empirical corporate Finance


Time: June 4-8, 2018

Place: Helsinki, Aalto University School of Business, Chydenia Building

Instructor: Professor Renée Adams (University of New South Wales)

NFN Travel Grant: NFN offers travel stipends to PhD students in finance who come from one of the NFN member institutions, located outside of Finland. To apply for a travel stipend, please use this this form (rtf), and send the application to nfn (at) aalto.fi.

Lectures: 20 h of lectures. (20 x 45 minutes)

Please note that there has been some changes to the teaching schedule. Changes have been marked in bold.

Monday 4.6. 16-19:15  G-109, Chydenia Building
Tuesday 5.6. 9-12:15 G-109, Chydenia Building
Wednesday 6.6. 9-12:15 G-109, Chydenia Building
Thursday 7.6. 9-12:15 G-109, Chydenia Building
Friday 8.6. 9-12:15 G-109, Chydenia Building


Course objectives: This course offers a doctoral level introduction to Empirical Corporate Finance and aims to prepare doctoral students to do research on their own in this field. The course is organized around published and working papers in the field with an emphasis on econometric methods. Rather than providing an exhaustive overview of the field, the course focuses in depth on selected topics to illustrate different empirical approaches to the same or related questions.  For instance using papers on ownership concentration and corporate governance, the course will highlight the following empirical themes: endogeneity, difference in difference estimators and event studies.   

Prerequisites: The course requires a good knowledge of the 1st year Ph.D. courses in econometrics as well as some basic knowledge of corporate finance.

Course Outline: PDF

Reading List:

Access to the articles is subject to your home institutions' subsciptions to the databases. Hard copies of all readings are available for consultation at GSF office, Chydenia building G2.15 

Lecture Notes:

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Lecture 3

Lecture 4

Lecture 5

Password for opening the course material will be e-mailed to the participants.

Exercises: Homework



Examples of referee reports and responses to referee reports for the paper:

Referee's Report

Referee's Report


Report 1

Report 2

Adams & Santos

Referee's Report

Reply to Referee's Report

Reply to Referee's Report

Password for opening the course material will be e-mailed to the students.

Grading:  The course comprises three compulsory parts (a closed book exam, an empirical exercise and a referee report). The total points of this course are 100. In order to pass the course one needs at least 40% of points (i.e. 40 points). In addition, one has to get at least 40% of the points from the written exam, i.e. 20 points.

  • a closed book written exam (50% weight)
  • an empirical exercise and (25% weight)
  • a referee report (25% weight)

Homework deadline: August 28, 2018. Please return the assignment directly to Professor Adams by e-mail. Please respect the deadline promptly.

Examination date and time: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 10:00-14:00. Please register for the exam through this link. If you wish to take the exam in your home university (other than GSF member university), please see instructions below.

Examination places:

  • In Helsinki: Aalto University School of Business, Chydenia Building, G-109
  • In Oulu: University of Oulu
  • In Vaasa: University of Vaasa
  • In Lappeenranta: Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • In Turku: Turku School of Economics
  • Other locations: Doctoral students in other universities are requested to inform GSF by sending an e-mail to gsf@aalto.fi if they wish to take the exam in their home universities. Please note that the exam must be written in presence of an exam supervisor. Thus, please submit the name of the exam supervisor at least 14 days before the examination.

Please note: No retake exam will be offered for any reason (beyond your control or not). However, the exam can be taken abroad where suitable exam supervision can be arranged. Possible payment and arrangements for supervision should be made by the student. In case you wish to take the exam abroad, please contact GSF by sending an e-mail to gsf@aalto.fi at least 14 days before the examination. 

Credit units: 6 ECTS cr.

List of Participants: PDF

Participants: Doctoral students in finance. The course is also open for KATAJA as well as FDPE students with sufficient background in finance and/or economics. The course is also open for foreign doctoral students given that there is space in the course.

Registration / Application


  • Doctoral students of GSF and FDPE: Please register through this link.
  • Doctoral students in related fields and doctoral students at foreign universities: Application form can be found here: PDF file or Word file. Please, send in addition to your complete contact information, a report on the status of your doctoral studies, and a brief CV. Please ask also your thesis advisor to send us a short letter of recommendation by-email. All the required documents should be sent by e-mail to gsf@aalto.fi.


The deadline for registering in this course is May 14, 2018. All students will be informed of their acceptance soon after the deadline.