Research Conversation with Finance PhD Alumnus Thomas Griffin

Thomas Griffin, PhD Candidate in Finance

Enter the Research Conversation with Thomas Griffin

Has globalization contributed to recent trends in the U.S. public equity market?

My job market paper shows that a tariff policy change that increased trade with China disproportionately harmed small firms, leading to abnormally low IPO activity, high delisting rates and increased levels of industry concentration. The one-sentence takeaway from my paper is that globalization creates winners and losers depending on firm size, and this effect contributed to recent trends in U.S. public equity market.

The goal of my job market paper is to better understand recent trends in the U.S. public equity market. There are roughly 50% fewer public companies on U.S. exchanges today compared to the 1990’s. IPO activity is down, delist rates are up and the average public firm is three times larger today than it was before year 2000. A big question for finance researchers is: why? What’s causing these trends? The novel contribution of my paper is to show that these trends are driven, in part, by a fundamental shift in the economy that disadvantaged small firms. Specifically, I show that a tariff policy change that increased trade with China led to i) a decline in public listing rates and an increase in concentration ii) by disproportionately harming small firms iii) that were unable to offshore production and remain competitive against Chinese imports. These findings suggest that globalization has distributional consequences that are important to consider when designing public policy.

PhD Alumni


PhD Alumni

Area of Research

Intersection of corporate finance and international trade


Lowell, Massachusetts

Fast Fact

I attended Villanova University as an undergraduate and will return there as an Assistant Professor of Finance in Fall 2019!

PhD Open House Part 1: PhD Overview

PhD Open House Part 2: Q&A Session