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Pierre Chaigneau

Associate Professor & Commerce '77 Fellow of Finance


Pierre Chaigneau is an Associate Professor & Commerce '77 Fellow of Finance at Smith School of Business at Queen's University. He obtained a PhD in Finance from the London School of Economics, a MSc in Economics at Ecole Normale Superieure, and a MSc in Management (grande Ecole program) from HEC Paris, and was previously Associate Professor of Finance at HEC Montreal.

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Academic Area

  • Finance

Interest Topics

  • Crisis Management
  • Economics
  • Finance & Investment
  • Governance
  • Risk

Faculty Details


Full Bio

Pierre Chaigneau is an Associate Professor & Commerce '77 Fellow of Finance at Smith School of Business at Queen's University.

He obtained a PhD in Finance from the London School of Economics, a MSc in Economics at Ecole Normale Superieure, and a MSc in Management (grande Ecole program) from HEC Paris, and was previously Associate Professor of Finance at HEC Montreal.

His research focuses on the use of financial information for the optimal design of contracts and mechanisms in corporate finance. Applications include corporate governance, executive compensation, and financial stability.

His research has been presented at major conferences including the American Finance Association, the Northern Finance Association, the Western Finance Association, the SFS Cavalcade, the Econometric Society Winter Meeting, and the Risk Theory Society. His papers have been published in top academic journals including the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

Academic Degrees

PhD in Finance  
London School of Economics (2010)

Master of Research in Economics (DEA du Delta) (mention très bien)
École Normale Supérieure (ENS) at Paris-Jourdan (EHESS) (2005)

Master of Science in Management (grande école program)
HEC Paris (2004)

Classe préparatoire HEC
St Michel de Picpus, Paris (2000)

Academic Experience

Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
Associate Professor of Finance* (2019 - Present)
Commerce ’77 Fellow of Finance (2017 - Present)
Assistant Professor of Finance* (2016-2019)
(*) parental leave in 2017-2018 and 2019-2020

HEC Montréal
Associate Professor of Finance (2015-2019) (on leave 2016-2019)
Assistant Professor of Finance (2009-2015)


Published and Forthcoming Papers

Capital structure with information about the upside and the downside
JOurnal Of Financial and Quant tat ve Anall)s s, accepted for publication.

The complementarity between signal informativeness and monitoring, with Nicolas Sahuguet. Journal of Accounting Research, 2023, 61(1), 141-185.

How should performance signals affect contracts?, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb. Review of Financial Studies, 2022, 35(1), 168-206.

CEO gender-based termination concerns: Evidence from initial severance agreements, with Felice Klein and Cynthia Devers. Journal of Management 2021, 47(3), 567-596. Lead article of the March 2021 issue. Featured in Harvard Business Review’s September 2020 Idea Watch.

The informativeness principle without the first-order approach, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb. Games and Economic Behavior 2019, 113, 743-755.

Does improved information improve incentives?, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb. Journal of Financial Economics 2018, 130(2), 291-307.

The effect of monitoring on CEO compensation in a matching equilibrium, with Nicolas Sahuguet. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 2018, 53, 1297-1339.

Transparency in the financial system: rollover risk and crises, with Adolfo de Motta and Matthieu Bouvard. Journal of Finance 2015, 70(4), 1805-1837.

Risk aversion, prudence, and compensationEuropean Journal of Finance 2015, 21(15), 1357-1373.

Risk shifting and the regulation of bank CEOs compensationJournal of Financial Stability 2013, 9(4), 778-789.

Explaining the structure of CEO incentive pay with decreasing relative risk aversionJournal of Economics and Business 2013, 67, 4-23. Lead article of the special issue on Executive Compensation.

Published Short Papers

Downside risk neutral probabilities, with Louis Eeckhoudt. Economic Theory Bulletin 2020, 8, 65-77.

The optimal timing of CEO compensationFinance Research Letters 2018, 24, 90-94.

Prudence and the convexity of compensation contracts, with Nicolas Sahuguet and Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné. Economics Letters 2017, 157, 14-16.

Changes in probability distributions and the form of compensation contractsEconomic Theory Bulletin 2015, 3(2), 223-232.

Other Publications

Executive Compensation

  1. Executive compensation with socially responsible shareholders, 2023, Duke s FinReg blog, with
    Nicolas Sahuguet.
  2. ESG ratings for corporate governance, 2023, Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog, and LexBlog,
    with Nicolas Sahuguet.
  3. A theory of fair CEO pay, 2023, VoxEU, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb.
  4. Pay transparency: should you know what your co-workers earn?, 2021, Smith Business Insight, and Smith Magazine,
  5. How should performance signals a ect contracts?, 2021, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb.
  6. How CEO pay packages should be designed, 2021, VoxEU, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb.
  7. Women CEOs negotiate better severance agreements than men, 2020, The Conversation, and Smith Business Insight.
  8. Managerial compensation and rm value in the presence of socially responsible investors. Journal of Business Ethics 2018, 149(3), 747-768.
  9. Executive pay: what does luck have to do with it? 2018, Smith Business Insight.
  10. The uproar over executive pay isn’t entirely warranted, 2018, The Conversation, and Financial Post.
  11. Performance sociale des entreprises, 2018, Gestion 43 (2).
  12. Les parachutes dores et autres contrats en or, 2016, Gestion 41 (3).
  13. The gender gap reversed: gender, risk aversion, and CEO severance pay contracts, 2015 Academy of Management Proceedings, with Felice Klein.
  14. Executive compensation at Lehman Brothers (case study), 2014, with Ines Benbahtane

