Thomas Geelen

Assistant Professor of Finance

Copenhagen Business School

I am an assistant professor of finance at Copenhagen Business School. My research interests lie primarily in corporate finance. You can download my CV here.


Information Dynamics and Debt Maturity (PDF, SSRN)
Revise and Resubmit at the Journal of Finance
Abstract: I develop a dynamic model of financing decisions and optimal debt maturity choice in which creditors face adverse selection and learn about the firm’s quality from news. In equilibrium, shareholders may choose to postpone debt issuance to reduce adverse selection and improve the pricing of newly issued debt. Over time, the benefits of learning decrease and zero-leverage firms eventually decide to issue debt. Because shorter maturity debt is less sensitive to information, younger firms issue shorter maturity debt to alleviate adverse selection while mature firms issue longer maturity debt, leading to a life-cycle theory of debt maturity.
- Cubist Systematic Strategies PhD Candidate Award for Outstanding Research at WFA 2018, Colorado Finance Summit 2018 Best PhD Program Paper, and SFI Best Doctoral Paper Award 2017

Debt, Innovation, and Growth (PDF, SSRN)
with Jakub Hajda and Erwan Morellec
Abstract: Recent empirical studies show that innovative firms heavily rely on debt financing. This paper develops a Schumpeterian growth model in which firms’ dynamic R&D, investment, and financing choices are jointly and endogenously determined. It then investigates the relation between debt financing and innovation and growth. The paper features a rich interaction between firm policies and predicts substantial intra-industry variation in leverage and innovation, consistent with the empirical evidence. It also demonstrates that while debt hampers innovation by incumbents due to debt overhang, it also stimulates entry, thereby fostering innovation and growth at the aggregate level.

Debt Maturity and Lumpy Debt (PDF, SSRN)
Abstract: I develop a dynamic capital structure model in which shareholders determine a firm's leverage ratio, debt maturity, and default strategy. In my model, the firm's debt matures all at once. Therefore, after repaying the principal shareholders own all the firm's cash flows and can pick a new capital structure. The possibility to alter the capital structure at maturity gives shareholders the incentive to issue finite maturity debt and allows me to study firms' joint choice of leverage and debt maturity. I also extend my model by allowing for time-varying capital supply to study time-variation in firms' joint choice of leverage and debt maturity.
- SFI Best Doctoral Paper Award 2015


Department of Finance
Solbjerg Plads 3, A4.11
2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark