FIN41330 Empirical Corporate Finance

Academic Year 2022/2023

This course aims to bridge the gap between theoretical financial models and the real world by reviewing the major accomplishments (and failures) of empirical corporate finance during the last quarter of a century. More broadly, the course will provide an accessible introduction to empirical studies in finanical economics. Given the applied nature of the material, the course will focus on the empirical techniques used most often in the analysis of financial markets and how they are applied using actual market-based and financial statement data. Topics covered include agency theory and corporate governance, initial public offerings, venture capital, capital structure, M&A, and other forms of corporate restructuring.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this module, you will be able to:
1) Evaluate, summarise and discuss the research contributions and findings of top journal academic papers in empirical finance;
2) Work in teams to manipulate large datasets, and develop econometric models using a statistical package (e.g., Stata) to test hypotheses and theories;
3) Demonstrate sound critical, analytical, and presentation skills, discuss and write-up your own research results in academic paper format;
4) Analyse and model empirically slected investment strategies and investment/financing choices, and evaluate the ex-post performance and impact on investors and other key stakeholders.

Indicative Module Content:

Content is subject to change, but the following key topics are typically covered?

1. Review of key theories and empirical evidence on agency theory
2. IPO background and theory
3. Takeovers around the world and information asymmetry
4. Governance and firm value
5. Predicting events and returns - IPO failure and takeovers
6. Venture capital and firm performance
7. Dynamic modeling applied to capital structure
8. Corporate cash holdings

Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Class Test: Final In-Class Test Week 12 n/a Graded No


Class Test: Mid-Session Class Test Week 7 n/a Graded No


Project: Project (Empirical Paper) Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students can inspect in-class exams post assessment. Post exam feedback is also provided in the lecture and a document uploaded to Brightspace so students can evaluate and improve future exam performance. Projects will be returned by email with a cover sheet showing how the group performed. The project will also be returned with tracked comments and changes.

Name Role
Ms Jiaman Xu Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Yang Zhao Tutor
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 13:00 - 14:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 15:30 - 17:20

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