FINS5581 Empirical Corporate Governance - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus
Banking & Finance

1. Course Details

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 bulding - Ref E12+61 2 9385 5860Monday 1-2 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. Actively participate in class: Answer questions posed by the instructor, and ask your own questions.
  4. 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 suggestions and requirements is following these points is necessary 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.

During a typical 3-hour session, the first half of class will be devoted to covering the lecture material, which will be primarily based on survey paper readings and student presentations and discussions of assigned readings. These 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 second half of the class will generally involve student presentations and discussions of the research articles on key issues raised during lectures, prior class discussions and assigned readings. These will help students develop both an understanding of the theoretical underpinning of the literature and a familiarity with how these theories are evaluated empirically.

Beyond the classroom:

You are required to do the required readings as well as preparing for class discussions and presentations and completing a research paper. 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.

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. Suggesting further readings and discussing issues related to your presentations and research paper.

5. Course Resources

​ All required readings, 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: Additional academic references 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.

*Cochrane, J., 2014, Writing Tips for PhD Students, University of Chicago note.

McCloskey, D., 1985, Economical Writing, Economic Inquiry 24, 187-222.

Research Strategies & Corporate Finance Paradigms

*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.

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

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.

*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- .

Methodological Approaches in Corp. Governance I – Endogeneity & Natural Experiments

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

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

Atanasov, V. and B. Black, 2017, The Trouble with Instruments: Re-examining Shock-based IV Design, SSRN working paper.

*Karpoff, J. and M. Wittry, 2017, Institutional & Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Anti-Takeover Laws, Journal of Finance, forthcoming.

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

Li, K. and N. Prabhala, 2006, Self-Selection Models in Corporate Finance, Chapter 2 in Handbook of Corporate Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance (Elsevier/North Holland) B. Espen Eckbo, editor.

*Handout on Corporate Governance Data Sources

Methodological Approaches in Corp. Governance II – Matching Methods & DID

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

*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.

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

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

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

Karpoff, J., A. Koester, D.S. Lee and G. Martin, 2017, Proxies and Databases in Financial Misconduct Research, The Accounting Review, forthcoming.

Methodological Approaches in Corporate Governance III – DDR

*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).

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

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

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

*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.

Chang, Y., H. Hong, E. Liskovich, 2015, Regression Discontinuity and the Price Effects of Stock Market Indexing, Review of Financial Studies 28(1), 213-246.

Chemmanur, T. and X. Tian, 2017, Do Antitakeover Provisions Spur Corporate Innovation? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming.

*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.

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

Corporate Decisions & Boards of Directors

**Hermalin, Benjamin E., and Michael 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.

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, Renee, 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.

Masulis, R., C. Wang, and F. Xie and S. Zhang, January 2017, Older and Wiser or Too Old to Govern? UNSW working paper.

Knyazeva, A., D. Knyazeva and R. Masulis, 2013, The Supply of Corporate Directors and Board Independence, Review of Financial Studies 26: 1561-1605.

Guo, L. and R. Masulis, 2015, Board Structure and Monitoring: New Evidence from CEO Turnovers, Review of Financial Studies 28 (10), 2770-2811.

Masulis, R. and E. J. Zhang, July 2017, How Valuable Are Independent Directors? Evidence from External Distractions, UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, February 2018, Independent Director Reputation Incentives: CEO Compensation Contracting and Financial Reporting, UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Reza, 2015, Agency Problems of Corporate Philanthropy, Review of Financial Studies, 28:2, 592-636.

Masulis, R. and S. Reza, January 2018, Private Benefits and Corporate Investments: The Case of Corporate Philanthropy, SSRN working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, 2014, Independent Director Incentives: Where Do Talented Directors Spend their Time and Energy? Journal of Financial Economics 111, 406-429.

Masulis, R., C. Wang and F. Xie, 2012, Globalizing the Boardroom - The Effects of Foreign Directors on Corporate Governance and Firm Performance, Journal of Accounting and Economics 53:3, 527-554.

Banerjee, S. and R. Masulis, January 2018, Ownership, Investment and Governance: The Costs and Benefits of Dual Class Shares, UNSW working paper.

Banerjee, S., R. Masulis and A. Upadhyay, February 2018, Mitigating Effects of Gender Diverse Board in Companies with Aggressive Management, UNSW working paper.

