Research Spotlight: Foreign Experience and CEO Compensation

Welcome to the first installment of Research Spotlight, a series of posts highlighting research emerging from Wharton that have made use of data available through library resources. The inaugural feature will look at an article by Martin Conyon et al., “Foreign experience and CEO compensation,” published in the Journal of Corporate Finance 57. 

In this article, the authors examine the correlation between a CEO’s foreign experience and CEO compensation. This examination included peripheral analyses of whether CEOs with foreign experience have a positive impact on a firm’s performance, as well as if foreign experience affects acquisition performance. Discovering these secondary correlations required the use of stock returns and accounting data derived from Datastream and data on foreign acquisitions from SDC Platinum. Both Thomson products, Datastream is a historical financial database that covers equities, bonds, commodities, exchange rates, company fundamentals and more, while SDC Platinum provides transaction- or deal-level details on IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and VentureXpert private equity/venture capital investments.

For more information on these resources, please see a Lippincott librarian

Lippincott Library Resources: Social Impact Investing

Image of Doomsday clock from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists showing that the clock is now at 100 seconds to midnight

I came across some startling statistics recently.

The World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap report claims that, at the current rate of progress, it will take about 108 years to reach gender parity. Here are some surprising related statistics.

Research from the FAO shows that the number of undernourished people in the world has risen since 2015.

Image from the FAO showing that the number of undernourished people in the world has risen since 2015

These problems and more have prompted many investors to consider how their investments affect people and the global environment. Investors want to do good while doing well. It seems that impact investing is having an impact and may be worth pursuing. For example, the World Bank notes that the world attained the first Millennium Development Goal target – to cut the 1990 poverty rate in half by 2015 – five years ahead of schedule.

World Bank image showing that the 1990 poverty rate was cut in half by 2015, 5 years ahead of the deadline set in the first Minllenium Development Goal
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Reading is fun with Business Trends!

When you’ve got serious work to do, like writing a research paper or preparing for a job interview, Lippincott Library has resources to help. But did you know the library also has a selection of popular books to read for fun? If you’re interested in keeping up with general business topics, or looking for a way to pass the time on your commute, come check out the Business Trends section at Lippincott Library. Business Trends is a rotating collection of popular business books and bestsellers in marketing, management, and leadership.  

Business Trends display area and bookshelves filled with books in the Lippincott Library

You’ll find the Business Trends section as you’re walking into the library – across from the Information Desk and next to the periodicals. Business Trends has everything from biographies of business titans to management advice, and covers a wide variety of hot-button issues. Whether you want to know about AI technology or fast fashion, the gig economy or organic farming, Business Trends has got you covered.  

Here’s a few examples of popular titles you can find in the Business Trends collection: 

The Infinite Game, Simon Sinek 

Finite games have rules, scoreboards, and boundaries; when the whistle blows and the game is over, there are winners and losers. An infinite game, however, has no such clarity.  There are no rules, no endpoints, and no one goes home with a trophy – but using finite strategies is a sure way to lose. Simon Sinek offers advice on adapting to the infinite game of the business world by developing a resilient and forward-thinking mindset. Good leaders understand how to inspire others and build trusting environments, but Sinek argues that inspiration and cooperation are not enough: truly great leaders must be able to play the infinite game.  

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff 

We live in a data-driven world, and many of us have accepted targeted ads and digital footprint tracking as part of the invisible, inevitable cost of using otherwise free services like Facebook and Google. Shoshana Zuboff delivers a blow to that complacency in her widely-discussed examination of surveillance capitalism, her term for the ominous new marketplace of human behavior prediction – and modification. Gone are the days of totalitarian states and Big Brother; Zuboff argues we now live in the shadow of “Big Other,” as unregulated and opaque private companies are given free rein to collect our data and influence our behavior.  

Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses, Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur 

Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur, friends and business partners, examine the unique benefits of female friendship in the business world. Sharing lessons from their own personal experience, as well as interviews with other women who have successfully navigated business partnerships, Cerulo and Mazur offer insight into what makes friendship among women in the workplace so special. Highlighting the importance of oft-ignored values like compassion and vulnerability, Cerulo and Mazur present a feminist vision of entrepreneurial cooperation.  

To check out these books (and many more!), stop by the Business Trends section the next time you visit Lippincott Library. With nearly one hundred titles covering a wide array of business topics, there’s sure to be something you’ll want to read. 

Python Pointer: Find Files with os.walk()

Have a mess of files to read into Python? Maybe you downloaded Kaiko trade data, with unpredictable sub-directories and file names, from Penn+Box. Or maybe you’ve dropped TXT, PDF, and PY files into a single working directory that you’d rather not reorganize. A simple script will find the files you need, listing their names and paths for easy processing.

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Survey Says: Explore Consumer Behavior with Statista

When you see the name “Statista,” you probably draw some immediate (and accurate) conclusions about the kind of information this database provides. What you may not know, however, is that in addition to providing market- and consumer-related statistics, Statista has also developed a feature called the Global Survey. This intuitive tool enables users to research and manipulate data on a wide variety of consumer behavior topics. Included in this survey is the ability to cross-tabulate data allowing further insight into consumer behavior. You are able to explore relationships between demographics and consumer activity. The following shows you how to use Statista’s Global Survey to create a crosstab aimed at discovering consumers’ grocery shopping habits.

