Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt Graduate School of Business

Empirical Methods in Accounting and Finance

Prof. Dr. Joachim Gassen, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Summer Term, Tu, 18-20, 2011

Room: Room 23, SPA 1

Course Administrator: Joachim Gassen, gassen{at}


This 6 ECTS credit course is part of the second year elective program of the BDPEMS and of the finance specialization of the HGSB. It is also a recommended elective for accounting students.


This course aims at equipping students with the skill-set to design and conduct empirical studies based on observational (archival) data in the fields of accounting and finance. After successful completion of the course students should
  • understand the fundamentals and common pitfalls of quasi-experimental research design,
  • be familiar with matching mechanisms, instrumental variable and panel data approaches which help with causal inference,
  • be aware of limitations of these research designs,
  • and, using the statistical software packages STATA and/or SAS, have gathered experiences in designing and conducting large-scale research projects.


The course consists of a combination of lectures, practical exercises, and student presentations of homework assignments. Lectures will be based on the relevant literature and on seminal as well as recent journal articles. Participants are responsible for reading the as-signed materials before class and to hand in the homework assignments on time. The homework assignments will be group-based.


The syllabus can be downloaded here.