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David H. Solomon


Assistant Professor of Finance

and Business Economics

University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business



CV               SSRN Page                Google Scholar



Contact:                  Office: Hoffman Hall 502

Phone: (213) 740 1057

Mailing Address:

3670 Trousdale Parkway, Suite 308

Bridge Hall 308, MC-0804

Los Angeles, CA, 90089-0804

Email: dhsolomo[at the domain of]



Interests:                       Empirical Asset Pricing, Media, Behavioral Finance, Mutual Funds, Dividends, Investor Psychology.        


Research Statement

A statement summarizing my research contributions can be found here (July 2015)   



Papers:                     Rolling Mental Accounts

with Cary Frydman and Samuel M. Hartzmark

 (Revise and Resubmit, Review of Financial Studies)

Updated: March 2016

Investors who sell one asset and quickly buy another trade as if the new asset is a continuation of the old mental account.



Managerial Control of Business Press Coverage

with Eugene F. Soltes

Updated: September 2012       

We examine how much managers can increase media coverage of their firms. Releasing during the day increases coverage, but the major determinants of coverage are outside managerial control.



Are Predictable Corporate Events Priced in Options Markets?

with Samuel M. Hartzmark and Christopher Jones



When Do Managers Voluntarily Disclose Bad News? Evidence from SEC Fraud Investigations

with Eugene F. Soltes



Publications:         [9.] Being Surprised by the Unsurprising: Earnings
Seasonality and Stock Returns

2016, with Tom Chang, Samuel M. Hartzmark, and Eugene F. Soltes

Review of Financial Studies (Forthcoming)

Internet Appendix

If companies have earnings that are historically higher in one quarter of the year, they have high returns when those earnings are likely to be announced. We link this to the tendency of investors to overweight recent information in low earnings, leading to pessimistic forecasts.

Winner, Best Paper Award, California Corporate Finance Conference 2015

Winner, Hillcrest Behavioral Finance Award (1st place), 2015

[8.] Looking for Someone to Blame: Delegation, Cognitive Dissonance and the Disposition Effect

2016, with Tom Chang and Mark Westerfield

Journal of Finance

[Citation: Chang, Tom Y., David H. Solomon, and Mark M. Westerfield, 2016, ‘Looking for Someone to Blame: Delegation, Cognitive Dissonance and the Disposition Effect’, Journal of Finance 71 (1), 267-302, February 2016.]

Investors in most assets are more likely to sell gains than losses, but mutual fund investors do the opposite. Using experimental data, we argue that this is because selling losers means admitting to the mistake of the initial investment, but with delegated assets investors can blame the fund manager instead.



[7.] What Are We Meeting For? The Consequences of Private Meetings with Investors

2015, With Eugene F. Soltes. 

Journal of Law and Economics

[Citation: Solomon, David, and Eugene Soltes, 2015, ‘What Are We Meeting For? The Consequences of Private Meetings with Investors’, Journal of Law and Economics 58 (2), 325-355, May 2015.]

Using data from an NYSE firm, we find that investors who meet privately with company management have better performance in their trades. Interestingly, hedge funds seem to benefit from these meetings much more than mutual funds or pension funds.

Covered in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Australian Financial Review

Winner, Best Paper Award, Financial Research Association Conference, 2012.



[6.] Juicing the Dividend Yield: Mutual Funds and the Demand for Dividends

2015, with Lawrence Harris and Samuel M. Hartzmark

Journal of Financial Economics, Lead Article

[Citation: Harris, Lawrence E., Samuel M. Hartzmark, and David H. Solomon, 2015, ‘Juicing the Dividend Yield: Mutual Funds and the Demand for Dividends’, Journal of Financial Economics 116 (3), 433-451, June 2015.]

A significant fraction of mutual funds artificially increase their dividend yield by trading in and out of dividend-paying stocks to collect more dividends. This behavior is not well explained by standard theories of why investors may desire dividends.
Covered in the Wall Street Journal



[5.] Winners in the Spotlight: Media Coverage of Fund Holdings as a Driver of Flows

2014, with Eugene F. Soltes and Denis Sosyura

Journal of Financial Economics

[Citation: Solomon, David H., Eugene F. Soltes and Denis Sosyura, 2014, ‘Winners in the spotlight: Media coverage of fund holdings as a driver of flows’, Journal of Financial Economics 113 (1), 53-72, July 2014.]

We show that investors allocate flows to mutual funds based on the past returns of fund holdings, but only for stocks recently covered in major newspapers. Evidence suggests that this behavior is more linked to increased attention rather than increased information.



[4.] The Dividend Month Premium

2013, with Samuel M. Hartzmark,

Journal of Financial Economics

[Citation: Hartzmark, Samuel M. and David H. Solomon, 2013, ‘The Dividend Month Premium’, Journal of Financial Economics 109 (3), 640-660, September 2013.]

We document an asset-pricing anomaly whereby companies have positive abnormal returns in months when they are expected to issue a dividend. We relate this to price pressure from dividend-seeking investors.

Winner, Best Paper Award, California Corporate Finance Conference 2011



[3.] Selective Publicity and Stock Prices


Journal of Finance

[Citation: Solomon, David H., 2012, ‘Selective Publicity and Stock Prices’, Journal of Finance 67 (2), 599-637, April 2012.]

Internet Appendix

Investor relations firms ‘spin’ their clients’ media coverage by getting more coverage of good news than bad news. This pushes up stock prices in the short term.



[2.] Efficiency and the Disposition Effect in NFL Prediction Markets

2012, with Samuel M. Hartzmark,

Quarterly Journal of Finance,

[Citation: Hartzmark, Samuel M. and David H. Solomon, 2012, ‘Efficiency and the Disposition Effect in NFL Prediction Markets’, Quarterly Journal of Finance 2 (3), pp 1250013, September 2012.]

We find evidence of the disposition effect (the tendency to sell winners and hold on to losers) in a betting market on NFL games. Finding the disposition effect in a gambling market raises questions about what its underlying cause is.



[1.] A Multinomial Approximation of American Option Prices in a Lévy Process Model

2006, with Ross A. Maller and Alexander Szimayer

Mathematical Finance

[Citation: Maller, Ross A ., David H. Solomon, and Alexander Szimayer, 2006, ‘A Multinomial Approximation of American Option Prices in a Lévy Process Model’, Mathematical Finance 16 (4), 613-633, October 2006.]

We develop a multinomial options pricing model that can price American options when the stock price follows an exponential Lévy process. The method works analogously to the binomial method, with the extra states allowing for price processes that include jumps.



Old Working      

Papers:               How Effective are Individual Lifestyle Changes in Reducing Electricity Consumption? Measuring the Impact of Earth Hour

Updated May 2008

I look at a natural experiment where Sydney residents turned off lights and electrical appliances for an hour, and find this had very little impact on electricity use. Survey respondents also appeared to overstate their participation in the event.




Writing:                     Op-Ed piece in The Australian Newspaper on Earth Hour, May 9, 2007.