Portrait image for Bhagwan Chowdhry

Bhagwan Chowdhry

Professor Emeritus, Finance
“Finance can be summarized in four words: Risks can be shared. Humans have developed many social institutions to share risks — family, tribes, communities, religion. Finance teaches us how we can use markets and formal contracts to extend the scope of risk-sharing beyond the primitive social institutions.”
Areas of Expertise:
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Technology
  • Impact Investing
  • International Finance
  • Microfinance


Professor of Finance Bhagwan Chowdhry began his teaching career at UCLA Anderson in 1988. Here he found “an opportunity to work with and learn from outstanding faculty colleagues and an ability to work with students on projects that will make a difference in the world.” During his tenure he has also been a visiting professor and lecturer at a variety of institutions, including the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Indian School of Business. He is a current visiting scholar at the Stellar Development Foundation.

His research interests are in international finance and corporate finance and strategy, topics on which he has published several papers in economic and finance journals. He has served on the editorial boards of a number of finance and economic journals, including Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy, and has organized and taught executive education programs on financial derivatives, corporate risk management and valuation in Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Microfinance, financial technology and impact investing are his recent teaching, research and applied interests. He has supervised several MBA student projects in microfinance and FinTech in the last several years and has taught undergraduate seminar classes and an MBA elective on the subjects. “One of my greatest joys comes from working with smart people who strive to make this world a better place, especially for people with limited resources and opportunities. I am constantly thinking about, doing research on and getting involved in projects that will make a difference in the world.”

That commitment may be best illustrated with his proposed Financial Access at Birth (FAB) initiative in which every child born in the world is given an initial deposit of $100 in an online bank account, guaranteeing that everyone in the world will have access to financial services in a few decades.

Professor Chowdhry is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and is the co-founder (with Professor Ivo Welch) and executive editor of a new publication, Finance & Accounting Memos (FAMe), that makes academic research more accessible for MBA and Ph.D. students, journalists, policy makers and other academics.



International Finance
Corporate finance
Financial Institutions
Impact Investing & Economics of Climate Change



Ph.D. Finance, 1989, University of Chicago
MBA Economics, 1989, University of Chicago
MBA Finance, 1983, University of Iowa
B.Tech. Mechanical Engineering, 1981, Indian Institute of Technology, India


Published Papers

Bhagwan Chowdhry, Richard Roll and Yihong Xia. (2005). Extracting Inflation from Stock Returns to Test Purchasing Power Parity. American Economic Review, 95, 255-276.

Amit Bubna and Bhagwan Chowdhry. (2010). Franchising Microfinance. Review of Finance, 14, 451-476.

Bhagwan Chowdhry. (2011). Possibility of dying as a unified explanation of (i) why we discount the future, (ii) get weaker with age, and (iii) display risk-aversion. Economic Inquiry, 49, 1098-1103.

Bruce Carlin, Bhagwan Chowdhry and Mark Garmaise. (2012). Investment in Organization Capital. Journal of Financial Intermediation, 21, 268-286.

Antonio E. Bernardo, Bhagwan Chowdhry and Amit Goyal. (2012). Assessing Project Risk. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Summer, 94-100.

Bhagwan Chowdhry, Richard Roll and Konark Saxena. (September 2013). Development and Freedom as Risk Management. Finance Research Letters, 10, 103-109.

Franklin Allen, Archishman Chakraborty and Bhagwan Chowdhry. (2012). "Why is CEO compensation excessive and unrelated to their performance?" Working paper

Bhagwan Chowdhry, Shaun William Davies, Brian Waters. (2013). Incentivizing Impact Investing. Working paper

Bhagwan Chowdhry, Eduardo Schwartz. (May 2014). How should Firms Hedge Market Risk? Forthcoming, Critical Finance Review.


Media Coverage

Time: “Greece Doesn’t Need a Bailout—It Needs Investors”; July 13, 2015
Time: “We Still Don’t Have Safe and Reliable Money” ; June 30, 2015
Bloomberg: “Bringing High Finance Down to Earth” ; July 31, 2014
The Huffington Post: Go Green -- But Not for Your Great-Great-Grandchildren ; December 1, 2013
Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Can Financial Citizenship Begin at Birth?”; Spring 2012



UCLA Anderson TED Talk