Research Interests: Decision-making and innovation management in fragmented systems
Natalya Vinokurova is an Assistant Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on understanding how decisions get made in the real world and how these decision-making processes evolve in situ over time. Using a combination of historical analysis and ethnographic methods, she studies patterns of decision-making in contexts ranging from heart surgery and mortgage-backed securities to nuclear power. Her dissertation investigates how the use of analogical reasoning facilitated both the development and the collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in the United States. To watch Natalya give a 20-minute presentation about her research on mortgage-backed securities, click here.
Ph.D. in Business Administration, Stern School of Business, New York University 2012;
M.Phil., Business Administration, Stern School of Business, New York University, 2009;
A.B., Psychology, Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
Abstract: This comment, in response to Phil Scranton’s article, suggests that communist business practices differ from those adopted in the West along three dimensions: (1) the locus and degree of centralization of production decisions, (2) the mechanism for coordinating the producers’ actions, and (3) the use of state terror in shaping the workers’ and the managers’ incentives. My analysis focuses on the third dimension—state terror, which I define as a workers and managers experiencing extreme penalties for failing to meet the state’s goals. I argue that business history and allied disciplines of management and economics would benefit from studying state terror as a management practice and outline several avenues for pursuing such research.
Abstract: This article traces the developments in the market for residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) during the period 1970–2008. Drawing on an analysis of trade publications, business press, and interviews with practitioners, it shows that an MBS market meltdown in 1994 provided clear signals of problems with MBS. The market participants did not re-evaluate their use of risk management tools or adjust security design in response to the 1994 crisis, suggesting a lack of understanding of the implications of the crisis. The 1994 meltdown showed that MBS were vulnerable to systematic risks and that these risks could precipitate an MBS market crash. Furthermore, the 1994 meltdown demonstrated that large-scale investment in MBS could affect the primary mortgage market, thereby rendering the MBS risks unpredictable. After 1994, MBS investment shifted to MBS backed by mortgages with default risk – a development that led to the crash of 2008. By drawing parallels between the 1994 and 2008 crises, this article shows how the MBS market failed to self-correct. The results suggest that financial market participants do not always incorporate relevant information in their decision-making and that market participants have difficulties in both foreseeing the effect of financial innovations on markets and interpreting these effects.
Natalya Vinokurova (2018), How Mortgage-Backed Securities Became Bonds: The Emergence, Evolution, and Acceptance of Mortgage-Backed Securities in the U.S. 1960-1987, Enterprise and Society, 19 (3), pp. 610-660.
Abstract: This article documents the emergence, evolution, and acceptance of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by bond investors in the United States between 1968 and 1987. Drawing on an analysis of trade publications, securities prospectuses, and business press, I argue that MBS issuers’ eventual success at convincing bond investors to accept their products is especially remark- able given that bond investors had rejected most types of MBS issued between 1970 and 1983. My analysis suggests that the acceptance of MBS as bonds was an outcome of two approaches employed by the MBS issuers: (1) changing the attributes of their products to make them more bond-like, and (2) changing the meaning of the bond category by opening its boundaries to products that incorporated mortgage features. These two approaches to changing investors’ beliefs to promote innovation acceptance may undergird the diffusion processes for other financial innovations. Understanding the process of innovation acceptance may be especially important because market participants have short memories. Forgetting the assumptions made during innovation–acceptance processes can bring unanticipated consequences of innovation adoption, such as financial crises.
Natalya Vinokurova and Adam Brandenburger (2012), Comment on “Toward a Behavioral Theory of Strategy”, Organization Science, 23 (1), pp. 286-287.
Abstract: This comment, in response to Phil Scranton’s article, suggests that communist business practices differ from those adopted in the West along three dimensions: (1) the locus and degree of centralization of production decisions, (2) the mechanism for coordinating the producers’ actions, and (3) the use of state terror in shaping the workers’ and the managers’ incentives. My analysis focuses on the third dimension—state terror, which I define as workers and managers experiencing extreme penalties for failing to meet the state’s goals. I argue that business history and allied disciplines of management and economics would benefit from studying state terror as a management practice and outline several avenues for pursuing such research.
The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multi-facet challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy, and how to take into account increasing, globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that effective of an established enterprise requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.
Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, strong oversight and improved affordable housing supply are critical needs, say experts.Knowledge @ Wharton - 2018/09/11