Kenneth M. Lehn
Samuel A. McCullough Professor Emeritus of Finance
Image of the Cathedral of Learning


278B Mervis Hall


Kenneth Lehn is the Samuel A. McCullough Professor of Finance in the Katz Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on business valuation and corporate restructuring. Lehn also is an adjunct professor of law in the School of Law at the University of Pittsburgh. Lehn joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991 after serving as chief economist of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for four years. Lehn also has taught at Washington University, UCLA, Miami University, and the Georgetown University Law Center. Lehn has won numerous teaching awards at the University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere.

Lehn’s research focuses on topics in corporate finance, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and capital structure. In addition, he has written on topics relating to the economics of professional sports. Lehn has published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, and Journal of Law and Economics. He also has published several op-ed pieces in The Wall Street Journal. Lehn is a founding editor of the Journal of Corporate Finance. He serves on the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee at the American Enterprise Institute. He has served as a consultant for numerous firms and government agencies, including J. P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott, Procter & Gamble, AT&T Wireless, the National Hockey League, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Courses Recently Taught


  • Valuation 1
  • Valuation 2
  • Creating Value through Restructuring


  • Corporate Governance

Research Interests

  • Corporate finance
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Corporate governance
  • Capital structure

Awards and Honors

  • MBA Teacher of the Year, 1992-95, 1997-98, 2000-01.
  • Pearson/Prentice-Hall Award for 2nd best paper published in Financial Management during 2008-2010.
  • Second Jensen Prize for Journal of Financial Economics
  • Best Paper in Corporate Finance and Organizations, 1999.

Recent Publications

“Financing the business firm,” with Leonce Bargeron in The Oxford Handbook in Managerial Economics, edited by William Shughart and Christopher Thomas, Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2012.

“Sarbanes-Oxley and corporate risk-taking,” with Leonce Bargeron and Chad Zutter, Journal of Accounting and Economics, February 2010, 34-52.

“Determinants of the size and structure of corporate boards: 1935-2000,” with Sukesh Patro and Mengxin Zhao, Financial Management, Winter 2009, 747-780.

“The subprime crisis and systemic risk: evidence from U.S. securities markets,” with Leonce Bargeron and Mehmet Yalin, Globalization and Systemic Risk, edited by Douglas D. Evanoff, David S. Hoelscher, and George G. Kaufman, World Scientific Publishing, 2009, 299-312.

“Governance indexes and valuation: which causes which?,” with Sukesh Patro and Mengxin Zhao, Journal of Corporate Finance (December 2007), 907-928.

“The rise of the private equity market,” with Thomas Boulton and Steven Segal, New Financial Instruments and Institutions: Opportunities and Policy Challenges, edited by Yasuyuki Fuchita and Robert Litan, Brookings Institution Press, 2007, 141-161.

“The CISG: perspectives from an economist,” The CISG and the Business Lawyer, edited by Ronald Brand, Harry Flechtner, and Mark Walter, Oxford University Press, 2007, 261-265.

“CEO turnover after acquisitions: are bad bidders fired?,” with Mengxin Zhao, Journal of Finance (August 2006), 1759-1811.

“Corporate governance in the deregulated telecommunications industry,” Telecommunications Policy (May-June 2002), 225-242.

“Growth opportunities and corporate debt policy: the case of the U.S. defense industry, 1980-1995,” with Vidhan Goyal and Stanko Racic, Journal of Financial Economics (April 2002), 35-59.

“Decentralization, incentives, and value creation: the case of JLG Industries,” with Heidi E. Treml, Journal of Applied Corporate Finance (Fall 2000), pp. 60-70. Reprinted in Donald H. Chew and Stuart L. Gillian, Corporate Governance at the Crossroads, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2005.

“Workforce integration and the dissipation of value in mergers: the case of USAir’s acquisition of Piedmont Aviation,” with Stacey Kole, Mergers and Productivity, edited by Steven Kaplan, National Bureau of Economic Research, University of Chicago Press, 239-279, 2000.

“Comment on ‘Financial regulatory structure and the resolution of conflicting goals’ by Larry D. Wall and Robert A. Eisenbeis,” Journal of Financial Services Research (September/December 1999), 247-248.

“Some observations on Henry Manne’s contributions to financial economics,” Case Western Law Review (Winter 1999), 263-268.

“Deregulation and the adaptation of governance structures: the case of the U.S. airline industry,” with Stacey Kole, Journal of Financial Economics (April 1999), 79-118.

Recent Working Papers

“Corporate culture and M&A activity,” with Leonce Bargeron and Jared Smith, August 2012. Presented at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference on Corporate Culture, December 2011.

“Does limited liability matter? An analysis of California companies, 1920-1940,” with Leonce Bargeron, June 2012. Presented at the UCLA Conference in Honor of Harold Demsetz, June 2012.

“Disagreement and the informativeness of stock returns: the case of merger and acquisition announcements,” with Leonce Bargeron, Sara Moeller, and Frederik Schlingemann, May 2012.

Academic Area