Sepehr Roudini

Sepehr Roudini, PhD student, finance

Probes interplay of politics and business

“Sepehr Roudini has shown real promise in his development of a research agenda around an important issue in today’s U.S. economy – the interplay between government, politics, and business. He has won several awards at the department, college and university levels for his research.” -Jon Garfinkel, professor

Kerman, Iran

Faculty mentor/advisor:
Jon Garfinkel, PhD, Tippie Research Professor in Finance, Tippie College of Business

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
PhD, finance, May 2024

Please describe your research:
My research is centered around examining the interplay between government, politics, and business operations, specifically focusing on how government regulations and enforcement practices impact the performance of firms within the United States. I aim to uncover whether these regulatory processes are influenced by political viewpoints, investigating instances where firms with politically connected executives potentially receive favorable treatment in terms of regulatory compliance and enforcement actions. This research holds the potential to provide insights into the dynamic relationship between politics and business in the context of regulatory decision-making and enforcement.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
This research helps us understand the fairness and integrity of regulatory processes, ensuring a level playing field for businesses and transparency in government-business interactions.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
Almost immediately.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
It’s been instrumental in deepening my understanding of financial economics concepts, expanding my (analytical) skill set (by applying empirical research methods to data), and informing my teaching methods. Additionally, it has enabled valuable collaborations with faculty members and peers, further strengthening my academic profile and network within the university. This research experience has not only enriched my academic pursuits but also opened doors for career advancement in both academia and the finance industry.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
I’m considering both academia and the economic consulting industry. In academia, I can pursue my passion for research, while in economic consulting, I can apply my training and technical skills to real-world litigation cases, which I find equally fulfilling.

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