Faculty Directory

Kenneth R. French

Roth Family Distinguished Professor of Finance





Personal Website



PhD, University of Rochester, 1983; MS, University of Rochester, 1981; MBA, University of Rochester, 1978; BS, Lehigh University, 1975

Areas of Expertise

Portfolio theory, asset pricing, dividend policy, capital structure




Ken French is an expert on the behavior of security prices and investment strategies. He and co-author Eugene F. Fama are well known for their research into the value effect and the three-factor model, including articles such as "The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns" and "Common Risk Factors in the Returns on Stocks and Bonds." His recent research focuses on tests of asset pricing, the tradeoff between risk and return in domestic and international financial markets, and the relation between capital structure and firm value.

Current Research Topics

  • Risk and return in domestic and international financial markets
  • Cost of capital
  • Financial regulation
  • Capital structure

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Tuck School of Business, 2001–present
  • NTU Professor of Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998–2001
  • Managing Director, International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management, 1994–98
  • Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Management Studies and Finance, Yale University, 1994–98
  • David T. McLaughlin Visiting Professor of Finance, Tuck School of Business, 1993–94
  • Leo Melamed Professor of Finance, 1991–94, Director, Center for Research in Security Prices, 1989–94, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Professor of Finance, 1989–91, Professor of Finance, 1987–89, Associate Professor, 1985–87, Assistant Professor, 1983–85, The University of Chicago
  • Research Fellow, Foundation for Research in Economics and Education, University of California, Los Angeles, 1982–83

Nonacademic positions

  • Machine Design Engineer, Eastman Kodak Co., 1975–77

Board memberships

  • Board of Directors, Dimensional Fund Advisors, 2006–present; Board of Overseers, International Rescue Committee, 2005–present
  • Board of Governors, The Smile Train, 2008–11; President, 2007–08, Director, 1991–94, 2003–09, American Finance Association

Editorial positions

  • Advisory Editor, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance


  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Simon School of Business Administration, University of Rochester, 2010
  • Fellow, American Finance Association, 2008
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007
  • Rochester Distinguished Scholar, University of Rochester, 2005
  • Fama/DFA Prize (second place) for the best Capital Markets and Asset Pricing paper in the Journal of Financial Economics, 2004
  • Jensen Prize (second place) for the best paper in Corporate Finance and Organizations published in the Journal of Financial Economics, 2001
  • Smith Breeden Prize for the best paper in the Journal of Finance, 1992
  • Sloan Foundation Grant, 1989-1990
  • Batterymarch Fellowship, 1986-1987 
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Center for the Study of Futures Markets, Columbia University, 1980-1981
  • Richard D. Irwin Doctoral Fellowship, 1980-1981

Working Papers

  • With E. Fama, "Choosing Factors"
  • With E. Fama, "International Tests of a Five-Factor Asset Pricing Model"
  • With E. Fama, "Incremental Variables and the Investment Opportunity Set"
  • With E. Fama, "Dissecting Anomalies with a Five-Factor Model"
  • With E. Fama, "The Pecking Order, Opportunistic Financing, and the Mean Reversion of Leverage"

Selected Publications

  • With E. Fama, "Dissecting Anomalies with a Five-Factor Model," Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming
  • With E. Fama, "Incremental Variables and the Investment Opportunity Set," Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming
  • With E. Fama, "Size, Value, and Momentum in International Stock Returns," Journal of Financial Economics 105, September 2012
  • With E. Fama, "Capital Structure Choices," Critical Finance Review 1, January 2012
  • With E. Fama, "Luck versus Skill in the Cross Section of Mutual Fund α Estimates," Journal of Finance 65, October 2010
  • With E. Fama, "Average Returns, B/M, and Share Issues," Journal of Finance 63, December 2008
  • "The Cost of Active Investing," Journal of Finance 63, August 2008
  • With E. Fama, "Dissecting Anomalies," Journal of Finance 63, August 2008
  • With E. Fama, "The Anatomy of Value and Growth Stock Returns," Financial Analysts Journal 63, November 2007, Awarded a Graham and Dodd Scroll by the editorial board of the journal
  • With E. Fama, "Migration," Financial Analysts Journal 63, May/June 2007, Awarded a Graham and Dodd Scroll by the editorial board of the journal
  • With E. Fama, "Disagreement, Tastes, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Financial Economics 83, March 2007
  • With E. Fama, "Profitability, Investment, and Average Returns," Journal of Financial Economics 82, December 2006