Research Project for Finance

2019-2020

Course Objective

Disciplinary knowledge. Students know the main defining principles,
methodological cornerstones, and tools in the discipline and possess
applicable knowledge to analyze complex questions in corporate finance,
investments / asset pricing and institutional finance

Analytical thinking.
a. Critical reading and judgement. Students are able to search,
identify, read and understand the relevant academic literature in the
area of finance and critically assess academic research.
b. Abstraction in complex settings. Students are able to abstract
complex realistic problems in finance to their core, formulate precise
research questions and hypotheses, and create their own frame of
analysis to address the research question.

Quantitative skills. Students possess the quantitative analysis
skills to answer complex research questions in the area of finance; they
are able to select the appropriate quantitative techniques for analysis,
gather empirical data from financial databases, manipulate large data
sets, efficiently use statistical software to perform the analysis and
critically interpret estimation results.

Professional skills.
a. Professional independence and Communication. They have the ability to
work and plan a demanding project on a tight time-line, both
individually and in teams; they are able to communicate effectively
(report the research set-up and findings clearly, both orally and in
writing) and in a balanced way to a variety of audiences (professionals,
non-experts).
b. Societal awareness. Students possess the skills to identify new
relevant questions in the area of finance; they are able to put these
questions into societal context.
c. Reflection. Students have the ability to self-reflect, to critically
assess their own (and others) output and performance, and to improve
upon this where needed; formulate issues and/or research questions that
lie beyond (or after) the research question at hand and thus contribute
to further knowledge creation.

Course Content

Before the end of Period 2, students will be requested to form groups
and make a choice from a provided list of projects. This will be
communicated via Canvas and VU-email. Each project includes a detailed
description, allowing the students to have some understanding of the
implications of the topic. The projects will cover various areas in
finance: corporate finance, investments / asset pricing, and
institutional finance. A few projects requiring a strong background in
econometrics will also be provided for participants of the Quantitative
Finance Track. ¶
Starting references from the relevant academic literature will be
provided, but students should actively look for additional relevant
literature.
Between the end of Period 2 and the beginning of this course in January
(period
3), students will prepare an initial set-up for their project and carry
out a preliminary literature review on their subject. They will present
this set-up to the other students in class during the start of period 3.
The actual research can then go ahead at full speed during the actual
four weeks of period 3. During this initial preparation period, as well
as during period 3, individual meetings with the lecturer can be
organized.
During period 3, each group will be required to:
- make an concise initial, kick-off presentation¶
- make an intermediate presentation to all other groups¶
- make a final presentation to all other groups at the end of the period
- write up a research paper (usually around 40 pages), written as a
scientific paper, presenting their research, which includes the
literature overview and the empirical findings. Writing style and layout
should follow those of one of the major academic Finance journals
(Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial
Studies).
Students are encouraged to strengthen their applied research outcomes by
input from practitioners from the financial industry.

Teaching Methods

- individual meetings with each group
- two plenary sessions for presentations of research set-up and results

Method of Assessment

The course grade is based on the final report, the presentation of the
results and the student’sdiscussion participation (as a discussant of
one of the presented projects, as well as for his/her contribution to
the discussion in the plenary sessions).

Entry Requirements

For Finance students, the material of Empirical Finance. For
Quantitative Finance Track students, we require knowledge of Advanced
Econometrics. All projects require students to work with real life data,
for which students may choose an appropriate software package of their
liking (Excel, or more sophisticated econometric / statistical software)
and appropriate available databases (Factset, SDC, CRSP, Compustat,
...) or proprietary data sources.

Literature

A literature review is required for each project. Starting references
from the relevant academic literature may be provided by the
supervisor.

General Information

Course Code E_FIN_RPFIN
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. J.A.F. Schnitzler
Examiner dr. J.A.F. Schnitzler
Teaching Staff prof. dr. A.C.F. Vorst
dr. G. Tumer Alkan
dr. M. Millone MSc
dr. T. Artiga Gonzalez
dr. S.A. Borovkova

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group
Target audiences

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