291. PhD Sem-FIN
A special topics course.
291-FN1. Advanced Topics in Corporate Finance (4 units)
The course helps students understand and develop their skills in analyzing, firms’ investment and financing decisions. It covers research topics in corporate finance to illustrate basic principles and to give students practice developing these skills. It examines a variety of topics, such as optimal debt and equity financing, managerial and firm reputation and investment decisions, motives for financial signaling, conflicts of interest and informational differences between managers, debtholders and equity-holders; the takeover process; the use of capital structure and compensation to strategically position the firm in product markets; and the significance of imperfect rationality for corporate policy. The style is a mixture of lecture and discussion.
291-FN2. Advanced Topics in Investments (4 units)
The goal of this course is to give critical perspectives on the some of the most challenging problems related to investments, the problems that are most relevant for both academics and the applied world. It covers a variety of topics such as the basic asset pricing test framework, the common methodologies used in empirical asset pricing tests, empirical equity market regularities, and new directions in empirical finance. The idea of the course is not to go through in detail all of the assigned reading. It will be assumed that students have read each of the articles. The classroom discussion will be broad and will not necessarily focus on any technical details in the readings. We are more interested in extracting the big picture and what it means for the future of finance research.
291-FN3. Behavioral Finance (4 units)
Building upon traditional theories of investment choices and asset market equilibrium, this course examines how the psychology of investors and managers affects financing and investment choices. It reviews evidence from psychology that may be relevant for finance, relevant evidence from financial markets, and recent approaches to modeling how imperfect rationality affects financial markets. It covers recent research on how psychology influences the preferences and information processing of investors; how imperfect rationality and arbitrage interact to determine equilibrium asset prices; how firms can take advantage of market inefficiencies; and how psychological bias affects the behavior of managers. Our emphasis will be on approaches that reflect evidence or insight from the explicit study of human psychology. The course provides a preparation to take advantage of the rich set of opportunities for future research in this field.
291-FN4. Finance Research Methodology (4 units)
This course offers a survey of recent advances in finance research methodologies. In particular, we will discuss the pros and cons of the different approaches and the motivations behind their model designs.
291-FN5. Current Topics in Finance (2 units)
Description: This course discusses recent advances in the finance literature. Participants are expected to: (1) Write summaries of papers covered in the class; (2) Present one paper; (3) Discuss one paper; (4) Develop a research proposal on an original research idea.
297V. Information, Psychology, and Social Processes
In the marketplace for ideas, which succeed and which fail? A growing field of research studies how ideas and information spread between individuals, and how populations of ideas evolve. This course reviews recent research in this area and applications to business. A few examples give a hint of the range of applications of these ideas: viral marketing, information cascades and herd behavior in consumer behavior and in corporate strategy, the spread of behaviors across firms through social networks such as interlocking boards of directors, and what determines the success of innovative business methods.