headshot of Adair Morse

Research Expertise and Interest

household finance, sustainable and impact investing, entrepreneurship and small business, pension asset management

Research Description

Adair Morse is the Soloman P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics and Professor of Finance at the Haas School of Business. She is the Founding Faculty Director of the Sustainable and Impact Finance Initiative, and she is also a fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law and Business.

From February 2021 through February 2023, Morse served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Capital Access in the Office of Domestic Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Morse’s research spans multiple areas of finance: climate finance and sustainable investing, household finance, discrimination and corruption, venture capital, and pension management. Her work is driven by her interest in leveling economic playing fields. Recent work includes papers on algorithmic discrimination, small business policy during the pandemic, impact and sustainable investment, pension governance, and communication from the Federal Reserve. Her publications appear in the top economics and finance journals, and she has won a number of top finance research prizes, including the Brattle Prize, the Jensen Prize, prizes at the EFA and WFA, the Moskowitz Impact prize, among others.

Many of Morse’s works have been directly implemented into policy, including actions by the U.S. Congress, the State of California, the Greek Parliament, and many state banking regulators. She holds a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Michigan.

Morse sits on the Governance and Allocation Committee of the California Rebuilding Fund, a public-private partnership of the State of California to provide affordable small business loans. She is also an Expert Panel Member of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, for oversight of the $1 trillion sovereign fund.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 13, 2021
Michael Maiello

UC Berkeley faculty report that the vast computing power needed to create new bitcoins has driven up energy bills for residents and businesses.

July 14, 2021
Andrea Riquier

Just like households, local governments may view some services as necessities and others as luxuries.

November 29, 2020
Jana Katsuyama

The program is a public-private partnership involving governments, commercial banks, and twelve Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) which are obligated to reach out to under-resourced communities and help businesses that might be too small or risky to qualify for normal big bank loans.

September 30, 2020
Emily Stewart

UC Berkeley faculty Adair Morse believes the best course of action would be to focus on supporting small businesses that are showing a capacity to recover, ones that are not necessarily doing spectacularly, but ones that aren’t doing half-bad.

January 17, 2019
Brenda Richardson
The digital mortgage marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, and while the new way of acquiring loans may make the process more user-friendly, it's not likely to solve problems of bias. As a new study from Berkeley's Haas School of Business found, algorithms used to analyze consumers' finances can carry over biases, resulting in statistical discrimination and pricing variability. "Our results tell us that lenders have pricing schemes that enable them to charge higher interest, and thus take higher profits from minorities, even if the pricing schemes are not intentionally aimed toward minorities," says business and finance professor Adair Morse, a study co-author. "These pricing schemes instead may target borrowers who are not able to shop around more or who choose not to shop around more. If a seller knows he or she can charge a higher price without the customer shopping around, it is good business practice to do so. But this inadvertently may cause discrimination." For more on this study, see our story at Berkeley News.
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