FINS5581 Empirical Corporate Governance - 2021

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 3
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus and Online
Banking & Finance
The course outline is not available for current term. To view outlines from other year and/or terms visit the archives

1. Course Details

Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, all Term 3 courses will be delivered online until at least Friday 22nd October and all assessment will be online throughout the term. The University remains hopeful that the situation will improve to allow for some on-campus activities later in Term 3 such as lab, practical and studio classes. UNSW will continue to review the situation regularly and keep students updated. For further information on how your study may be affected this term, please see FAQs here. See tab 8. Policies and Support in this course outline for tips on online study and assessment.

Summary of Course

​FINS5581 is an elective for students in the PhD and MPhil programs. The course explores a number of empirical questions and statistical techniques from corporate finance, with application to topics in corporate governance. Topics covered include applications of agency theory and optimal contracting theory, an overview of internal and external corporate control mechanisms, and a survey of major methodological approaches used in this research area including their strengths and weaknesses. The primary topics to be covered are corporate boards of directors, executive incentives, and manifestations of poor governance. We will also discuss some of the major databases used for this type of research. The  topics to be covered are all in the lecturer’s area of expertise.

The course assumes a sound knowledge of the economic theory relating to the foundations of finance, including basic agency theory and financial contract theory. The course will emphasize both the major economic questions concerning the needs for and the effectiveness of these critical corporate governance mechanisms and to help researchers to create effective research designs necessary to produce compelling evidence of causal relationships.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​By the end of the course, you should be familiar with some of the classic research as well as some of the most cutting edge work in the field of corporate governance. You should also understand the major empirical approaches employed in this research area, and a good understanding of what makes for a strong research paper and to be well-equipped to undertake your own research studies. However, ultimately, the time and effort that each student devotes to the course will determine how much he or she learns.

This course will focus primarily on recent research over the last couple of years. We will explore key questions in corporate governance and their effects on corporate decision making. In the process of studying these topics, I will primarily emphasize the empirical predictions of theory, and the statistical methodology used in corporate finance and the strengths and weaknesses of the existing statistical evidence.

This is a Postgraduate (PhD) course. Participants should have a strong interest in corporate finance. Students will find many of the econometric techniques covered in Research Method in Finance 1 and 2 very useful in undertaking their research projects and they should be prepared to use these techniques. In addition, students should have a solid background in the microeconomic theory of the firm.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeProfRon MasulisRoom: 354, Business School building - Ref E12+61 2 9385 5860Wednesday 3:30-4:30 pm (or by appointment)

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​The teaching and learning approach adopted emphasises the importance of developing critical thinking and analytical skills. This is achieved through a mix of lectures, class presentations and discussions, and a research paper.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​Weekly Class Activities:

In order to obtain the full benefit from the course, students should:

1. Read the assigned reading for each class and be prepared to ask critical questions and to answer specific questions about the readings.

2. Attend all seminar classes and arrive on time.

3. Sign up to present two Powerpoint critiques of assigned readings.

4. Actively participate in class: Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the assigned readings, Answer questions posed by the instructor, and ask questions about the readings and critically assess arguments made in class by the instructor and your classmates. Be positive and constructive in your criticisms of the readings and in class discussions.

5. If issues are still not clear, first ask your classmates, then ask me, send me a mail, or come to my office during the consultation hours.

The rationale for the above requirements and suggestions is to achieve the learning outcomes specified in Section 2.4. The design of the course presupposes that students are interested in the topics and will endeavour to learn the material presented. Lectures and class discussions and presentations are all aimed to facilitate your learning. However, ultimately, the time and effort each student devotes to the course will determine how much he or she learns from it.

The first four classes will be primarily in a lecture format with class discussions.

During the remaining 3-hour class sessions, a few minutes at the start of class will be devoted to a short discussion of the topics based on survey paper and methodology readings followed by student presentations and discussions of assigned readings. The early lectures are intended to establish an analytical framework for investigating major corporate governance mechanisms. The lecturer will focus on the most challenging concepts and students are encouraged to engage in a dialogue to facilitate better understandings of the materials. The lecturer will also highlight examples of effective writing in the assigned readings.

