Ray Ball, Sidney Davidson Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been awarded the 2019 Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize for Quantitative Financial Innovation by the University of Pennsylvania’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center.
Recognized for his article "An Empirical Evaluation of Accounting Income Numbers," published in the Journal of Accounting Research in 1968, his research revolutionized the understanding of the impact of corporate disclosure on share prices, and of earnings releases in particular; it laid the foundation for much of the modern accounting literature.
Ball coauthored the paper with Philip Brown, (’65 MBA, ’68 PhD) who is co-recipient of this year’s prize. Ball and Brown are the fourth and fifth scholars to receive this award; the first two recipients were Nobel laureates Harry Markowitz and Bill Sharpe in 2015 and the late Stephen Ross in 2017. Ball and Brown will formally receive the prize at the Jacobs Levy Center Conference in New York in September of this year.
Awarded biennially, the Wharton-Jacobs Levy Prize recognizes scholars who have published peer-reviewed articles that demonstrate “outstanding quantitative research that has contributed to a particular innovation in the practice of finance.”
The Wharton-Jacobs Levy prize distinguishes itself by encouraging research that has practical applications. Additionally, the selection committee places no time limit between the published articles and the practical application, as innovations may take years to develop.
Ball’s research includes corporate disclosure, earnings and stock prices, international accounting and finance, market efficiency and investment strategies. He is also author of "Anomalies in Relationships between Securities' Yields and Yield surrogates," published in the Journal of Financial Economics in 1978, the first academic reference to systematic anomalies in the theory of efficient markets.