Jacob S. Sagi

Professor of Finance

Wood Center in Real Estate Studies Distinguished Scholar

Kenan-Flagler Business School

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

McColl 4109, CB #3490, Room #4412

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490

Tel: 919.962.8399

Fax: 615.343.7177

Official Website









As noted above, there are two focal points to my research. The first concerns individual decision making, mainly under uncertainty and through time. The second focuses on market phenomena and, in particular, the understanding of economic “puzzles” through the lens of theory. At the level of individual behavior my decision-theoretic work reflects a view that certain standard “rationality” assumptions are systematically violated and should be modified to reflect realistic human choice patterns.  I do believe, however, that some discipline must be exercised in determining the latitude of deviation from classical assumptions. For instance, I take the stance that it is less worthwhile to formally model behaviors that decision makers, in retrospect, would regret or admit to being mistakes.  This is why my preferred approach to decision sciences is “axiomatic”, meaning that the emphasis is on basic choice primitives that are transparent and can be individually tested or studied. An axiomatic approach is also parsimonious in that it allows one to work within a paradigm rather than a multitude of contexts.


My work in asset pricing reflects the more conservative view that neoclassical “competitive market” explanations ought to first be convincingly ruled out before appealing to “behavioral” rationale for observed phenomena. At first, it might appear as if the two strands of my research are in philosophical opposition. This is not the case. Empirical evidence in decision theory indisputably rejects the neoclassical model. By contrast, our understanding of markets and other economic constructs involving multiple actors is far less nuanced, and we have neither the data nor the theoretical tools to fully investigate how and why the aggregate actions of many players should necessarily force a departure from the neoclassical paradigm.


Summaries of Published Papers


Full List of and Links to Papers





·       MBA 853 – Real Estate and Capital Markets

·       MBA 853D – Real Estate Macroeconomics and Securities Markets

·       MBA 853E – Financing Real Estate in Today’s Capital Markets

·       BUSI 604 – Real Estate and Capital Markets

·       PHD 899 – Asset pricing with non-standard preferences






Finance at Kenan-Flagler


Last updated May 30, 2017