*Coles, J., N. Daniel, and L. Naveen, 2008, Boards: Does One Size Fit All? Journal of Financial Economics 87, 329-356.

*Hwang, B. and S. Kim, 2009, It Pays to Have Friends, Journal of Financial Economics 93, 138-158.

*Duchin, R., J. Matsusaka and O. Ozbas, 2010, When Are Outside Directors Effective? Journal of Financial Economics 96, 195-214.

*Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, 2011, Are All Inside Directors the Same? Evidence from the External Directorship Market, Journal of Finance 66:3, 823-872.

*Coles, J., N. Daniel, and L. Naveen, 2014, Co-opted Boards, Review of Financial Studies 27(6), 1751-1796.

Armstrong, C., J. Core and W. Guay, 2014, Do Independent Directors Cause Improvements in Firm Transparency, Journal of Financial Economics 113, 383-403.


Recent Research

Adams, R., A. Akyol and P. Verwijmeren, 2018, Director Skill Sets, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

*Aggarwal, R., S. Dahiya and N. Prabhala, 2018, The Power of Shareholder Votes: Evidence from Director Elections, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

*Andonov, A., Y. Hochberg, and J. Rauh, 2017, Political Representation and Governance: Evidence from the Investment Decisions of Public Pension Funds, Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Working Paper No. 226.

Appel, I., T. Gormley and D. Keim, 2016, Passive Investors, Not Passive Owners, Journal of Financial Economics, 121(1), 111-141

Armstrong, C., J. Core, and W. Guay, 2014. Do independent directors cause improvements in firm transparency?, Journal of Financial Economics 113, 383-403.

*Balsmeier, B., L. Fleming and G. Manso, 2017, Independent Boards and Innovation, Journal of Financial Economics 123, 536-557.

Bates, T., D. Becher and J. Wilson, May 2017, Performance-Based Turnover on Corporate Boards, ASU Working Paper.

Belot, F., E. Ginglinger, M. Slovin and M. Suishka, 2014, Freedom of Choice between Unitary and Two-Tier Boards; An Empirical Analysis, Journal of Financial Economics 112, 364-385.

Borokhovich, K., T. Boulton, K. Brunarski and Y. Harman, October 2014, The Incentives of Grey Directors: Evidence from Unexpected Executive and Board Chair Turnovers, Journal of Corporate Finance 28, 102-115.

Bouwman, C., 2011, Corporate Governance Propagation through Overlapping Directors, Review of Financial Studies 24:7, 2358-2394.

Brochet, F. and S. Srinivasan, 2014, Accountability of Independent Directors, Evidence from Firms Subject to Securities Litigation, Journal of Financial Economics 111, 430-449.

Burt, A., and C. Hrdlicka, 2017. Return Predictability Through Board Links, SSRN Working Paper.

*Cai, J., T. Nguyen, and R. Walkling, 2017, Director Appointments–It Is Who You Know, Drexel U. Working Paper.

Campello, M., D. Ferres, G. Ormazabal, 2017, Whistleblowers on the Board? The Role of Independent Directors in Cartel Prosecutions, SSRN working paper.

Celikyurt, U., M. Sevilir and A. Shivdasani, 2014, Venture Capitalists on Boards of Mature Public Firms, Review of Financial Studies 27(1), 56-101.

*Chen, K. and W. Guay, 2017, Busy Directors and Shareholder Satisfaction, SSRN Working paper.

Chen, M. and H. Mas, 2017, Lead Directors, Monitoring and Forced CEO Turnover, Georgia State working paper.

Chen, M., Q. Wu and E. Zhivotova, 2017, Director Reputation and Settling-Up. Evidence from Internal and External Labor Markets, Georgia State working paper.

Cohen, A. and C. Wang, 2013, How Doe Staggered Boards Affect Shareholder Value? Evidence from a Natural Experiment, Journal of Financial Economics 110, 627-641.

Coles, J., N. Daniel and L. Naveen, 2014, Board Advising, Arizona State working paper.

Cornelli, F., Z. Kominek, and A. Ljungqvist, 2013, Monitoring Managers: Does it Matter?, Journal of Finance, 68 (2), 431-481.