Wealth Distribution

  1. Thomas Piketty et l’illusion des inegalites, 2014, Les Echos.
  2. Report on ISF, the French wealth tax, 2007, with Laurent Blivet (BCG), for Institut Montaigne.


  1. The implications of reverse convertible bonds for bank runs and risk shifting.
  2. Fostering financial stability with reverse convertible bonds, 2018, Duke GFMC blog post.
  3. Expliquer et contenir la prise de risque excessive des banques, 2013, L’Actualite conomique 89 (2).

Financial Markets

  1. Maybe the stock market isn’t crazy after all for flying so high amid the worst economic dip in 90 years, June 2020, Financial Post, and Smith Business Insight.
  2. Insurance, prudence and economic growth, 2010, for Institut Economique de Montreal.
  3. Book chapter in L’Art du Management 3 by HEC Paris, Dunod, 2005.

In the Media

Where ESG doesn't pay off, Smith Business Insight.

Fair pay for CEOs! CEPR VoxEU Talk.

How to handle pay transparency, Canadian HR reporter.

Research highlight: CEO gender-based termination concerns, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Impact, Smith School of Business.

Labour share scheme needs more development, Letter to the editor, Financial Times.

Stress tests and financial stability, Smith Business Insight.

Encadrement des salaires des dirigeants et gouvernance d’entreprise, TerraEco.

Faut-il plafonner les salaires?, France Inter.

Working Papers

A theory of fair CEO pay, with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb.

When is (performance-sensitive) debt optimal? with Alex Edmans and Daniel Gottlieb.

Capital structure with information about the upside and the downside.

ESG ratings for corporate governance, with Nicolas Sahuguet.

Excessive discretion or information transmission? Evidence from option valuation reporting, with Antoine Noel and Julien Le Maux.

Performance measure skewness and CEO compensation convexity: theory and evidence, with Woo-Jin Chang and Stephen Hillegeist, R&R at Contemporary Accounting Research.


Smith School of Business

  • Mgmt 822/922 Corporate Finance: Theory (lecturer, PhD course)
  • Mgmt 821/921 Capital Markets: Theory (lecturer, PhD course)
  • Comm 322 Advanced Corporate Finance (lecturer, BSc course)

HEC Montréal

  • Capital Markets Theory (lecturer, MSc course)
  • Investments (lecturer, BSc course)
  • Financial Management (lecturer, BSc course)

London School of Economics

  • Applied Corporate Finance (class teacher, MSc course)
  • Corporate Finance, Investments and Financial Markets (lead class teacher, BSc course)
  • Principles of Finance (class teacher, BSc course)

Short Visits

  • May 2011, May 2013: McGill
  • July 2013, Oct 2015: Wharton
  • June 2018: Paris Dauphine  

PhD Thesis Committee

  • Frederic Tremblay: Queen’s Econ PhD
  • Saad Khan (Queen’s Econ PhD, placement at HEC Montréal)
  • Stephen Snudden (Queen’s Econ PhD, placement at Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Samuel Ouzan (HEC Montréal Finance PhD, placement at NEOMA)
  • Burcin Col (McGill Finance PhD, placement at Pace University)


Seminars and Conference Presentations

(*) presentation by co-author

2023. Accounting and Economics Society webinar, Accounting Research Workshop, Asia Meeting of the
Econometric Society(*), Erasmus Corporate Governance Conference, Financial Intermediation Research
Society, Midwest Economic Theory, Northern Finance Association, SFS Cavalcade.

2022. Finance Theory Group Chicago conference(*), 4th Research in Behavioral Finance Conference, 14th Workshop on Accounting and Economics.

2021. 12th Accounting Research Workshop, French Finance Association (AFFI), Northern Finance Association (discussant), Universite Laval.

2020. Accounting and Economics Society webinar, European Finance Association (discussant), Midwest Finance Association (discussant), Northern Finance Association (discussant), Corporate Finance Day (discussant).

2019. American Accounting Association, McGill, HEC/McGill Spring Finance Workshop, Telfer Conference on Accounting and Finance (discussant).

2018. American Finance Association(*) (ASSA), European Finance Association (discussant), Executive Compensation Conference (Erasmus University Rotterdam, presenter & discussant), HEC/McGill Spring Finance Workshop, Queen’s University (econ), Université Paris Dauphine, University of Waterloo.