The remaining six classes will generally be composed of student presentations and class discussions of the research articles and should focus on key issues in the assigned readings with emphasis on the basic findings and the limitations of the paper in terms of data sources and documentation, statistical methodology, analytical rigor of the economic arguments, contribution to the literature, the paper's organization and writing effectiveness. These discussions will help students develop both an understanding of the theoretical underpinning of the literature and a familiarity with how these theories are evaluated empirically.

There will be two added lectures on Corporate Governance and the Environment which will be covered in weeks 6 and 7 in the Finance Research in Practice course.

Beyond the classroom:

You are expected to complete the required readings indicated by an * before the class and be prepared for class discussions and presentations and to complete a research paper by the end of the semester. Outside the class, students are encouraged to form study groups to engage in interactive critical discussions of the assigned research articles. Students are also expected to attend the weekly finance seminars and brown bag workshops when the topics are in the corporate finance/governance area.

You are encouraged to fully utilise the available consultation hours to best prepare for the assignments. For the assignments, I will provide extra assistance in terms of suggesting further readings and discussing issues related to your presentations and research paper due at the end of the semester. You can also request feedback on your preliminary research paper topic.

5. Course Resources

​All required readings, and information on assessments can be found on the subject web page (See Moodle below). Students are strongly advised to log into the subject web page at least once a week. Additional readings: Other academic reference papers will be listed on Moodle. They are available in full-text format (pdf files) from the library. The easiest way to find them is to (1) or (2) the faculty member’s personal or university webpage.

Course Outline – required and recommended readings

* Denotes required readings

** Denotes required literature surveys

Background Reading Prior to First Class

*Shleifer, A. and W. Vishny, 1997, A Survey of Corporate Governance, Journal of Finance 52, 737-783.

Becht, M., P. Bolton and A. Roell, 2003, Corporate Governance and Control in The Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Volume 1A, Corporate Finance (eds.) G. Constantinides, M. Harris and R. Stultz, North-Holland.

Black, B., A. G. de Carvalho, V. Khanna, W. Kim and B. Yurtoglu, 2020, Which Aspects of Corporate Governance Do and Do Not Matter in Emerging Markets, Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting, 5(1), 137–177.  

Jiang, F. and K. Kim, 2020, Corporate Governance in China. A Survey. Review of Finance, 733–772

Lehmann, E. and S. Vismara, 2020, Corporate Governance in IPO firms. Annals of Corporate Governance, 5(1), 1–100.  

Guest, P. M. and M. Nerino, 2020, Do Corporate Governance Ratings Change Investor Expectations? Evidence from Announcements by Institutional Shareholder Services, Review of Finance, 24(4), 891–928.  

Introduction to Corporate Governance (1 week)

Fama, E. 1980. Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm, Journal of Political Economy 88(2): 288-307.

*Fama, E., and M. Jensen, 1983, Separation of Ownership and Control, Journal of Law and Economics 26, 301-325.  

Hellwig, M., 2009, A Reconsideration of the Jensen-Meckling Model of Outside Finance, Journal of Financial Intermediation 18, 495-525.

*Jensen, M. and W. Meckling, 1976, Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs, and Ownership Structure, Journal of Financial Economics 3(4): 305-60.

*Jensen, M., 1986, Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers, American Economic Review 323-329.

*Klein, B. and K. Leffler, 1981, The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance, Journal of Political Economy 89:4, 615-641.

Demsetz, H. (1983) "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics.

Methodological Approaches in Corporate Governance I – Endogeneity & Natural Experiments (1 week)

*Atanasov, V. and B. Black, 2016, Shock-Based Causal Inference in Corporate Finance and Accounting Research, Critical Finance Review, 5: 207–304

*Roberts, M. and T. Whited, 2013, Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 493-572.

*Donelson, D., L. Kettell, J. McInnis and S. Toynbee, 2021, The Need to Validate Exogenous Shocks: Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Universal Demand Laws and Firm Behavior, forthcoming Journal of Accounting and Economics.

Berg, T. and D. Streitz, 2019, Handling Spillover Effects in Empirical Research, SSRN working paper.  

