Empirical Research in Corporate Finance (expired)

FIN530 Empirical Research in Corporate Finance (expired)

Spring 2021

  • Topics

    This intensive PhD course surveys important empirical regularities in corporate finance. There are four broad themes:

    (1) Performance econometrics and event studies: Event study design and portfolio performance evaluation procedures used to infer valuation impacts of corporate actions. Examples of performance estimation


    (2) Corporate funding policies and security design: What do funding policies imply for the horse-race between classical trade-off and pecking order theories? How does security design lower bankruptcy costs, and what constitute an optimal bankruptcy system?


    (3) Corporate takeovers: Valuation effects of takeover activity, sources of takeover gains, and empirical investigations of optimal bidding theories for competition preemption, the payment method (cash versus stock), bidder toeholds in the target.


    (4) Corporate governance and incentives: The international corporate governance debate. Self-dealing and the structure of boards. Optimal versus actual executive and director compensation policies.

  • Learning outcome

    The learning outcome of this course is:

    to give the students an in-depth understanding of the current research frontier in the topics listed below.

    to also be able to do independent research in these topics.

    Correctly apply performance econometric event studies

    Understand corporate fundings and security design

    Understand bidding and payment mechanism in corporate take-overs


    Knowledge - The candidate...

    is at the forefront of knowledge within his academic field, and masters the field´s philosophy of science and/or artistic issues and methods

    can evaluate the expediency and application of different methods and processes in research and scholarly and/or artistic development projects

    can contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field

    Skills - The candidate...

    can formulate problems, plan and carry out research and scholarly and/or artistic development work

    can carry out research and scholarly and/or artistic research work of a high international standard

    can handle complex academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field

    Competence - The candidate...

    can identify new relevant ethical issues and carry out his/her research with scholarly integrity

    can manage complex interdisciplinary assignments and projects

    can communicate research and development work through recognized Norwegian and international channels

    can participate in debates in the field in international forums

    can assess the need for, initiate and practice innovation

  • Required prerequisites

    The course is advanced and prior knowledge to corporate finance from a master or PhD program is strongly recommended

  • Requirements for course approval

    To receive full course credit, students must: (1) attend all class sessions and associated class writings and presentations (instructions to follow), and (2) submit a term paper due in the fall of 2013 (due date to be announced).

  • Assessment

    The final grade is based on the term paper (70%), class write-ups and paper presentation (30%), which are graded Pass/Fail.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    The course requires the following two volumes (available at NHH's bookstore):

    BEE-1: Eckbo, B. Espen (ed.), 2007, Handbook of Corporate Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance, Volume 1, (Elsevier/North-Holland Handbook of Finance Series), ISBN-9780444508980.

    BEE-2: Eckbo, B. Espen (ed.), 2008, Handbook of Corporate Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance, Volume 2, (Elsevier/North-Holland Handbook of Finance Series), ISBN-9780444530905.

    Additional course readings: A set of individual journal articles.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Expired. Replaced by FIN540.

Course responsible

B. Espen Eckbo, Dartmouth College, hosted by professor Karin Thorburn and the Department of Finance at NHH