Elizabeth Demers

Deloitte Professor, Financial Reporting; Co-Director of CPA Ontario Centre for Sustainability Reporting and Performance Management

Office:HH 3103

Phone: 519-888-4567 x45944

Email: elizabeth.demers@uwaterloo.ca

CV:  Elizabeth Demers, CV (PDF)

Education and certifications

  • PhD (Business Administration, Accounting) - Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
  • MSc (Statistics) - Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
  • MAcc (Master of Accounting) - University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Honours BA, Accounting (Economics minor) - University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Chartered Accountant (CA)*, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Canada
  • Chartered Business Valuator (CBV)*, Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)*, Society of Management Accountants of Canada 

* retired from membership

Brief biography

Elizabeth has taught and/or presented her research at institutions and conferences in more than 30 countries around the world. Her current research focus is on corporate sustainability. Recent research examines the role of non-financial information (including linguistic measures derived from textual analysis of corporate communications, ESG summary scores, corporate climate risk disclosures, and firms' LGBTQ-inclusivity) in assessing and predicting firm performance, and the impact of disclosure and communications on the firm value, information asymmetry, and cost of capital. Her studies have been published in the Journal of Accounting Research, the Journal of Financial Economics, Management ScienceReview of Accounting Studies, the Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, the Harvard Business Review, and other top outlets, and they are widely cited in both the academic literature and in the financial press (The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Financial Times, Globe & Mail Report on Business, etc.). Her consulting activities include financial statement analyses and “red flag reviews” for hedge funds and other institutional investors, research and teaching presentations to investment fund managers, and litigation support for the quantification of economic damages.


Elizabeth Demers (BA and MAcc, UWaterloo; MSc. and PhD, Stanford University) has taught undergraduate, PhD, Masters of Accounting, Masters in Finance, MBA and Executive MBA students while serving on the faculties of INSEAD (France), the Darden Graduate School of Business (University of Virginia), the University of Rochester, HEC-Lausanne (Switzerland), the Gdańsk University of Technology (Poland), and the University of Michigan.


Peer-reviewed accounting and finance publications

  • ESG Didn’t Immunize Stocks During the COVID-19 Crisis, But Investments in Intangible Assets Did (with J. Hendrikse, P. Joos, and B. Lev), 2021, Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.
  • Are ESG Ratings Informative About Companies’ Socially Responsible Behaviors Abroad? Evidence from the Russian Invasion of Ukraine(with D. Ahmed, J. Hendrikse, P. Joos, & B. Lev), 2022, Accountability in a Sustainable World Quarterly, forthcoming.

  • Oh What a Beautiful Morning! Diurnal Variations in Economic Agents’ Behavior: Evidence from Conference Calls (with B. Lev and J. Chen), 2018, Management Science.

  • A Rude Awakening: Internet Shakeout in 2000 (with Baruch Lev), 2001, Review of Accounting Studies.
  • The Marketing Role of IPOs: Evidence from Internet Stocks (with Katharina Lewellen), 2003, Journal of Financial Economics.
    • Abbreviated version reproduced in Betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung und Praxis, Vol. 58, No. 5 (October 2006): 468-480.
  • IPO Failure Risk (with Philip Joos), 2007, Journal of Accounting Research Conference Volume.
  • The Juxtaposition of Social Surveillance Controls with Traditional Organizational Design Components (with Margaret Shackell and Sally Widener), 2008, Contemporary Accounting Research, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer): 605-638. Study funded by CIMA.
  • The Role of Accounting Information in a Stock Market Bubble: Evidence from Internet IPOs (with Nilahbra Bhattacharya and Philip Joos), 2010, Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.
  • Contemporaneous Verification of Language: Evidence from Management Earnings Forecasts (with S. Baginski, C. Wang, and J. Yu), 2016,
    Review of Accounting Studies.
  • Linguistic Tone and the Small Trader (with S. Baginski, A. Kausar, and J. Yu), 2018, Accounting, Organizations and Society (Special Conference Edition on New Corporate Disclosures and New Methods).
  • A Note on Career Concerns and Earnings Management (with C. Wang), 2020, Journal of Business Accounting and Finance Perspectives.

Working papers and works in process

  • Aggregate Tone and Gross Domestic Product (with F. Gaertner, A. Kausar, H. Li, L. Steele), June 2023.
  • TCFD Reporting: Early Evidence Related to the Future of Global Climate-Related Disclosures (with J. Hendrikse and M. Metzner), June 2023

  • Tax Aggressive Behavior and Voluntary Tax Disclosures in Sustainability Reporting (with J. Adams and K. Klassen), November 2022.

