The course will review and explore the research frontier within empirical corporate finance. In addition, the course will discuss the research projects the students currently are working on. This will prepare the students for the second milestone in their PhD contract, the submission and presentation of their second summer papers. The course emphasizes a deep understanding of the nature and implications of evidence related to corporate financial transactions and investments by (primarily) publicly traded US and European firms for various hypotheses and theories in corporate finance. This includes transactions in the market for corporate control, as well as transactions in which firms raise capital, rebalance capital structure, or file for bankruptcy. As much as possible, the emphasis is on areas where the empirical evidence challenges priors based on economic theory – puzzles or paradoxes. Ultimately, the objective is to help doctoral students find areas of potential dissertation material in the area of corporate finance.
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