Athey, S. and G. Imbens, 2017, The State of Applied Econometrics: Causality and Policy Evaluation, Journal of Economic Perspectives 31(2), 3-32.

Bartlett, R. and F. Partnoy, 2020, The Misuse of Tobin's Q, Vanderbilt Law Review, 73 (2), 353-372.

Crane, A., A. Koch, 2018, Shareholder Litigation and Ownership Structure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment, Management Science 64 (1), 5–23.

Ellul, A. I. Erel and U. Rajan, 2021, The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis and Corporate Finance, Review of Corporate Financial Studies, 9(3), 421–429.

Methodological Approaches in Corp. Governance II – Matching Methods, DID Regressions (1 week)

*Atanasov, V. and B. Black, 2020, The Trouble with Instruments: The Need for Pre-treatment

Balance in Shock-Based Instrumental Variable Designs, Management Science, 67(2), 1270–1302.

*Bertrand, M. and S. Mullainathan, 2003, Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences, Journal of Political Economy, 111, 1043-1075.

Bertrand, M. and E. Duflo and S. Mullainathan, 2004, How Much Should We Trust Differences–in-Differences Estimates? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 249-275.

*Chaney, T., D. Sraer and D. Thesmar, 2012, The Collateral Channel: How Real Estate Shocks Affect Corporate Investment, American Economic Review, 102, 2381-2409.

*Gormley, T. and D. Matsa, 2014, Common Errors: How to (and Not to) Control for Unobservable Heterogeneity, Review of Financial Studies, 27(2), 617-661.

Karpoff, J. and M. Wittry, 2018, Institutional & Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Anti-Takeover Laws, Journal of Finance, 73(2), 657-714.

*Petersen, M., 2009, Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches, Review of Financial Studies, 22(1), 434-480.

*Roberts, M. and T. Whited, 2013, Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 493-572.

Sojli, E., W. Tham and W. Wang, 2021, Time-varying Group Unobserved Heterogeneity in Finance, UNSW working paper.

Grieser, W. and C. Hadlock, 2019, Panel-Data Estimation in Finance: Testable Assumptions and Parameter (In)Consistency, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 54, 1-29.

Methodological Approaches in Corporate Governance III – Panel Regressions & DDR (1 week)

*Appel, I., T. Gormley and D. Keim, 2020, Identification Using Russell 1000/2000 Index Assignments: A Discussion of Methodologies, Critical Finance Review, Forthcoming.

Bakke, T. and T. Whited, 2012, Threshold Events and Identification: A Study of Cash Shortfalls, Journal of Finance 67(3), 1083–1111.

Bena, J. and T. Xu, 2013, Competition and Ownership Structures of Closely-Held Firms, Review of Financial Studies, 30(5), 1583-1626.

*Chemmanur, T. and X. Tian, 2018, Do Antitakeover Provisions Spur Corporate Innovation? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 53(3), 1163-1194.

Colak, G. and T. Whited, 2007, Spin-offs, Divestitures and Conglomerate Investment, Review of Financial Studies, 20, 557-595.

*Crane, A., S. Michenaud and J. Weston, 2016, The Effect of Institutional Ownership on Payout Policy: A Regression Discontinuity Design Approach, Review of Financial Studies, 29 (6), 1377-1408.

*Cunat, V., M. Guadalupe and M. Gine, 2012, The Vote Is Cast: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Shareholder Value, Journal of Finance, 67(5), 1943-1977.

Kwan, A., R. Masulis and T. McInish, 2015, Trading Rules, Competition for Order Flow and Market Fragmentation, Journal of Financial Economics, 115, 330-48.

*Roberts, M. and T. Whited, 2013, Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 493-572 (sections on Matching and DDR).

CEO and Managerial Incentives (1 week)

**Edmans, A. and X. Gabaix, 2016, Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer, Journal of Economic Literature, 54(4), 1232-1287.

Murphy, K., 2013, Executive Compensation: Where We Are and How We Got There, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 211-356.

