Lawrence Schmidt joined the University of Chicago in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Economics, after receiving his Ph.D. from the Economics Department at the University of California, San Diego. His research is at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics, with a particular emphasis on asset pricing. Schmidt uses a unique combination of theory and applied econometrics to offer a richer picture of risks faced by financial market participants—households, institutional investors, and financial intermediaries—and shed new light on underlying economic mechanisms linking financial markets with the real economy.
A common thread in Schmidt's research agenda is the study of conditional distributions and higher moments, with an emphasis on the evolution of cross-sectional distributions over time in response to macroeconomic events. While the majority of empirical research emphasizes conditional means and variances, other aspects of the distribution often reveal interesting asymmetries and nonlinearities which yield new insights about the propagation of aggregate shocks. Examples from his research consider the interaction between asset returns and idiosyncratic tail risk in the labor market, as well as the strategic behavior of investors during the money market panic of 2008.