Professor Laura Starks Awarded Prize for Outstanding Research in Sustainable Finance


Professor Starks received the 2021 Moskowitz Prize, which recognizes academic papers with exceptional relevance to ESG investment practitioners.

ChicagoLaura T. Starks, of the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, has been honored with the 2021 Moskowitz Prize. Professor Starks’s coauthored paper, “Corporate ESG Profiles and Investor Horizons,” was selected from a field of over 170 submissions.

Professor Starks is one of the leading authorities on ESG investing. Her research is at the forefront of companies’ and investors’ growing focus on sustainable and responsible finance.

Among its key findings, Professor Starks’s paper notes that long-term investors put more money into firms with better environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics than short-term investors. Long-term investors are also more patient with these companies, even when companies have poor short-term returns or earnings shortfalls. The paper’s findings suggest that corporate leaders may have strong incentives to pursue ESG initiatives, as firms with better ESG profiles tend to attract longer-term investors and reduce volatility.

“Laura is one of the leading authorities on ESG investing,” said John Simon, who heads Cornerstone Research’s investments group. “Investor attention to ESG continues to grow and many companies now consider sustainable and responsible finance to be integral to their business practices. Laura is at the forefront of these developments. On behalf of our firm, I congratulate her on this prestigious award.”

2021 Moskowitz Prize: Corporate ESG Profiles and Investor Horizons

Awarded annually by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the Moskowitz Prize is the premier global prize for research in sustainable finance. The award recognizes the quantitative academic paper that best demonstrates outstanding research on sustainable and responsible investing and the financial implications of responsible business practices in capital markets.

Professor Starks is an expert on capital markets, financial institutions, investment management, corporate finance, and ESG. She also researches asset pricing, mutual funds, retirement plans, corporate finance, and other ESG-related issues, including climate risk, board diversity, and impact investing. Professor Starks speaks on these topics at academic and practitioner events all over the world.

Read the Paper

“Corporate ESG Profiles and Investor Horizons”
Laura Starks, Parth Venkat, and Qifei Zhu

The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.


Elisabeth Gaubinger
Cornerstone Research


Laura T. Starks

George Kozmetsky Centennial Distinguished University Chair and Professor of Finance,
McCombs School of Business,
University of Texas at Austin