Edmans, A., X. Gabaix and D. Jenter, 2017, Executive Compensation: A Survey of Theory and Evidence, Chapter 7 in Benjamin E. Hermalin and Michael S. Weisbach (eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, Elsevier: Amsterdam, 383-539,

Hermalin, H. and M. Weisbach, Assessing Managerial Ability: Implications for Corporate Governance, Chapter 3 of The Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, coedited with B. Hermalin and M. Weisbach, 2017, Elsevier Publishers.

Graham, J., C. Harvey, M. Puri, 2013, Managerial attitudes and corporate actions, Journal of Financial Economics, 109, 103-121.

Edmans, A., T. Gosling and D. Jenter, 2021, CEO Compensation: Evidence from the Field, ECGI Working Paper.

Karpoff, J. M. and Q. Dupont, 2020. The Trust Triangle: Laws, Reputation, and Culture in Empirical Finance Research (with Quentin Dupont), Journal of Business Ethics 163, 217–238.

Decaire, P. and D. Sosyura, 2021, CEO Pet Projects, ASU Working Paper.

Jenter, Dirk and Katharina Lewellen, 2021. Performance-Induced CEO Turnover, Review of Financial Studies 34, 569 – 617 (lead article)

Bennedsen, M., M. Tsoutsoura and D. Wolfenzon, 2021, Talent Gap in Family Firms, SSRN Working Paper.

Juan-Pedro Gómez and Maxim Mironov, 2021, COVID-19 and the value of CEOs: The unintended effect of soccer games across European stocks, IE University Working Paper.

Lei, Z., D. Petmezas, R. Rau, and C. Yang, 2021, Local boy does good: CEO birthplace identity and corporate social responsibility, King’s College London Working Paper

Duchin, R. and D. Sosyura, 2021, Remotely Productive: The Economics of Long Distance CEOs, Boston College Working Paper.

Fan, J., Q. Gu and X. Yu, 2021, Collectivist Cultures and the Emergence of Family Firms, Journal of Law and Economics, forthcoming.

Edmans, A., L. Li and C. Zhang, 2021, Employee Satisfaction, Labor Market Flexibility, and Stock Returns Around the World, London Business School Working Paper.  

Cziraki, P., D. Jenter, 2021, The Market for CEOs, CESifo Working Paper.  

Daniel, N., W. Ghazni and L. Naveen, 2021, Dollars at Risk and Overconfidence, Drexel University Working Paper.  

Corporate Ownership Structure (1 week)

**Dasgupta, A. V. Fos and Z. Sautner, 2020, Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance, ECGI Working Paper.

Bebchuk, L. and R. Tallarita, 2020,  The Illusory Promise of Stakeholder Governance, Cornell Law Review, 106, 91-178.

Lewellen, Jonathan and Katharina Lewellen, 2021. Institutional investors and corporate governance: the incentive to be engaged, Journal of Finance, forthcoming.  

Chen, T., H. Dong and C. Lin, 2020, Institutional Shareholders and Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Financial Economics, 135(2), 483–504.  

Lewellen, Katharina and Michelle Lowry, 2021. Does common ownership really increase firm coordination? Journal of Financial Economic, 141(1), 322-344.

Liu, X., 2021, Real Effect of Bank's Block-holding on Firm's Market Power, City University HK Working Paper.

Li, S.Z., E. Maug and M. Schwartz-Ziv, 2021, When Shareholders Disagree: Trading after Shareholder Meetings, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Bai, C.-E. C.-T. Hsieh, Z. Song and X. Wang, 2021, Special Deals from Special Investors: The Rise of State-Connected Private Owners in China, Tsinghua University Working Paper.

Fan, J., and W. Leung, 2020, The impact of ownership transferability on family firm governance and performance: The case of family trusts, Journal of Corporate Finance, 61, 101409.

Fos, V. and C. Holderness, 2021, The Distribution of Voting Rights to Shareholders, ECGI Working Paper.

Bena, J. and I. Wang, 2021, Mutual Fund Disagreement and Firm Value: Passive vs. Active Voice, UBC Working Paper.  

Aminadav, G. and E. Papaioannou, 2020, Corporate Control around the World, Journal of Finance 75 (3), 1191-1246.

