E. Scott Mayfield

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Scott Mayfield is Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Professor Mayfield joined the Finance Unit in 2011 and was previously a member of the HBS faculty from 1997 to 2001. Professor Mayfield has taught courses in the first and second year of the MBA program, including Finance 2 and Corporate Financial Management, as well as in various executive education programs, including Valuation, Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring, and Finance for Senior Executives.

His research is in the areas of corporate finance and asset pricing and investigates the dynamic nature of corporate decision making, including capital budgeting and payout policies, when capital markets are characterized by changes in the level of risk and growth opportunities. His articles have been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the Journal of Economics and Business, The Energy Journal, Economics Letters, and the Physical Review A.

Professor Mayfield received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in Economics with Highest Honors from Williams College. In addition to his position on the HBS Faculty, Professor Mayfield is a Vice President and the Financial Markets Practice Leader at Charles River Associates where he consults to corporate clients on a variety of valuation issues.


Journal Articles

  1. Alternative Models of Uncertain Commodity Prices for Use with Modern Asset Pricing Methods

    This paper provides an introduction to alternative models of uncertain commodity prices. A model of commodity price movements is the engine around which any valuation methodology for commodity production projects is built, whether discounted cash flow (DCF) models or the recently developed modern asset pricing (MAP) methods. The accuracy of the valuation is in part dependent on the quality of the engine employed. This paper provides an overview of several basic commodity price models and explains the essential differences among them. We also show how futures prices can be used to discriminate among the models and to estimate better key parameters of the model chosen.

    Keywords: Asset Pricing; Goods and Commodities; Price; Risk and Uncertainty; Valuation; Production; Projects; Cash Flow;


    Baker, Malcolm, E. S. Mayfield, and John Parsons. "Alternative Models of Uncertain Commodity Prices for Use with Modern Asset Pricing Methods." Energy Journal 19, no. 1 (1998): 115–148. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. L'Occitane en Provence

    Cosmetics company L'Occitane en Provence must decide if it is the right time to go public, and, if so, where to list. The firm could list on Euronext in Paris, close to the firm's headquarters in southern France, on one of the large exchanges in the U.S., or perhaps in Asia, where much of the firm's future growth is expected. The case provides opportunities to discuss the benefits and costs of going public, including valuation implications, and illustrates the choices faced by a prospective IPO firm that operates in a global setting.

    Keywords: Initial Public Offering; France;


    Becker, Bo, Daniela Beyersdorfer, Scott Mayfield, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "L'Occitane en Provence." Harvard Business School Case 212-051, November 2011. (Revised November 2012.) View Details
  2. Underwater Engineer at Intel Corporation

    Molly Miller, an Intel employee and shareholder, must decide whether to vote FOR or AGAINST Intel's proposed 2009 option exchange program. Given recent declines in Intel's stock price, more than 99% of Intel's outstanding employee stock options are "underwater," and employee motivation and retention are serious concerns. If the program is approved by shareholders, Molly must decide whether to participate in the program and tender her underwater employee stock options. As a shareholder and an employee, Molly must assess the pros and cons of Intel's proposed exchange program from both perspectives. In addition, she must consider Intel's proposal in light of the alternative approaches pursued by other corporations that have recently confronted the problem of underwater employee stock options.

    Keywords: Semiconductor Industry;


    Mayfield, E. Scott. "Underwater Engineer at Intel Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 212-047, November 2011. (Revised September 2012.) View Details
  3. NetFlix.com, Inc.

    The CEO of a successful Internet start-up must decide whether to delay the company's initial public offering following a significant decline in the NASDAQ market during the spring of 2000. The company's CFO is asked to reevaluate the company's projected cash flow needs in light of the new requirement that in order to go public, Internet companies must show positive cash flows within a 12-month horizon. While examining ways to extend the company's working capital, the CFO considers various changes to the company's existing business model, including changes in the company's contractual relationships with both its suppliers and its customers.

    Keywords: Business Model; Contracts; Initial Public Offering; Cash Flow; Service Delivery; Financial Strategy; Web Services Industry;


    Mayfield, E. Scott. "NetFlix.com, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 201-037, September 2000. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  4. Provident Life and Accident Insurance: The Acquisition of Paul Revere TN

    Teaching Note for (9-202-044).

    Keywords: Insurance Industry; Service Industry;


    Desai, Mihir A., E. Scott Mayfield, and Mark Veblen. "Provident Life and Accident Insurance: The Acquisition of Paul Revere TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 202-046, November 2001. View Details