Portrait image for Bruce Carlin

Bruce Carlin

Professor Emeritus, Finance
“Pursue something you are really passionate about and take chances. If you combine talent and passion, there is no stopping you.”
(310) 825-7246


Bruce Carlin’s route to UCLA Anderson as a professor of finance may be one of the school’s more circuitous ones. Carlin, who comes from a family of medical practitioners, had a successful career as a professor of surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. While practicing surgery, he pursued an MBA with the goal to learn more about health care management so that he would be able to take on future leadership positions at the medical school.

However, Carlin was so stimulated by the fields of finance and economics that he felt he had missed his calling and decided to pursue an academic career in finance. He left surgery and moved to North Carolina to pursue a Ph.D. in finance at Duke University. Since that time, Carlin has enjoyed a fulfilling career and has never looked back. He has thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of the risk that he took in leaving the surgical profession, and says that this decision made all the difference in his life.

Since joining UCLA Anderson in 2007, Carlin has focused his research in the areas of consumer finance, asset pricing and corporate finance. His expertise spans distressed portfolio liquidation, information and asset pricing, price complexity in retail financial markets, consumer financial literacy and strategic financial disclosure. Carlin is a director of the Financial Research Association and a past associate editor of the Review of Financial Studies, and he frequently organizes meetings of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Carlin has been recognized for his teaching acumen as well as his research, earning a number of awards and citations. He has also had the opportunity to teach students at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Duke University and the University of North Carolina.

Carlin has served as an expert witness in matters involving consumer and corporate finance, health care, life sciences, product liability and valuation. He has testified in a variety of venues, including U.S. district courts, state superior court and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Carlin is a family man and places a premium on spending time with his wife Nikki and daughter Zoe. In addition, he has a lot of hobbies. He is a master swimmer at UCLA, a whiskey connoisseur, an avid poker player and an active member of the Water Buffalo Club, a foundation dedicated to raising money for indigent children in Los Angeles. In his spare time, you might find him playing his blues guitar.



Ph.D. Finance, 2007, Duke University

MBA 2003, Washington University of St. Louis

Graduate Cert. Applied Mathematics, 2003, Washington University of St. Louis

M.D. 1992, Northwestern University School of Medicine

B.S. 1990, Northwestern University



Neidorf “Decade” Teaching Award, UCLA, 2015

Winner, Teaching Excellence Award, Full-Time MBA Program, UCLA, 2015

WRDS Best Paper Award, Northern Finance Association, 2014

Citibank Teaching Award, UCLA, 2013

AQR Insight Award: Honorable Mention, 2013

Swiss Finance Institute Outstanding Paper Award, 2009

Eric and E Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award, UCLA, 2009

2nd Place, Teaching Excellence Award, Full-Time MBA Program, UCLA, 2009

Finalist, Teaching Excellence Award, Fully-Employed MBA Program, UCLA, 2009

Dean George W. Robbins Assistant Professor Teaching Award, UCLA, 2008

Award for Outstanding Teaching Excellence, Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina, 2007

Phi Beta Kappa, Duke University, 2007

ABCD Award for Teaching, Honorable Mention, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, 2004

Knight Scholar Award, Olin School of Business, Washington University of St. Louis, 2003

Beta Gamma Sigma, Olin School of Business, Washington University of St. Louis, 2003

Ohio Urologic Society Resident Essay Contest, First Place Basic Science and First Place Overall, 1996

Ohio Urologic Society Resident Debate, First Place, 1996

Cleveland Urologic Society Resident Essay Contest, First Place Basic Science and First Place Overall, 1996

Metropolitan Hospital Research Contest, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Second Place, 1996

Metropolitan Hospital Research Contest, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Third Place, 1994

Baxter Program Research Award, Northwestern University Medical School, 1989


Selected Publications

“Episodic Liquidity Crises: Cooperative and Predatory Trading” (with Miguel Lobo and S. Viswanathan). Journal of Finance 62: 2235-2274, 2007. Nominated for the Smith-Breeden Prize for the best article published in the Journal of Finance, 2007.

“Work Ethic, Employment Contracts, and Firm Value” (with Simon Gervais). Journal of Finance 64: 785-821, 2009.

“Strategic Price Complexity in Retail Financial Markets”. Journal of Financial Economics 91: 278-287, 2009.

“A Welfare Analysis of Regulation in Relationship Banking Markets” (with Raphael Rob). Review of Finance 13: 369-400, 2009.

“Public Trust, The Law, and Financial Investment” (with Florin Dorobantu and S. Viswanathan). Journal of Financial Economics 92: 321-341, 2009.

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Evidence from Blackjack Tables” (with David Robinson). Judgement and Decision Making 4: 385-396, 2009.

“Forced Liquidation of an Investment Portfolio”. The International Journal of Central Banking December 2009: 173-176.

“Optimal Portfolio Liquidation with Distress Risk” (with David Brown and Miguel Lobo). Management Science 56: 1997-2014, 2010.

“Obfuscation, Learning, and the Evolution of Investor Sophistication” (with Gustavo Manso). Review of Financial Studies 24: 754-785, 2011.

“Investment in Organization Capital”(with Bhagwan Chowdry and Mark Garmaise). Journal of Financial Intermediation 21: 268-286, 2012.

“Financial Education and Timely Decision Support: Lessons from Junior Achievement” (with David Robinson). American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 102: 305-308, 2012.

“What Does Financial Literacy Training Teach Us?”  (with David Robinson). Journal of Economic Education 43: 235-247, 2012.

“Legal Protection in Retail Financial Markets” (with Simon Gervais). Review of Corporate Finance Studies 1: 68-108, 2012.

“Competition, Comparative Performance, and Market Transparency” (with Shaun Davies and Andrew Iannaccone). American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 4: 202-237, 2012.

“Trading Complex Assets” (with Shimon Kogan and Richard Lowery). Journal of Finance 68: 1937-1960, 2013.

“Libertarian Paternalism, the Production of Knowledge, and Financial Decision-Making ”(with Simon Gervais and Gustavo Manso). Review of Financial Studies 26: 2204-2228, 2013. 

“Disagreement and Asset Prices” (with Francis Longstaff and Kyle Matoba). Journal of Financial Economics 114: 226-238, 2014.

“Millennial-Style Learning: Search Intensity, Decision-Making, and Information-Sharing” (with Li Jiang and Stephen Spiller). Forthcoming in Management Science.

Asset Pricing with Disagreement and Uncertainty about the Length of Business Cycles (with Daniel Andrei and Michael Hasler). Forthcoming at Management Science.Winner of the 2014 WRDS Best Paper Award, NFA.