University of Texas at Austin
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The 20th Strategy & the Business Environment Conference

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business


The Department of Business, Government & Society at the McCombs School of Business invites you to the 20th Strategy and the Business Environment Conference on  May 8-9, 2020.

This conference rotates among several top business schools including Harvard Business School, Northwestern Kellogg, Stanford GSB, Wharton School, and Texas McCombs.

The conference annually brings together leading scholars from these business schools and related disciplinary fields who work on research questions related to firms’ engagement in their nonmarket environments, including via corporate political activity and corporate social responsibility.

We would like to acknowledge the McCombs Research Excellence Fund and the Bates Family Foundation for their generous funding of the SBE 2020 conference.

Conference Details

Location >



The conference will be held at Robert B. Rowling Hall, The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, 300 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Austin, TX 78705.



For SBE paper presenters and discussants, Texas McCombs will cover travel costs and lodging at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center Hotel on the UT-Austin campus.  Other conference attendees are welcome to explore accommodation options at the AT&T Center, any of the hotels on the map below, or a short-term rental site/app.  Please note that there is no designated conference hotel, and we strongly encourage attendees to arrange housing soon, as the Texas state track-and-field championships will bring a large number of visitors to UT the weekend of the SBE Conference.



May 8, 2020


8:30 – 9:15 Breakfast and Registration (Rowling Hall 5.402)
9:15 – 9:30 Welcome
9:30 – 11:20

Panel One


Economic Geography and Special Interest Entrenchment: Evidence from the Fracking Boom and State Campaign Finance
Presenter: Zhao Li, Princeton University
Discussant: Brian Roberts, University of Texas at Austin 

How Local is Politics? Geography of Firms and Corporate Political Strategies
Presenter: Jim Bisbee, NYU and Princeton University
Discussant: Alex Fouirnaies, University of Chicago Harris

11:20 – 11:40


 11:40 – 12:35 

Panel Two


We Fly Congress: Market Actions as Corporate Political Activity in the U.S. Airline Industry
Presenter: Min-Seok Pang, Temple University
Discussant: Doug Schuler, Rice University

12:35 – 1:50

Lunch and Keynote Address
Speaker: Cris Turner; VP & Head of Office – Americas Government Affairs, Dell Technologies 

1:50 – 2:00  Break
2:00 – 3:50 

Panel Three


The Spillover Effect between Multiple Voluntary Certifications: Evidence from the Green Building Industry
Presenter: Xia Li, Boston University
Discussant: Tom Lyon, University of Michigan

Science-Based Carbon Emissions Targets
Presenter: Jody Grewal, University of Toronto
Discussant: Sandra Vera-Muñoz, University of Notre Dame

 3:50 – 4:10 Break
 4:10 – 6:00

Panel Four


Noisy Activism: Signlaing, Anti-Foreign Protests, and Japanese FDI Entry in China
Presenter: Lori Yue, USC Marshall
Discussant: Sinziana Dorobantu, NYU Stern

Regional Trust and Multinational Firms
Presenter: Elena Kulchina, North Carolina State University
Discussant: Kishore Gawande, Texas McCombs

 6:00 – 6:15 Break
 6:15 – 9:00 Cocktails & Dinner (Rowling Hall 5.210)

May 9, 2020


 8:15 – 9:00 Breakfast (Rowling Hall 5.402)
 9:00 – 10:50 

Panel Five


Bad company: Shifts in Social Activists' Tactics and support after Industry Scandals
Presenter: Kate Odziemkowska, Rice University
Discussant: Mark Mizruchi, University of Michigan

Enhancing Profits and Reducing Losses by Managing Material Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Factors
Presenter: Witold Henisz, The Wharton School
Discussant: Aseem Kaul, University of Minnesota

 10:50 – 11:10  Break
 11:10 – 12:05

Panel Six 


Enemy of the (Democratic) State: the Relation Between the Concentration of Economic Power and Democracy, 1988–2009
Presenter: Ivana Katic, Yale School of Management
Discussant: Brayden King, Northwestern Kellogg

 12:05 – 1:40  Lunch
 1:40 – 3:30

Panel Seven


How Does Competition Affect Innovation? Evidence from U.S. Antitrust Cases
Presenter: Hyo Kang, USC Marshall
Discussant:Fernando Luco, Texas A&M University

Bad Medicine: Litigation, Competition, and the Marketing of Prescription Opioids
Presenter: David Tan, University of Washington
Discussant: Mary-Hunter McDonnell, The Wharton School

 3:30 – 5:00  Closing Reflection & Reception



Conference attendance is restricted to registered attendees only. Please RSVP here!

Registration will close on Friday, April 24



If you have any questions please send an email us here