Burkart, M., S. Lee and H. Petri, 2021, The Role of Debt in the Market for Corporate Control: A Theory of LBO Financing, London School of Economics Working Paper.

Corporate Boards of Directors (2 weeks)

**Hermalin, B.E., and M.S. Weisbach, 2003. Boards of Directors as an Endogenously Determined Institution: A Survey of the Economic Literature, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review 9(1), 7–26.

**Masulis, R., 2020, A Survey of Recent Evidence on Boards of Directors and CEO Incentives, Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies 49, 7-35.  

**Adams, R., B. Hermalen and M. Weisbach, 2010, The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey, Journal of Economic Literature, 48(1), 58-107.

Adams, R., 2017, Boards and the Directors Who Sit on Them, in The Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, coedited with B. Hermalin and M. Weisbach, 2017, Elsevier Publishers.

Nili, Y., 2020, The Fallacy of Director Independence, Wisconsin Law Review 491.

Ewens, M. and N. Malenko, 2021, Board Dynamics over the Startup Life Cycle, University of Michigan Working Paper.

Eckbo, B. Espen. Knut Nygaard and Karin S. Thorburn, 2021, Valuation Effects of Norway’s Board Gender-Quota Revisited, Management Science, forthcoming.

Chen, S.-S., Y.-S.Chen, J.-K. Kang and S.-C. Peng, 2020, Board Structure, Director Expertise and Advisory Role of Outside Directors, Journal of Financial Economics 138, 483-503.

Geng, H., H. Hau, R. Michaely and B. Nguyen, 2021, The Effect of Board Overlap on Firm Behavior, University of Hong Kong Working Paper.

Bebchuk, L., A. Brav, W. Jiang and T. Keusch, 2020, Dancing with Activists, Journal of Financial Economics 137,     1--41.

Fich, E., J.  Harford and A. Tran, 2021, Disloyal managers and shareholders’ wealth, University of Washington Working Paper.

Kuzmina, O. and V. Melentyeva, 2021, Gender diversity in corporate boards: Evidence from quota-implied discontinuities, New School of Economics Working Paper.

Ding, W., C. Lin, T. Schmid and M. Weisbach, 2021, Risk perceptions, board networks, and directors’ monitoring, Ohio State Working Paper

Giannetti, M. and T. Wang, 2021, Public Attention to Gender Equality and the Demand for Female Directors, ECGI Working Paper.

Cai, J., T. Nguyen and R. Walkling, 2021, Director Appointments: It Is Who You Know, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Gopalan, R., T. Gormley and A. Kalda, 2021, It’s Not So Bad: Director Bankruptcy Experience and

Corporate Risk-Taking, Journal of Financial Economics, Forthcoming.

Naaraayanan, L. and K. Nielsen, 2021, Does personal liability deter individuals from serving as independent directors? Journal of Financial Economics 140, 621-643.

Anti-Takeover Provisions and M&A (1 week)

**Eckbo, E., A. Malenko and K. Thorburn, 2020, Strategic Decisions in Takeover Auctions: Recent Developments, Annual Review of Financial Economics 12:237–76.

Nili, Y. and Kastiel, 2021, The Corporate Governance Gap, Yale Law Journal, forthcoming.

Cuñat, V., M. Gine, and M. Guadalupe. 2020. Price and probability: Decomposing the takeover effects of anti-takeover provisions. Journal of Finance 75 (3), 2591–2629.

Chen, Y., J.-K. Kang, J. Kim, and H. Na, 2020, Ownership structure, antitakeover provisions, and the cost of debt, SSRN Working Paper.

Catan, E. and M. Klausner, 2018, Board declassification and firm value: Have shareholders and boards really destroyed billions in value? NYU working paper.

Chemmanur, T., M. Gupta and K. Simonyan, 2021, How Does Private Firm Innovation Affect Anti-Takeover Provisions in Corporate Charters? Evidence from Firms Going Public.

Chen, I-J., P.-H. Hsu and Y. Wang, 2021, Staggered Boards and Brand Innovations: Evidence from Massachusetts State Bill HB 5640, National Taiwan University Working Paper.

