Call for Papers for Review of Finance Special Issue on Finance and Product Markets

Firms do not operate in isolation but interact within product markets. These interactions delineate the boundaries of markets, their dynamics, and the resulting intensity of competition (or the lack of it). A vast research effort over the last forty years unambiguously concludes that product market considerations have first-order effects on firms’ decisions, performance, and valuation. Firms’ decisions are not only shaped by their product market environment, but also directly impact the structure of product markets they operate within. 

Recent years have witnessed significant changes in the nature of markets, driven by various forces such as new technological developments, trade patterns, new actors, or regulatory reforms. Changing markets have caught the attention of policymakers, investors, firms, employees, and citizens as society wishes to ensure that markets are well-functioning and “fair” without concentration that adversely impacts consumers. These changes undeniably reflect new forms of competition and interactions within and across markets and naturally call for more research on the interactions between finance and product markets.  

In this context, and following the success of the Special Issues on China, and Sustainable Finance, the Review of Finance is launching a Special Issue on Finance and Product Markets. It will be jointly guest-edited by Laurent Frésard (Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI), Swiss Finance Institute (SFI) and current co-editor of the Review of Finance) and Gordon Phillips (Dartmouth College), both of whom have worked extensively on this topic.  We welcome all aspects of research in finance related to product markets (both corporate finance and asset pricing, theory, and empirics). Research topics include but are not limited to:

  • The role corporate financial decisions (e.g. capital structure, investment, mergers and acquisitions, and financial strategies) in affecting product market outcomes and competition.
  • The relationships between asset prices (e.g., stock prices, bond yields) and the performance and conduct of firms in product markets. 
  • The connections between market microstructure, trading mechanisms, liquidity, efficiency, and product market strategies and structures. 
  • Research that considers how finance and financial markets impact product markets and the changing patterns of product market competition.
  • The relationships between new technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence or blockchain), innovation, and product markets dynamics. 
  • The interactions between environmental and social considerations, financial decisions, and product market strategies and outcomes.
  • The role of asset ownership in driving incentives and firms’ competitive behavior. 
  • Research using both US and non-US data, studying listed or private companies, or asset classes other than equity.
  • New data and measurement on the delineation of markets and their dynamics, the identification of rivals, and the measurement of competition and competitive intensity.  

The RF‘s standard bar applies, which is that a paper needs to make a substantial contribution to academic knowledge. Thus, survey papers and policy-oriented pieces do not fit the scope of the special issue. To ensure that editorial and refereeing resources can focus on the highest-quality papers, the standard submission fee is required, and we will desk-reject papers that are unlikely to cross the RF’s publication standard. 

The submission window is from January 15, 2024 to August 31, 2024.  Authors should submit papers using the standard RF submission website and select “Special Issue on Finance and Product Markets” as the “Category of Submission” in Step 2.  Both Regular and Fast Track submissions will be considered.  Papers will be entered into the review process as soon as they are received (i.e., the guest editors will not wait until the end of the submission window before starting the process).  As per the RF’s editorial policy, we aim to conditionally accept or reject papers by the second round. 

We intend to publish the papers in a single special issue as soon as possible after all papers are accepted. However, depending on the submission flow, we may publish two special issues, which will allow papers submitted and accepted earlier to be published faster. Also, if some papers are on a timely topic that warrants more rapid publication, we may create a “special section” within a regular issue. Even if the papers end up being published across different physical issues, they will be linked online under the same virtual issue (as with our virtual issues on China, Executive Compensation and Financial Literacy, Effects and Responses to Economic Downturns, and Politics and International Finance).

For any queries, please contact the Editorial Office at [email protected].

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