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Shai Bernstein

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Harvard Business School


I am a faculty member at the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School. I am also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in both the Corporate Finance group and the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship group. Much of my research focuses on the financial issues that start-ups, and high growth firms are facing, and how these affect their ability to innovate and grow. I teach the Entrepreneurial Finance course in the MBA elective curriculum. I completed my Ph.D. in Business Economics at Harvard University. Prior to joining Harvard University, I was a faculty member at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.


Bernstein, Shai, Kunal Mehta, and Richard Townsend. "Does Venture Capital Attract Human Capital? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment."Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 21-049, October 2020. 

Bernstein, Shai Benjamin, Richard Townsend, and Ting Xu. "Flight to Safety: How Economic Downturns Affect Talent Flows to Startups.Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 21-045, September 2020. 

Bernstein, Shai Benjamin, Rebecca Diamond, Timothy McQuade, and Beatriz Pousada. "The Contribution of High-Skilled Immigrants to Innovation in the United States." Working Paper, November 2018.  

Charles River Associates Award for the Best Paper on Corporate Finance, WFA

Bernstein, Shai Benjamin, Emanuele Colonnelli, and Timothy McQuade. "Who Creates New Firms When Local Opportunities Arise?" Working Paper, February 2019. 

Conditionally Accepted at the Journal of Financial Economics

Bernstein, S., T. McQuade, and R. Townsend. "Do Household Wealth Shocks Affect Productivity? Evidence from Innovative Workers During the Great Recession.Journal of Finance (forthcoming).  

Bernstein, Shai, Abhishek Dev, and Josh Lerner. "The Creation and Evolution of Entrepreneurial Public Markets."Journal of Financial Economics 136, no. 2 (May 2020): 307–329.  

Bernstein, Shai, Emanuele Colonnelli, Xavier Giroud, and Benjamin Iverson."Bankruptcy Spillovers."Journal of Financial Economics 133, no. 3 (September 2019): 608–633.  

Bernstein, Shai, Josh Lerner, and Filippo Mezzanotti. "Private Equity and Financial Fragility during the Crisis."Review of Financial Studies 32, no. 4 (April 2019): 1309–1373. 

Bernstein, S., E. Colonnelli, and B. Iverson."Asset Allocation in Bankruptcy."Journal of Finance 74, no. 1 (February 2019): 5–53. (Lead Article) 

Bernstein, S., A. Korteweg, and K. Laws."Attracting Early Stage Investors: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment."Journal of Finance 72, no. 2 (April 2017): 509–538. (Lead Article) 

Bernstein, Shai, and Albert Sheen. "The Operational Consequences of Private Equity Buyouts: Evidence from the Restaurant Industry."Review of Financial Studies 29, no. 9 (September 2016): 2387–2418. 

Bernstein, S., X. Giroud, and R. Townsend."The Impact of Venture Capital Monitoring."Journal of Finance 71, no. 4 (August 2016): 1591–1622. 

Bernstein, Shai, Josh Lerner, Morten Sorensen, and Per Stromberg. "Private Equity and Industry Performance.Management Science 63, no. 4 (April 2017): 1198–1213. 

Bernstein, Shai. "Does Going Public Affect Innovation?Journal of Finance 70, no. 4 (August 2015): 1365–1403.

Brattle Prize Winner for Best Paper in the Journal of Finance.

Bernstein, Shai, Josh Lerner, and Antoinette Schoar. "The Investment Strategies of Sovereign Wealth Funds."Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 219–238. 

Bernstein, Shai, and Eyal Winter. "Contracting with Heterogeneous Externalities."American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 4, no. 2 (May 2012): 50–76.