Hertzel, M. and H. Zhao, 2019, Why Do Baords Let Their CEOs Take Outside Directorships? Entrenchment and Embeddedness, Arizona State Working Paper.

Corporations and Political Connections (1 week)

Knill, A., B. Liu, and J. McConnell, 2020, Media Partisanship and Fundamental Corporate Decisions, Purdue University working paper  

Bertrand, M., M. Bombardini, R. Fisman, F. Trebbi, and E. Yegen, 2021, Investing in Influence: Investors, portfolio firms, and political giving, NBER Working Paper.

Mkrtchyan, A., A., J. Sandvik, and V. Zhu, 2021, CEO Activism and Firm Value, University of Calgary Working Paper.

Sheng, J., Z. Sun and W. Wang, 2021, Partisan Return Gap: The Polarized Stock Market in the Time of a Pandemic, University of California Irvine Working Paper.  

Lauren H. Cohen and Bo Li, 2021, The Political Economy of Anti-Bribery Enforcement, Harvard business School Working Paper.

Fotak, V., H. Lee, W. Megginson and J. Salas, 2021, Selling Indulgencies: The Political Economy of Tariff Exemption Grants, University of Oklahoma Working Paper.

Sarkar, A., 2021, Firm Boundaries and Political Uncertainty: Evidence from State Elections in India, HKUST Working Paper.

Kaviani, M., H. Maleki and P. Savor, 2021, Reaching for Influence: Do Banks Use Loans to Establish Political Connections, University of Delaware Working Paper.

Tang, D., J. Yan and C. Yao, 2021, The Determinants of ESG Ratings: Rater Ownership Matters, University of Hong Kong Working Paper.

Corporate Governance and the Environment (2 extra classes – weeks 7&8)

**De Haas, R. and A. Popov, 2021, Finance and Green Growth. European Central Bank working paper.

Berg, F., J. Koelbel and R. Rigobon, 2019, Aggregate Confusion: The Divergence of ESG ratings. MIT Working Paper.

Shive, S., and M. Forster, 2020, Corporate governance and pollution externalities of public and private firms. The Review of Financial Studies, 33(3), 1296-1330.

Zhi, W., 2021, Will Nature-Loving CEOs Make the World Greener? Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Working Paper.

Naaraayanan, S., K. Sachdeva and V. Sharma, 2020, The real effects of environmental activist investing, SSRN Working Paper 3483692.

Akey, P., and I. Appel, 2019, Environmental Externalities of Activism. SSRN Working Paper 3508808.

Flammer, C., 2021, Corporate Green Bonds. Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

Shi, Y., J. Wu and Y. Zhang, 2021, Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chain: Green or Greenwashing? Working Paper

Agarwal, S., K. Chan, R. Xie and N. Xu, 2021, Are executives more socially responsible when raised with siblings? Evidence from Chinese family firms, NUS Working Paper.

Kaviani, M., L. Li and H. Maleki, 2021, Conservative TV and Corporate Social Responsibility, University of Delaware Working Paper.

Brandon, R., S. Glossner, P. Krueger, P. Matos and T. Steffen, 2021, Do Responsible Investors Invest Responsibly? University of Virginia Working Paper.

Mesonnier J.-S. and B. Nguyen, 2021, Showing Off Cleaner Hands: Mandatory Climate-Related Disclosure by Financial Institutions and the Financing of Fossil Energy, Banque of France Working Paper.

Bolton, P. and M. Kasperczyk, 2021, Singling Through Carbon Disclosure, Imperial College Working Paper.

Ilhan, E. P. Krueger, Z. Sautner and L. Starks, 2021, Climate Risk Disclosure ad Institutional Investors, Frankfurt School Working Paper.

Dyck, A., K. Lins, L. Roth, M. Towner and H. Wagner, 2020, Renewable Governance: Good for the Environment? SSRN working paper.

Li, F., C. Lin and T.C. Lin, 2021, Climate Vulnerability and Corporate Innovation: International Evidence, University of Hong Kong Working Paper.