2017. American Finance Association(*) (ASSA), Northern Finance Association, SFS Cavalcade (*).

2016. Econometric Society North American Winter Meeting(*) (ASSA).

2015. Academy of Management annual meeting (*), Econometric Society world congress, Queen’s University, Stress Testing and Macro-prudential Regulation conference at LSE (discussant), Western Finance Association.

2014. 11th Corporate Finance conference at Washington University in St Louis, 18th Symposium on Ethics at IESE, Bank of Canada, Financial Intermediation Research Society (discussant×2), Midwest Finance Association, Northern Finance Association, Queen’s University, Risk Theory Society, Western Finance Association.

2013. Canadian Economic Association, Mathematical Finance Days (IFM2), University of North Carolina.

2012. UQAM, Mathematical Finance Days (IFM2), Northern Finance Association, Association Française de Finance (Affi) December meeting.

2011. University of Waterloo, Association Française de Finance (Affi) December meeting.

2010. McGill, Northern Finance Association, Australasian Finance and Banking Conference, Mathematical Finance Days (IFM2).

2009. University of Colorado at Boulder, EDHEC, HEC Montréal, Hong Kong University, Southwestern Finance Association, University of Melbourne, University of Warwick, Wharton.


Honours and Scholarships

2022. Research Excellence Award, Smith School of Business at Queen’s University

2021-2024. Research Fellowship, Queen’s University: Commerce ’77 Fellow of Finance

2021. Smith Graduate Teaching Excellence Award, Queen’s University

2017-2021. Research Fellowship, Queen’s University: Commerce ’77 Fellow of Finance

2015-2016. Research Professorship, HEC Montréal

2008-2009. LSE Fellowship, Finance department

2005-2008. LSE Scholarship

2005. Mention très bien at DEA du Delta, the highest distinction

2002. Merrill Lynch Case Study: member of the best French team

Grants & Funding

Post-doctoral Fellow Program grant for student supervision (2022-2023)

Federal government research grant: IG grant. Rank: 2/24 applications (2021-2024)
SSHRC | $90,091

Research Fellowship (2021-2024)
Queen’s University | $45,000

SIG grant (2018-2020)
SSHRC | $2,500

Research Fellowship (2017-2021)
Queen’s University | $60,000

Montreal Institute of Structured Finance and Derivatives Research Grant (joint project with Christian Dorion and Kokouvi Tewou ) (2016-2019)
MISFD | $35,000

Special Research Funds (2016-2019)
Queen’s University | $45,000

Fonds de recherche (2015-2016)
HEC Montréal | $10,000

Government Research Grant (2013-2016)
FQRSC | $39,500

Financement interne (2010-2013)
HEC Montréal | $33,200

Fellowship (2008-2009)
London School of Economics | $1,500



  • American Law and Economics Review
  • Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences
  • Corporate Governance: An International Review
  • Econometrica
  • Economic Journal
  • Economic Modelling
  • European Journal of Finance
  • Finance
  • Financial Management
  • Games and Economic Behavior
  • International Economic Review
  • International Finance
  • International Journal of Industrial Organization
  • International Review of Financial Analysis
  • Journal of Accounting Research
  • Journal of Banking and Finance
  • Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
  • Journal of Economic Theory
  • Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
  • Journal of Finance
  • Journal of Financial Intermediation
  • Journal of Financial Stability
  • Journal of Public Economic Theory
  • Management Science
  • Managerial and Decision Economics
  • RAND Journal of Economics
  • Review of Economic Studies
  • Review of Finance
  • Review of Financial Studies
  • Risks  
  • The Accounting Review


  • Accounting and Economics Society
  • American Economic Association
  • American Finance Association
  • European Finance Association
  • Northern Finance Association

Program Committee/Reviewer

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche
  • European Finance Association
  • European Science Foundation (Member of the College of Expert Reviewers)
  • Northern Finance Association  

Administrative Service

  • 2022-2023. Chair of the Smith School of Business workload standards committee
  • 2022, 2021, 2020. Member of the comprehensive exam committee for PhD students
  • 2021-2022, 2017-2018. Member of the Renewal, Tenure, and Promotion committee
  • 2020. Member of the Research Fellowships and Scholarships working group
  • 2018-2019. Member of the Appointments committee at the Smith School of Business
  • 2018-2019, 2017-2018. Organizer of the Finance seminar series and brown bag workshops
  • 2017-2018. Member of the Smith Commerce diversity committee
  • 2015-2016. Member of the recruitment committee in the Finance department at HEC Montreal
  • 2014-2016. Member of the permanent committee for MSc scholarships at HEC Montreal
  • Member of the internal jury for MSc and PhD students applications to CRSNG scholarships
  • 2010-2016. Coordinator of the MSc course Theorie du Marche des Capitaux at HEC Montreal
  • 2010-2011. Organizer of the Finance seminar series and brown bag workshops at HEC Montreal