1995.
  • Tashjian, E., & John J. McConnell and William A. Kracaw. (1991). Day-of-the-week Effects in Financial Futures: An Analysis of GNMA, T-Bond, T-Note, and T-Bill Contracts. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. 26, 133-157. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 1991.
  • Tashjian, E., & John J. McConnell. (1989). Requiem for a Market: An Analysis of the Rise and Fall of a Financial Futures Contract. Review of Financial Studies. 2, 1-23. Discipline based – refereed, Published, 1989.
Awards and Honors
  • Garn Faculty Fellow. 05/2015
  • Brady Superior Teaching Award. 05/2015
  • Beacons of Excellence. University of Utah, 10/2013
  • Daniels Leadership in Ethics Education Award. Daniels Foundation, 05/2012
  • University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award. University of Utah, 2010
  • ASUU Student Choice Teaching Award. Unviversity of Utah, 2007
  • Marvin J. Ashton Teaching Excellence Award. DESB, 2007
  • Linda Amos Award for Distinguished Service to Women. University of Utah, 2006
  • Director, Garn Institute. DESB, 2005
  • David Eccles Fellow. DESB, 2000
  • Marvin J. Ashton Teaching Excellence Award. DESB, 1999
  • Review of Financial Studies – Best Paper Award. Soceity for Financial Studies, 1990
  • FINAN 5880-001
  • FINAN 6240-001
  • School Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). Investment advisory committee. 11/2013 – 04/2014
  • School Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). School Trust Investment Task Force. 04/2013 – 08/2013
  • Utah Community Foundation. Board member Chair, Investment committee. 06/2011 – present
  • Rocky Mountain TMA. Role: education. Board of Directors. 11/2010 – 12/2012
  • Turnaround Management Association. Role: judge. Carl Marks Paper Competition. 07/2010 – 04/2013
  • Turnaround Management Association. Role: Member. Webinar Education Committee. 2008 – 2009
  • Turnaround Management Association. Role: Member. Education Committee. 2007 – 2007
  • NSF. reviewer. 2004 – present
  • Turnaround Management Association. Academic Advisory Council. 07/1999 – present
  • Western Finance Association. Program Committee. 1999 – 2003
  • Financial Management Association. Program Committee. 1990 – 2002
  • numerous journals. referee. 1987 – present
  • Academic Appeals Committee. Chair, 01/2014 – 02/2014. College service.
  • Search Committee, Honors College Dean. 08/2011 – 12/2011. University service.
  • Search Committee, Associate VP for Faculty. member, 11/2010 – 02/2011. University service.
  • DESB, Undergrad Policy & Design Task Force. Chair, 12/2009 – 03/2010. College service.
  • CFA Research Challenge. advisor, 09/2009 – present. College service.
  • DESB, Teaching Award Committee. Chair, 2009 – 2009. College service.
  • Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, Edie Kochenour Memorial Lecture. Chair, 07/2008 – 07/2010. University service.
  • University, Diversity Committee. Member, 07/2008 – 06/2009. University service.
  • University of Utah, Women’s Week Committee. Chair, 2008 – 2008. University service.
  • PCSW/Med School, Climate Survey. Member, 01/2007 – 05/2011. University service.
  • University, Consolidated Hearing Committee – I was elected to the committee in 2006 and selected as one of four potential chairs in 2007. Chair, 08/2006 – 05/2013. University service.
  • University of Utah, Graduate Council Review, Physics. Member, 2006 – 2006. University service.
  • University, DESB Honors Advisor. 2005 – 2007. College service.
  • Finance Advisory Board. Faculty Chair, 2005 – 2007. College service.
  • DESB Honors Committee. Member, 2005 – 2006. College service.
  • University, Parental Leave Policy. Chair, 2004 – 2006. University service.
  • University, Finance Club Advisor. 05/2004 – 06/2013. Department service.
  • University, Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. Chair, member, 07/2003 – 06/2011. University service.
  • Carl Marks Student Paper Committee, Selection Committee. Member, 2003 – 2006. Other service.
  • University, Finance Department Honors Advisor. 2003 – 2006. Department service.
  • University, Discrimination Grievance Committee. Member, 2003 – 2005. University service.
  • University, Ad hoc committee for the development of women faculty – Currently chair. Member, 2002 – 2008. University service.
  • Department, Week on Wall Street. Chair, 2001 – present. Department service.
  • University, Honors Policy Board. Member, 2001 – 2006. University service.
  • United Jewish Federation of Utah, Investment Committee. Member, 1999 – 2003. Other service.
  • Winter Finance Conference, Program Committee. 1993 – present. University service.
  • Center of Excellence on Women’s Health – Presenter. 07/2009 – 02/2011
  • Community Foundation of Utah, Investment Committee. 07/2009 – present
  • Utah Jewish Endowment Trust, Trustee. 2006 – present