A six-week visit to Harvard Business School by an emerging University of Otago doctoral researcher has been facilitated by a $1000 travel scholarship.

Former Napier man Matthew McCarten is doing his PhD in the Department of Accountancy and Finance at Otago on the impact of shareholder litigation on firms.

Mr McCarten, recently jetted off to the US, where he is being hosted at Harvard by Professor Paul Healy, a prominent New Zealand-born academic.

"This is an amazing opportunity for Matt. He did his undergraduate and masters with us and is now doing his PhD at Otago. It is great that we retain our best students and develop the next generation of Kiwi academics but it is also important they get international experience.


I have impressed upon Matt the importance of developing his international network and exposure," said his primary supervisor, Dr Ivan Diaz-Rainey.

Mr McCarten said he was "very excited" about the visit.

"I have not been to the US before and since all my data is from the US, it will be really helpful to be there."

While at Harvard, he will attend doctoral classes, present his work and hopefully initiate research collaborations.

Mr McCarten will also present his research at other US universities, including UC Davies in California and NYU in New York.

"In the first paper of my PhD I analyse whether politically influential firms are able to get away with their misconduct for longer. In that paper I find that the longer detection time for managerial misconduct for lobbying firms is not evident after 2004. The findings indicate that the tacit power of lobbying firms has decreased over time.

"In my research I am analysing the relationship between securities class actions and private debt."