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Lippincott Library in China: Wharton Research Data and Analytics Librarian Conference

I had the privilege of participating in the Wharton Research Data and Analytics Librarian conference just before the beginning of the fall semester. Hosted by Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) at the Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC), this conference brought together over forty librarians, business school faculty and vendors from across greater China to share best practices related to digital research resources and data-oriented services and skills. It also provided the opportunity to discuss emerging initiatives in these areas. With help from a team of simultaneous translators, speakers presented in Chinese and English, and presentation materials were available in both languages. Although the conference attendees were from Chinese academic institutions, we also had participation from business and finance librarians in the United States who presented via videoconference.


My introductory keynote set the stage for the presentations that followed by reviewing the challenges and opportunities facing business and finance librarians in an era of data proliferation. These included: researchers’ quest for unique data, defining and measuring usage in a data-focused environment, the impact of publisher/vendor mergers on data availability, data transparency and reproducibility, access and storage and improving data skills. Other presenters examined these topics in greater detail:

  • Expanding the role of libraries throughout the research cycle – such as helping users develop software/coding skills for data analysis and visualization (Hilary Craiglow, Vanderbilt University), educating researchers and faculty about data literacy (Yun Dai and Jennifer Stubbs, NYU Shanghai), research data management and data literacy training (Aaron Kennedy, University of Nottingham Ningbo China) and developing discipline-specific data services (Jianfa Zhong, Xiamen University).
  • Redefining vendor relationships – from developing new products (Corey Seeman, University of Michigan) to working closely with vendors to build data communities (Henry Huang, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics).
  • Data discovery and usage evaluation – developing big data knowledge discovery platforms (Jing Xie, Chinese Academy of Sciences), creating standardized and replicable systems for assessing usage (Dandan Tan, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) and introducing evidence-based evaluation (Liping Yang, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University).
  • Understanding user needs (Michael Yang, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business) and the differences between needs of expert and beginning users (Dehua Xiong, Peking University), as well as strategies for keeping abreast of new research trends and techniques (Bobray Bordelon, Princeton University). Rui Dai from WRDS discussed the use of machine learning to identify research trends.


The inimitable Foster Zhang from Chinese University of Hong Kong Shenzhen gave the closing keynote, leaving attendees with a lot to consider about developing future data services and architectures: “Data is only limited by imagination. We give it a ‘suggested usage’ within an interface, but this limits us.”

Thank you to all of the contributors and attendees for making this conference a first-rate learning and cultural experience.

Detailed Cryptocurrency Data from Kaiko – Available Now!

Itching to analyze cryptocurrency data down to the tick? Kaiko’s rich historical data—accessible through the Lippincott Library—offer details from more than 50 exchanges and 7,500 currency pairs, letting you expand the boundaries of your research.

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MIXing it up: microfinance data from MIX Market

Microfinance data is hard to come by since reporting requirements for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) are not well-developed or consistent across countries. MIX Market focuses exclusively on providing information related these institutions, and their MIX Intelligence subscription lets you find information on specific institutions or screen for institutions using a wide range of criteria.   [Note: MIX Intelligence is not licensed for use outside the library, so you will have to visit Lippincott Library to use it. Just ask at our Information Desk for assistance with logging in.]


The Resources menu is the primary way to navigate to reports, data and tools in MIX Market.  The easiest option is to select Profiles to look for a specific Financial Services Provider (FSP) or to screen for organizations by region, country and type. Profiles have top level information about organizations. This includes typical directory information, such as address, contact information and high level financials for the last three reported years, as well as links to annual reports if available. See the sample record below for CUMO, an MFI in Malawi.


The profile page also lets you to easily access the FSP (Financial Service Provider) Analysis data on that organization, where each option under Report Types allows you to select individual variables


Example of available social performance variables

Use the Cross Market Analysis function to select from more than 100 specific data points to compare, such as assets, administrative expenses, average loan balance per borrower, renegotiated loans, and many more. The additional filtering and grouping options allow you to create results like the table below, which shows the number of female active borrowers by country.


In addition to making tools available that you can use to create your own analyses, MIX publishes regular quarterly reports that include their analysis and visualization of data Forecast-Bangladeshby country. These are generally produced on a quarterly basis and include country overviews called “factsheets” which include quarter-by-quarter performance across common variables such as average loan balance, number of active borrowers and portfolio-at-risk at the country level. Their “barometer forecasts” also provide forecast data from on a quarterly survey of FSPs. The snapshot on the left illustrates the projected borrower growth rates for Bangladesh. 





Please see our Microfinance Research Guide for additional resources.

CBD and THC: green light for investment

Image of a cannabis plant
Image by Roberto Valdivia

A recent article in Bloomberg News instantly grabbed my attention.  Joe Montana, quarterback extraordinaire and football icon, now a venture capitalist, just participated in a $75 million funding for a company that sells marijuana products in stores throughout California.  Taking a risk on a controversial investment, Joe is positioned to win in an industry which he hopes can make a “serious impact on opiod use or addiction”.  In fact, cannabis related products could help football players or others in high impact, injury prone professions. This industry includes growers and retailers as well as medical and recreational products.

Like Joe, investors seem sweet on cannabis derived products that provide health and wellness benefits. But where is this industry headed as a business investment? How great is the risk? What are the opportunities? the library has a number of resources that can help to answer these questions.

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At last, Pitchbook has come along…

Lippincott Library is proud to announce the addition of Pitchbook to our list of business resources. Covering a vast array of data related to private capital markets, Pitchbook can provide the Wharton community with research information on private equity and venture capital. You will need to create an account, based on your Penn email address. There are download limitations:  Each individual has 25 downloads per month and can use up to 10 in a day.  Unlimited access using the API function in excel is available for public companies.

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