Cremers, K., L. Litov and S. Sepe, March 2016, Staggered Boards and Firm Value, Revisited, University of Notre Dame working paper.

Dass, N., O. Kini, V. Nanda, B. Onal and J. Wang, 2014, Board Expertise: Do Directors from Related Industries Help Bridge the Information Gap? Review of Financial Studies 27(5), 1533-1592.

Denis, D., D. Denis and M. Walker, 2015, CEO Assessment and the Structure of Newly Formed Boards, Review of Financial Studies 28, 3338-3366.

Eckbo, E., K. Nygaard and K. Thorburn, 2016, Does Gender-Balancing the Board Reduce Firm Value?, Dartmouth Working Paper.

Fahlenbrach, R., A. Low and R. Stulz, 2010, Why Do Firms Appoint CEOs as Outside Directors?, Journal of Financial Economics 97, 12-32.

Fahlenbrach, R., A. Low and R. Stulz, 2017, Do Independent Director Departures Predict Future Bad Events? Review of Financial Studies 30 (7), 2313-2358.

Falato, A., D. Kadyrzhanova and U. Lel, 2014, Distracted Directors: Does Board Busyness Hurt Shareholder Value?, Journal of Financial Economics 113(3), 404-426.

*Fauver, L., M. Hung, X. Li and A. Taboada, 2017, Board Reforms and Firm Value: Worldwide Evidence, Journal of Financial Economics 125, 120-142.

Ferreira, D., M. Ferreira and B. Mariano, 2017, Creditor Control Rights and Board Independence, Journal of Finance forthcoming.

Fisman, R., R. Khurana and M. Rhodes-Kropf, 2014, Governance and CEO Turnover: Do Something or Do the Right Thing? Management Science 60 (2), 319-337.

*Field, L. and A. Mkrtchyan, 2017, The Effect of Director Experience on Acquisition Performance, Journal of Financial Economics 123, 488-511.

*Field, L. and M. Lowry, 2017, Contrasts in Governance: Newly Public Firms Versus Mature Firms, SSRN Working Paper.

Fogel, K., L. Ma and R. Morck, January 2015, Powerful Independent Directors, NBER Working Paper No. 19809.

Fos, V., 2016, The disciplinary effects of proxy contests. Management Science, 63(3), 655-671.

Fos, V., K. Li, K and M. Tsoutsoura, 2017, Do Director Elections Matter? Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Fracassi, C. and G. Tate, 2012, External Networking and Internal Firm Governance, Journal of Finance 67, 153-194.

Francis, B., I. Hasan and Q. Wu, 2015, Professors in the Boardroom and their Impact on Corporate Governance and Firm Value, Financial Management 44(3), 547-581.

Houston, J., J. Lee and H. Shan, 2017, In search of board independence: Former employees, shades of gray and director classification, 2017 FIRS conference working paper.

Huang, Q., F. Jiang, E. Lie, K. Yang, 2014, The role of investment banker directors in M&A, Journal of Financial Economics 112, 269-286.

Giannetti, M., G. Liao and X. Yu, 2015, The Brain Gain of Corporate Boards: Evidence from China, Journal of Finance 70(4), 1629-1682.

Intintoli, V., K. Kahle and W. Zhao, January 2017, Is Good Advice Hard to Find? The Impact of Director Connectedness on Financing and Investment, U of Arizona Working Paper.

Jiang, W., H. Wan and S. Zhao, 2016, Reputation Concerns of independent Directors: Evidence from Individual Director Voting, Review of Financial Studies, 29 (3) 655-696.

Karpoff, J. and M. Wittry, February 2017, Institutional and Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Antitakeover Laws, University of Washington Working Paper.

*Khanna, E. H. Kim and Y. Lu, 2015, CEO Connectedness and Corporate Fraud, Journal of Finance 70(3), 1203-1252.

Kim, E. Han and Yao Lu, October 2015, Are Executive Suite Independence and Board Independence Interrelated? University of Michigan Working Paper.

Kim, S. and S. Oh, 2017, Board Diversity and Director Dissent in Corporate Boards, Working Paper.

Lamoreaux, P., L. Litov and L. Mauler, 2015, Lead Independent Directors: Good Governance or Window Dressing?, SSRN working paper.

