The Making of an Investment Banker: Stock Market Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income

  • Author(s): PAUL OYER
  • Published: Nov 11, 2008
  • Pages: 2601-2628
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2008.01409.x


I show that stock market shocks have important and lasting effects on the careers of MBAs. Stock market conditions while MBA students are in school have a large effect on whether they go directly to Wall Street upon graduation. Further, starting on Wall Street immediately upon graduation causes a person to be more likely to work there later and to earn, on average, substantially more money. The empirical results suggest that investment bankers are largely “made” by circumstance rather than “born” to work on Wall Street.

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