2019 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: John Gallemore, University of Chicago (Booth)

John Gallemore

Assistant Professor of Accounting

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

John Gallemore is an established researcher in the world of corporate taxation, financial institutions, financial reporting, regulation and regulators who has presented at universities all over the world. From Australia and the Netherlands to Canada and Germany, Gallemore has been invited to speak at some of the most prestigious institutes and conferences, including the George Washington University Cherry Blossom Conference and European Accounting Association Annual Meeting.

Gallemore earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, MBA in Corporate Finance, and Ph.D. in Accounting all at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research has been published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Accounting Research, Contemporary Accounting Research, and Journal of Accounting and Economics. To honor his outstanding work, Gallemore was named Charles E. Merrill Faculty Scholar from 2015-2016 and Harry W. Kirchheimer Faculty Scholar from 2016-2018.

“I’m nominating John because he’s an outstanding professor of an ostensibly boring subject,” one nominator said. “He teaches Cost Analysis and Internal Controls (essentially managerial accounting); I took it as part of a graduation requirement, but am surprised that it’s been one of my favorite classes at Booth. He leads engaging case discussions, and is always willing to challenge answers — and tells jokes throughout. Aside from his sense of humor, he clearly explains the material and always welcomes questions.”

Current Age: 36

At current institution since what year? 2014

Education: Ph.D. 2014, MBA 2009, BS 2005, all from the University of North Carolina

List of current MBA courses you currently teach: Cost Analysis and Internal Controls (called Managerial Accounting at other schools)


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I learned about what a career in academia actually entailed. I previously worked as a consultant, and I really enjoyed digging deep into particular projects. But I rarely got to see a project from the beginning to end, nor did I get a chance to choose exactly what I was working on. Academia, and research in particular, allows me to choose exactly what I work on and whom I work with. Furthermore, I am involved in the project right from its initial conception to (hopefully!) publication. This is really gratifying.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?

I’m currently exploring the consequences of IRS oversight. In my latest project, we hypothesize that IRS auditing of tax returns might affect banks’ willingness to lend. Banks rely on high-quality financial information when making lending decisions, and often use tax returns as a primary source of such information. When the likelihood of a tax return being audited by the IRS is higher, the information on the tax return is likely more accurate, which increases the quality of the information available to banks in making lending decisions. Consistent with these predictions, we find that IRS tax return audit rates are positively associated with bank’s subsequent commercial lending growth. The budget and resources of the IRS have been cut quite dramatically over the last ten years or so, and my research suggests that a potentially unintended negative consequence of this reduction in IRS resources is a decrease in bank lending to corporate borrowers, and in particular small-and-midsized corporate borrowers that are especially reliant on banks as a critical source of capital.

If I weren’t a business school professor… I’d be getting another Ph.D. The process of diving deep into a particular topic and mastering it is really exciting and enjoyable. Maybe astronomy?

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor?

I bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the classroom. If I can’t get excited about my course and the material, then I can’t expect the students to do so either. I also am an aggressive cold caller, which keeps students on their toes and gets everyone to come to class prepared. Finally, I am always willing to talk to students about the course’s material and how to apply it to their existing career, long after they’ve left my class and Booth.

One word that describes my first-time teaching: Amped.

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor:

That even though I have the flexibility to work whenever I want, I’ll still end up working all of the time. The curse of really enjoying your work – I have a hard time putting it down.

Professor you most admire and why:

Eva Labro, a co-author, and Ed Maydew, my advisor at UNC, have been instrumental in my development as an academic and as a teacher. Even now, they are willing to talk to me on a moment’s notice and give advice, or spend hours looking over my newest research idea or paper. I can’t imagine having better mentors and friends.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students?

Their maturity means that they understand the importance of a high-quality education, and the possibilities that this can unlock. As a result, they invest deeply in preparing for the class and participating in class discussions, and that makes the teaching process far more enjoyable.

What is most challenging? 

The MBA students at Booth are incredibly bright and eager to learn, and a consequence of that is that they can ask really challenging questions. I have to bring my A-game to the classroom each and every time.

Using just one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious.

Using just one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Lazy.

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Reasonable and fair.


What are your hobbies?

After teaching, research, and family (including two young daughters), there’s not much time for anything else. But I do enjoy watching college basketball (Go Heels!).

How will you spend your summer?

Research, research, research (in case my senior faculty are reading this). Also, spending time outside – Chicago is a wonderful place in the summer months.

Favorite place(s) to vacation:

In the United States: the beach (especially the Outer Banks, NC)

Outside the United States: Italy (especially Florence)

Favorite book(s):

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is my all-time favorite. I also really enjoyed many of Michael Crichton’s novels.

What is your favorite movie and/or television show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much?

Arrested Development. I love that every time I watch it, I notice a new joke or callback that I had missed the previous 1,000 times.

Favorite type of music and/or favorite artist:

I’ve been really into 70s and 80s pop rock recently – Phil Collins and Genesis, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and others.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Hands-on learning – immediately getting the opportunity to apply the concepts that were delivered in the classroom lecture.

In your opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at doing what?

Considering opportunity costs when making decisions, and dealing with uncertainty.

Faculty and administrators say:

“Professor Gallemore is engaging in class and provokes his students to think critically about matters relating to cost accounting and internal decision making. His inquisitive method of teaching – asking students questions and cold calling when appropriate – coupled with his positive attitude creates a classroom environment in which all students are active learners and willing participants in the discourse. Professor Gallemore’s unique teaching style pushes, in a supportive and friendly manner, students to think critically and inquisitively like managers facing internal control decisions.”

“Professor Gallemore has a gift for making managerial accounting entertaining and relevant to students going into a varied range of careers. He does a great job injecting both humor and contemporary accounting issues into his lectures.”

“John helped connect (both micro and macro) economic concepts we learned in class to current business affairs and trends. This inculcated a sense of purpose in the students, particularly myself. He went above and beyond, he was available during office hours to practice interviews, suggest industry leaders to connect with, review our presentations (economics based or otherwise) and took the additional step of declaring his office an open space to report/discuss sexual assault. In 2016, he dedicated an entire class, and an additional three-hour session after class to take questions on the economic implications of President Trump’s win in the elections, this allaying our concerns. John has continued to be the first person I turn to when I have questions on career or general economic trends.”


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