Lee, J., K. Lee and J. Nagaragan, 2014, Birds of a Feather: Value Implications of Political Alignment between Top Management and Directors, Journal of Financial Economics 112, 232-250.

Levit, D. and N. Malenko, 2016, The Labor Market for Directors and Externalities in Corporate Governance, Journal of Finance 71(2), 775-808.

Li, F. and S. Srinivasan, 2011, Corporate governance when founders are directors, Journal of Financial Economics 102, 454-469.

Li, H., H. Ryan, L. Wang and B. Yang, 2013, Family Firms and Boards of Directors: Evidence from Board Tenure, Georgia State working paper.

Lie, Erik, and Keyang Daniel Yang, 2016. Board Independence, Corporate Spending, and Cash Holdings, Working Paper.

Lin, C., M. Officer, R. Wang and H. Zou, 2013, Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance and Loan Spreads, Journal of Financial Economics 110 (1), 37–60.

Lin, C., T. Schmid and Y. Sun, 2017, Conflict or collusion? How employees in the boardroom affect executive compensation, 2017 FIRS conference working paper.

Lu, Jun, and Wei Wang, 2017. Managerial Conservatism, Board Independence, and Corporate Innovation, Working Paper.

Malm, J. and S. Mobbs, 2016, Independent Directors and Corporate Litigation, University of Alabama Working Paper.

Muravyer, A., I. Berezinets and Y. Ilina, July 2014, The Structure of Corporate Boards and Private Benefits of Control: Evidence from the Russian Stock Exchange, International Review of Financial Analysis 34, 247-261.

Nguyen, B.D. and K. Nielsen, 2010, The Value of Independent Directors: Evidence from Sudden Deaths, Journal of Financial Economics 98, 550–567.

Ravina, E. and P. Sapienza, 2010, What Do Independent Directors Know? Evidence from Their Trading, Review of Financial Studies 23(3), 962-1003.

Re-Jin, J. Guo, Qian Sun, and Xiaoyu Zuo, 2017, Innovation Diffusion in Network of Corporate Boards, Working Paper.

*Schmidt, C. and R. Fahlenbrach, 2017, Do Exogenous Changes in Passive Institutional Ownership Affect Corporate Governance and Firm Value? Journal of Financial Economics 124, 285-306.

*Stern, L., I. Erel, C. Tan and M. Weisbach, 2017, Selecting Directors Using Machine Learning, SSRN working paper

*Wang, Sumingyue, 2017, Are Independent Directors with Industry Expertise More Informed? SSRN working paper.

Wang, Cong, Fei Xie, and Min Zhu, 2015, Industry Expertise of Independent Directors and Board Monitoring, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 50 (5), 929–962.

Yang, Dong Ryung, 2016. Waiting Out Storms in the Absence; Outside Directors' Selective Attendance at Board Meetings, CICF Working Paper.

Yang, T. and S. Zhao, 2014, CEO Duality and Firm Performance: Evidence from an Exogenous Shock to the Competitive Environment, Journal of Banking and Finance 49, 534-552.


Managers Incentives - Overview

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

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

*Edmans, A., X. Gabaix and D. Jenter, 2017, Executive Compensation: A Survey of Theory and Evidence, ECGI working paper.

*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.

Tervio, M., 2008, The Difference that CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach,” American Economic Review 98(3), 642-668.

Gabaix, X. and A. Landier, 2008, Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much? Quarterly Journal of Economics 123, 49-100.

Benabou, R. and J. Tirole, 2016, Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening and Multitasking, Journal of Political Economy, 124(2), 305-370.

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


Managers Incentives - Corporate Decisions & Risk-taking

*Dou, Y., R. Masulis and J. Zein, June 2017, Shareholder Wealth Consequence of Insider Pledging of Company Stock as Collateral for Personal Loans, UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Zhang, February 2017, What Drives Senior Executive Compensation Gaps, Tournament Incentives or Managerial Power?, UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, February 2018, Independent Director Reputation Incentives: CEO Compensation Contracts and Financial Accounting Quality, UNSW working paper.

Morck, R., A. Shleifer and R. Vishny, 1988, Managerial Ownership and Market Valuation: An Empirical Analysis, Journal of Financial Economics 20, 293-315.

