empirical corporate Finance

Time: 4.-6. & 15.-16.5.2023

Place: Otaniemi, Espoo, Aalto University School of Business

Instructor: Professor Renée Adams (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford)

NFN Travel Grant: NFN offers Travel Grants for attending PhD students in finance coming from Nordic institutions outside of Finland. To apply for the Travel Grant, please use this this form, and send it to nfn (at) aalto.fi.

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

Please note the changes to the teaching schedule in bold below.

Thursday 4.5.2023 18:00 - 20:00 T003, Ekonominaukio 1
Friday 5.5.2023 10:15 - 11:45 & 14:15 - 16:45 V002, Ekonominaukio 1
Saturday 6.5.2023 9:00 - 12:00 T003, Ekonominaukio 1
Monday 15.5.2023 18:00 - 20:00 T003, Ekonominaukio 1
Tuesday 16.5.2023  9:00 - 13:00 T003, Ekonominaukio 1

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 (Ekonominaukio 1, room T317)

Lecture Notes: Notes 1

Notes 2

Notes 3

Notes 4

Notes 5

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

Exercises: The homework instructions and material have been sent directly to the course participants.

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

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 and Helsinki GSE 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.


Grading:  The whole course for GSF students comprises 3 compulsory parts (a written 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 each part.

  • a written exam (50% weight)
  • an empirical exercise (25% weight), individual work
  • a referee report (25% weight), individual work.

Homework deadline: Tuesday, August 15, 2023. Please return the assignments to GSF coordinator via email at reetta.ali-alha (@) aalto.fi. Please respect the deadline promptly.

Examination date and time: Thursday, June 8, at 9:00-13:00 in T004, Ekonominaukio 1, Espoo. Please register for the exam through this link. The registration link will be closed one week prior to the exam

If you wish to take the exam in your home university (other than GSF member university), please see instructions below.

Examination places:

  • In Otaniemi: Aalto University School of Business
  • In Oulu: University of Oulu
  • In Vaasa: University of Vaasa
  • In Lappeenranta: Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • In Turku: Turku School of Economics
  • In Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä
  • 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. 


Registration / Application


  • Doctoral students of GSF, FDPE and Helsinki GSE (finance & economics): 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. All students will be informed of their acceptance soon after the deadline.


The deadline for registering in this course is April 19, 2023.