The Purpose of a Finance Professor

55 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2022 Last revised: 24 Jan 2022

See all articles by Alex Edmans

Alex Edmans

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: December 31, 2021


The academic finance profession has the potential to be uniquely purposeful due to four characteristics – the freedom to take risks and work on what we’re passionate about, the loyalty to our profession rather than just our institution, the collaborative nature of the creation and dissemination of knowledge, and the magnitude of our potential impact. However, what the profession currently values, and its current social norms, are significant barriers to the fulfilment of this potential. This article highlights the special features of our profession that we often take for granted and ignore, and proposes ideas to make it not only more impactful and relevant, but also more collegial and fun.

Keywords: Purpose, citizenship, collegiality, research, teaching, impact, innovation

JEL Classification: A11, A13, A14, A22, A23, G00

Suggested Citation

Edmans, Alex, The Purpose of a Finance Professor (December 31, 2021). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No.810/2021, Financial Management, forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Alex Edmans (Contact Author)

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting ( email )

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Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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1000 Brussels

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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