Core, John E., Robert W. Holthausen, and David F. Larcker, 1999, Corporate governance, chief executive officer compensation, and firm performance, Journal of Financial Economics 51:3, 371-406

Bertrand, Marianne, and Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001, Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones without Principals Are, Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, 901-932.

Adams, R., H. Almeida and D. Ferreira, 2005, Powerful CEOs and Their Impact on Corporate Performance, Review of Financial Studies 18:4, 1403-1432.

Low, A., 2009, Managerial risk-taking behavior and equity-based compensation, Journal of Financial Economics 92, 470-490.

Benmelech, E., E. Kandel and P. Veronesi, 2010, Stock based compensation and CEO (Dis) Incentives, Quarterly Journal of Economics 125, 1769-1820.

Tchistyi, A., D. Yermack and H. Yun, 2011, Negative Hedging: Performance Sensitive Debt and CEOs’ Equity Incentives, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 46(3) 657-686.

*Wei, C. and D. Yermack, 2011, Investor Reactions to CEOs’ Inside Debt Incentives, Review of Financial Studies 24, 3813-3840.

Edmans, A. and X. Gabaix, 2011, Tractability in Incentive Contracting, Review of Financial Studies 24(9), 2865-2894.


Recent Research

Anton, M., F. Ederer, M. Gine, and M. Schmalz, 2017, Common Ownership, Competition, and Top Management Incentives, SSRN working paper.

*Armstrong, C., D. Larcker, G. Ormazabal, and D. Taylor, 2013, The relation between equity incentives and misreporting: The role of risk-taking incentives. Journal of Financial Economics, 109(2), 327-350.

Armstrong, C. J. Core and W. Guay, 2016, Why Do CEOs Hold So Much Unconstrained Equity? MIT Working Paper.

Babenko, I, B. Bennett, J. Bizjak and J. Coles, 2017, Clawback Provisions, Arizona State working paper.

Babenko, I. and R. Sen, 2016, Do Non-Executive Employees Have Information? Evidence from Employee Stock Purchase Plans, Management Science, 62 (7), 1878-1898.

*Bates, T., D. Becher and J. Wilson, 2017, Performance-Based Turnover on Corporate Boards, SSRN working paper

Benmelech, E. and C. Frydman, 2015, Military CEOs. Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 43-59.

Bereskin, F. And D. Cicero, 2013, CEO Compensation Contagion: Evidence from an Exogenous Shock, Journal of Financial Economics 107(2), 477-493.

*Bernile, G., V. Bhagwat and R. Rau, 2017, What doesn't kill you will only make you more risk-loving: early-life disasters and CEO behaviour, Journal of Finance 72(1), 167–206

Bettis, C., J. Bizjak, J. Coles and S. Kalpathy, 2016, Performance-Vesting Provisions in Executive Compensation, Arizona State working paper.

Bettis, C., J. Bizjak and S. Kalpathy, 2015, Why Do Insiders Hedge their Ownership? An Empirical Examination, Financial Management, 44(3), 655-683.

*Bizjak, J., S. Kalpathy, and V. Mihov, January 2018, Performance Contingencies in CEO Equity Awards and Debt Contracting, working paper, Texas Christian University.

Butler, A. and U. Gurun, 2012, Educational Networks, Mutual Fund Voting Patterns, and CEO Compensation, Review of Financial Studies, 25(8), 2533-2562.

*Chu, J., J. Faasse and R. Rau, 2018, Do compensation consultants enable higher CEO pay? A disclosure rule change as a separating device, Management Science forthcoming

Coles, J., Z. Li and Y. Wang, 2017, Industry Tournament Incentives, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Coles, J., and Z. Li, 2013, Managerial Attributes, Incentives, and Performance, Arizona State working paper.

Cornaggia, J., K. Cornaggia and H. Xia, 2016, Revolving Doors on Wall Street, Journal of Financial Economics 120(2), 400-419.

Cronqvist, H., A. Makhija, S. Yonker, 2012, Behavioral consistency in corporate finance: CEO personal and corporate leverage. Journal of Financial Economics 103, 20-40.

Cunat, V., M. Gine and M. Guadalupe, 2015, Say Pays! Shareholder Voice and Firm Performance, Review of Finance 1-36.

Custódio, C., M. Ferreira, P. Matos, 2013, Generalists versus specialists: Lifetime work experience and chief executive officer pay, Journal of Financial Economics 108, 471-492.