Corporate Financial Fraud and Litigation

Karpoff, J., A. Koester, D.S. Lee and G. Martin, 2017, Proxies and Databases in Financial Misconduct Research, The Accounting Review, 92(6), 129-163.

Yang, J., Y. Yu and L. Zheng, 2021, The Impact of Shareholder Litigation Risk on Equity Incentives, Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment, Accounting Review, forthcoming.

Karpoff, J. 2021, The Future of Financial Fraud, Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming.

Alawadhi, A., J. Karpoff, J. Koski and G. Martin, 2020, The Prevalence and Costs of Financial Misrepresentation, SSRN Working Paper.  

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

The current course format is influenced by versions of this course taught in previous years. In previous years, negative comments generally related to wanting more time on specific topic areas.

Positive comments on developing critical thinking and developing research paper topics.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 13 SeptemberLecture

Overview of Corporate Governance Mechanisms and Agency Theory

Class Participation

Week 2: 20 SeptemberLecture

Endogeneity & Natural Experiments

Class Discussion

Week 3: 27 SeptemberLecture

Matching Methods & Diff-in-Diff

Class Discussion

Week 4: 04 OctoberLecture

Panel Regression & Discontinuity Design Regression (DDR)


Class Discussion HW Assignment

Week 5: 11 OctoberLecture

CEO Incentives



Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 6: 18 OctoberCritiques of Articles

Corporation Ownership Structure


Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 7: 25 OctoberCritiques of Articles

Boards of Directors I

Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 8: 01 NovemberLecture

Boards of Directors - II





Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 9: 8 NovemberCritiques of Articles

Market for Corporate Control

Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 10: 15 NovemberCritiques of Articles

Corporations and Political Connections

Presentations/ Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 11: 13 September I-LabiLab: Practice Accessing Databases

Corporate Governance Databases

Class Participation & Practice Assignment

Week 12: 20 September I-LabiLab: Practice Accessing Databases

Corporate Governance Databases (continued)

Class Participation & Practice Assignment

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School program learning outcomes, academic integrity, student responsibilities and student support services. For information regarding special consideration and viewing final exam scripts, please go to the key policies and support page.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  For PG Research PLOs, including Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies, please refer to the UNSW HDR Learning Outcomes

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Services team.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload

Attendance and Engagement

Your regular attendance and active engagement in all scheduled classes and online learning activities is expected in this course. Failure to attend / engage in assessment tasks that are integrated into learning activities (e.g. class discussion, presentations) will be reflected in the marks for these assessable activities. The Business School may refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g. tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.). If you are not able to regularly attend classes, you should consult the relevant Course Authority.

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Learning Support Tools
Business School provides support a wide range of free resources and services to help students in-class and out-of-class, as well as online. These include:

  • Academic Communication Essentials – A range of academic communication workshops, modules and resources to assist you in developing your academic communication skills.
  • Learning consultations – Meet learning consultants who have expertise in business studies, literacy, numeracy and statistics, writing, referencing, and researching at university level.
  • PASS classes – Study sessions facilitated by students who have previously and successfully completed the course.
  • Educational Resource Access Scheme – To support the inclusion and success of students from equity groups enrolled at UNSW Sydney in first year undergraduate Business programs.

The Nucleus - Business School Student Services team
The Nucleus Student Services team provides advice and direction on all aspects of enrolment and graduation. Level 2, Main Library, Kensington 02 8936 7005 /

Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee strives to ensure that every student is empowered to have equal access to education. The Business School provides a vibrant, safe, and equitable environment for education, research, and engagement that embraces diversity and treats all people with dignity and respect.

UNSW Academic Skills
Resources and support – including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources – to help you develop and refine your academic skills. See their website for details.

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9065 9444

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Support for Studying Online

The Business School and UNSW provide a wide range of tools, support and advice to help students achieve their online learning goals. 

The UNSW Guide to Online Study page provides guidance for students on how to make the most of online study.

We recognise that completing quizzes and exams online can be challenging for a number of reasons, including the possibility of technical glitches or lack of reliable internet. We recommend you review the Online Exam Preparation Checklist of things to prepare when sitting an online exam.