  • The Determinants and Short-Term Consequences of Banks’ Decisions to Join the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (with X. Bai & R. Oberson), June 2022.

  • Corporate Human Capital Disclosures: Early Evidence from the SEC’s Disclosure Mandate (with V. Wang and K. Wu), August 2022.

  • Measuring Corporate Human Capital Disclosures: Lexicon, Code, and Research Opportunities (with V. Wang and K. Wu), May 2023.

  • Corporate Communications Credibility and the Pricing of Textual Sentiment: Evidence from Quarterly Earnings Announcements 
    (with A. Kausar, C. Vega, and R. Wang).
  • LGBTQ-Inclusive Policies, Innovation, and Firm Value: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach (with G. Berberich and S. Oz), in progress.

Review and editorial activities

  • Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 2019 –
  • Contemporary Accounting Research 2023 –
Associate Editor:
  • Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 2013 – 2018 
  • Quarterly Journal of Finance & Accounting 2015 –
  • Journal of International Accounting Research 2012 – 2015
Editorial Boards:
  • Accounting & Finance 2012 –
  • Contemporary Accounting Research 2021 - 
  • European Accounting and Management Review 2014 – 
  • Journal of Business Accounting and Finance Perspectives 2017 – 
  • Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 2009 - 2012
  • Journal of International Accounting Research 2011 - 2012
  • The International Journal of Accounting 2013 - 2016

Honors and awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), Insight Grant, 2021-2025, $156,583
  • Favorite Professors of the Brightest and Best EMBAs, Poets & Quants for Executives, 2016
  • Runner-up for the 2015 Darden Faculty Diversity Award (recognizing a member of the Darden faculty for exceptional contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Darden community)
  • Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA Programme Teaching Award (one of Top-3 INSEAD Professors)
  • INSEAD MBA Dean’s Teaching Honor Roll
  • KPMG & UIUC Business Measurement Program – one of six $5000 prize winners in the
  • Competitive Manuscript Competition on Risk Measurement and Disclosure, 2003
  • Simon School Teaching Honor Roll (awarded to top 5 instructors)
  • CIMA grant for project on Strategy and Performance Measurement in New Economy Companies with Sally Widener and Margaret Shackell-Dowell, 2001, $15,000
  • PAC-10 Doctoral Consortium Fellow, 1996 & 1997
  • American Academic Accounting Association Fellowship Award, 1994
  • Society of Management Accountants of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 1994-97

Media Mentions

One Year On, Researchers Crunch Winning Covid Stock Strategies

Veritas Fact Finding Series, Episode 40: Elizabeth Demers - September 16, 2020 (Passcode: A&0g%AUC)

ESG ‘not a factor’ in share price resilience during Covid-19 crisis

Academics Attack ESG for Failure to Outperform During Crisis

ESG factors weren't behind COVID-19 outperformance, study says

ESG-Investments: Zweifel an der Krisenfähigkeit

Plan for Life Actuaries & Researchers – ESG Research Update

Study Debunks BlackRock Claims that ESG Funds Did Better During COVID

‘Woke’ investment falls short in pandemic volatility

Did ESG improve resiliency during Q1

Warren Buffett says it’s good to sell when everyone’s buying. Does that apply for ESG stocks?

Research Casts Doubt on ESG’s ‘Widespread’ Outperformance Claims (Article re-printed by - MSN, AM  WatchInvestment News)

The ESG Factor: A Contrarian View

ESG Didn’t Immunize Stocks Against the Covid-19 Market Crash

Strong ESG Performance Fails to Fortify Share Value During a Crisis, Says Study

Update on progress in ESG Subcommittee; SEC Asset Management Advisory Committee

True Expectations, the Expected Mediocre Long-Term Returns of ESG Index Funds

ESG - 360 Capital Markets 

Heirs to Asian Fortunes Tested on ESG Commitments by Virus

Strong ESG Performance Fails to Fortify Share Value During a Crisis, Says Study

Further reading: ESG didn’t immunise stocks against the crash

Remarks by Commissioner Peirce on The Role of Asset Management in ESG Investing

Update on progress in ESG Subcommittee

Lucy’s Human: Remarks at Virtual Roundtable on The Role of Asset Management in ESG Investing Hosted By Harvard Law School and the Program on International Financial Systems

Q and A with the experts: Environmental, Social, and Governance scores didn’t help stocks during COVID

Daily Bulletin: October 22, 2020