*Dasgupta, S., A. Wang and X. Li, 2017, Product Market Competition Shocks, Firm Performance, and Forced CEO Turnover, Review of Financial Studies forthcoming.

**Davidson, R., A. Dey, A., Smith, 2015, Executives’ “off-the-job” behavior, corporate culture, and financial reporting risk, Journal of Financial Economics 117(1), 5-28.

Deng, X. and H. Gao, 2013, Nonmonetary Benefits, Quality of Life and Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 48(1), 197-218.

Edmans, A., V. Fong and K. Lewellen, 2017, Equity Vesting and Investment, Review of Financial Studies 30(7), 2229-2271.

*Edmans, A., V. Fang and A. Hung, 2017, The long-term consequences of short-term incentives, ECGI Working Paper.

*Edmans, A., P. Chaigneau and D. Gottlieb, 2018, Does Improved Information Improve Incentives? Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming.

*Edmans, A., L. Goncalves-Pinto, M. Groen-Xu, and Y. Wang, 2018, Strategic News Releases in Equity Vesting Months, Review of Financial Studies forthcoming.

Ellul, A., C. Wang and K. Zhang, 2016, Labor unemployment risk and CEO incentive compensation, University of Indiana working paper.

Engelberg, J., P. Gao and C. Parsons, 2013, The Price of a CEO Rolodex, Review of Financial Studies 26(1), 79-114.

**Falato, A., D. Li and T. Milbourn, 2015, Which Skills Matter in the Market for CEOs? Evidence from Pay for CEO Credentials, Management Science 61(12), 2845-2869.

Fee, C., C. Hadlock, J. Pierce, 2013, Managers with and without style: Evidence using exogenous variation, Review of Financial Studies 26, 567-601

*Focke, F., E. Maug, and A. Niessen-Ruenzi, 2017, The Impact of Firm Prestige on Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial Economics, 123(2): 313-336.

Gabaix, X., A. Landier and J. Sauvagnet, 2014, CEO Pay and Firm Size: An Update after the Crisis, The Economic Journal 124, 574 F40-F59.

Gillan, S. L., J.C. Hartzell, A. Koch, A., & L. T. Starks, 2017, Getting the Incentives Right: Backfilling and Biases in Executive Compensation Data. Review of Financial Studies, Forthcoming.

Smith G. and P. Swan, 2014, Concentrated Institutional Investor Really Reduce Executive Compensation While Raising Incentives? Critical Finance Review 3, 49-83.

Gopalan, R., T. Milbourn, F. Song, and A. Thakor, 2014, Duration of Executive Compensation, Journal of Finance 69 (6), 2777–2817.

Graham, J., C. Harvey and M. Puri, 2016, A Corporate Beauty Contest, Management Science, forthcoming.

Gormley, T. and D. Matsa, 2016, Playing It Safe? Managerial Preferences, Risk, and Agency Conflicts, Journal of Financial Economics 122 (3), 431-455.

Gormley, T., D. Matsa and T. Milbourn, 2013, CEO Compensation and Corporate Risk-Taking: Evidence from a Natural Experiment", Journal of Accounting and Economics 56, 79-101.

Hayes, R., M. Lemmon and M. Qiu, 2012, Stock Options and Managerial Incentives for Risk Taking: Evidence from FAS 123R, Journal of Financial Economics 105, 174-190.

Harford, J. and R. Schonlau, 2013, Does the Director Labor Market Offer Ex Post Settling-Up for CEOs? The Case of Acquisitions, Journal of Financial Economics 110(1), 18-36.

Jayaraman S. and T. Milbourn, 2012, The Role of Stock Liquidity in Executive Compensation, The Accounting Review 87(2), 537-564.

Jayaraman S. and T. Milbourn, 2015, CEO Equity Incentives and Financial Misreporting: The Role of Auditor Expertise, The Accounting Review 90(1), 321-350.

Jenter, D., and F. Kanaan, 2015, CEO turnover and relative performance evaluation, Journal of Finance 70 (5), 2155–2184.

Kaplan, S., M. Klebanov, M. Sorensen, 2012, Which CEO characteristics and abilities matter?, Journal of Finance 67, 973-1007.

Kolasinski, A. and X. Li, 2013, Can Strong Boards and Trading Their Own Firm’s Stock Help CEOs Make Better Decisions? Evidence from Acquisitions by Overconfident CEOs, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 48(4), 1173-1206.

*Korczak, P., T. Nguyen, and M. Scapin, December 2017, Banker-Directors and CEO Inside Debt, University of Bristol working paper.

Lee, L., M. Lowry and S. Shu, 2015, Investing in Connections: Corporate Jets and Firm Value, Boston College working paper.

*Lie, E. and K. Yang, January 2018, Import Penetration and Executive Compensation, working paper, University of Iowa.

Lui, P. and Y. Xuan, 2016, The Contract Year Phenomenon in the Corner Office: An Analysis of Firm Behavior during CEO Contract Renewals, SSRN working paper.

*Ma, P., J. Shin, and C. Wang, September 2017, Relative Performance Benchmarks: Do Boards Follow the Informativeness Principle? Working paper, Harvard Business School.

Minnick,K. L., Burns, N., Starks, 2017, L. CEO Tournaments: A Cross-Country Analysis of Causes, Cultural Influences and Consequences, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Forthcoming

Morse, A., V. Nanda and A. Seru, 2011, Are Incentive Contracts Rigged by Powerful CEOs? Journal of Finance 66, 1779-1821.

Pan, Y., T. Y. Wang, and M. S. Weisbach. 2015. Learning about CEO ability and stock return volatility, Review of Financial Studies 28(6), 1623-1666.

*Pan, Y., T. Y. Wang, and M. S. Weisbach, 2016, CEO Investment Cycles, Review of Financial Studies 29, 2955-2999.

Peters, F. and A. Wagner, 2014, The Executive Turnover Risk Premium, Journal of Finance 69 (4), 1529-1563.

Sen, R. and R. Tumarkin, 2016, Stocking Up: Executive Optimism and Share Retention, Journal of Financial Economics 118(2), 399-430.

Shue, K. 2013, Executive networks and firm policies: evidence from the random assignment of MBA peers, Review of Financial Studies 26, 1401-1442.

Shue, K., and R. Townsend, 2016, Growth through Rigidity: Understanding Recent Trends in Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial Economics, 123(1), 1-21.

Shue, K., & R. Townsend, 2017, How do quasi-random option grants affect CEO risk-taking? (No. w23091). National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

​Each year feedback is sought from students about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. In this course, we will seek your feedback through CATEI course and teaching evaluations, which will take place during the last class session.

The current course format is influenced by versions of this course taught in previous years. In previous years, negative comments generally related to the quantity of reading material, and the need to give students more hands-on practices. Positive comments on undertaking a group project were noted, as were comments that suggested a less ‘academic’ research project. This encouraged the move toward a case study and pitch-book mode of assessment as well as the inclusion of the M&A simulation game. [These comments pertain to the M&A course that I responsibility for some lectures.]

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 26 Feb



Overview of Corporate Governance Mechanisms and Theoretical Background


Class participation

Week 2: 05 Mar



Endogeneity & Natural Experiments


Class Discussion

Week 3: 12 Mar



Matching Methods & Diff-in-Diff


Class Discussion

Week 4: 19 Mar



Discontinuity Design Regression (DDR) & Other Approaches to Address Endogeneity Concerns


Class Discussion

HW Assignment

Week 5: 26 Mar



Boards of Directors: Overview


Class Participation

Mid Semester Break: 02 Apr
Week 6: 09 Apr

Critiques of Articles


Boards of Directors - Early Studies


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 7: 16 Apr

Critiques of Articles


Boards of Directors - Recent literature


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 8: 23 Apr

Critiques of Articles


Boards of Directors - Recent literature


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 9: 30 Apr

Critiques of Articles


Boards of Directors - Recent literature


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 10: 07 May



Overview of Executive Incentives & Hierarchical Models



Class Discussion

HW Assignment

Week 11: 14 May

Critiques of Articles


Executive Compensation - Recent Literature


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 12: 21 May

Critiques of Articles


Executive Risk-Taking - Recent Literature


Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 13: 28 May

Term Paper


Work on Course Research Paper


Research Paper

8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

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

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

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.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

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 nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty 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


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to 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.).

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.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

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

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational 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. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

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 9385 2650

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

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
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