Thumbnail

PhD Classes

Spring 2022 Marshall PhD Classes

The Marshall School offers a variety of PhD classes taught by renowned faculty. For questions about the classes below, please contact the professor(s) of the course or the Marshall PhD Program (phd@marshall.usc.edu).

Graduate School of Business Administration

GSBA Schedule of Classes - Spring 2022

GSBA 603: Causal Inference Research Methods

Professors: Tom Chang and Florenta Teodoridis

This course covers empirical strategies for getting causal estimates in applied research. Causal inference has arguably progressed more over the last few decades than any other field of statistical inquiry. In this class we will go over several contemporary approaches to casual inferences in the social sciences, with the goal of helping empirical researchers write better research papers.  The class focuses on empirical (identification) strategies designed to isolate causal effects in observational data, and not experimental methodologies. 

Topics covered will include using regressions, instrumental variables, difference-in-differences, fixed effects, matching estimators, regression discontinuity designs, machine learning and big datasets, and problems relating to statistical inference.  Students will gain practical experience by applying these methods to real datasets using Stata and R. 

We will discuss the interaction between empirical design and theory, the importance of careful theoretical thinking for applied empirical research.

To request D-clearance email phd@marshall.usc.edu.

Course Syllabus

GSBA 612: Selected Issues in Economics Theory II

Professor: Odilon Camara

Further investigation of selected topics in methodology and research perspectives of economics. Topics vary in response to new developments and current trends in the field.

Accounting

ACCT Schedule of Classes - Spring 2022

ACCT 601: Applied Econometrics and Research Design 

Professor: Clive Lennox

Develop a strong intuition for the research design methodologies commonly used in archival accounting research

Course Syllabus

ACCT 604: Management Accounting and Control Systems Research

Professor: Mark Young

The objective of this course is to help doctoral students build a strong foundation in management accounting and control system (MACS) research. MACS are pervasive in all organizations. A MACS is designed to motivate employees, and to monitor and evaluate their performance. A variety of different performance measures are used including financial and non-financial indicators. Modern day MACS research is built of the source disciplines of microeconomics (agency theory), management and social psychology (motivation theories such as goal setting), operations management (performance measure and efficiency systems). The course will also provide examples of the methods used in MACS researching including laboratory and field experiments, survey studies, and archival methods.

Course Syllabus

ACCT 606: Tax Research in Accounting 

Professor: Shane Heitzman

Introduction to tax research in accounting and how it fits within the larger bodies of research in accounting, finance and economics.

Finance & Business Economics

FBE Schedule of Classes - Spring 2022

FBE 630: Fundamentals of Corporate Finance 

Professor: John Matsusaka

This course provides a rigorous introduction to fundamental concepts in corporate finance. The goal is to familiarize students with central ideas underpinning research in corporate finance and develop the ability to frame phenomena in terms of theory. By the end of the course, students will have a working knowledge of the main tools of corporate finance, and be equipped to begin independent research. The class begins with the neoclassical and tradeoff models, moves to agency problems and asymmetric information, then security design and control rights, and corporate governance.

FBE 633: Fundamentals of Asset Pricing         

Professor: Scott Joslin

The objective of this course is to understand the theoretical foundations of modern financial economics. The course is intended for doctoral students in finance, economics, and related fields. The course will cover the main elements underlying modern finance including investment decisions under uncertainty, mean-variance portfolio theory, dynamic market equilibrium and arbitrage pricing. The goal of the course is that students will be able to access research and for students to be equipped to develop their own research ideas.

FBE 670: Selected Topics in Finance Research: Psychology and Financial Markets 

Professor: David Hirshleifer

Behavioral finance studies how the psychology of investors and managers affects financing and investment choices and market prices. We cover evidence from psychology and financial markets, and recent modeling approaches. Topics include preferences and information processing of investors and managers, the role of arbitrage and asset prices, and firm behavior in an inefficient market. There are rich opportunities for future research in this rapidly evolving field. Behavioral economics and finance also provide a basis for social economics and finance, the study of how social interactions affect economic and financial behavior.

Course Flyer

Special Note: This class is being changed to FBE 699 and updated information will be posted on this page and the FBE Schedule of Classes soon.

FBE 670: Recent Developments and Controversies in Financial Intermediation 

Professor: Rodney Ramcharan

The last decade has seen an explosion of research on financial intermediation: How the financial system channels savings from households and firms to the real economy. This PhD level course will rigorously introduce students to the main themes and controversies in this literature in the last decade. We will review key theories of intermediation. We will then study how to match empirical methods and data in order to assess the various theoretical predictions and controversies. Principles in financial intermediation are central to other areas such as macroeconomics, consumer finance and asset pricing, and this course will also help students considering dissertation topics in these related fields.

Course Flyer

Management & Organization

MOR Schedule of Classes - Spring 2022

MOR 602: Organization Theory Description

Professor: Shon Hiatt

This course covers classical and key contemporary works in organization theory and surveys the main paradigms that are now active in the field. Organization theory draws on disciplinary roots in (alphabetically) economics, political science, psychology, and sociology to explain the origins, persistence, disappearance, and effect of institutional structures that order economic life (organizations, firms, networks, markets, and others). Topics that are explored include organizational learning, reputation, authenticity, networks, status, legitimacy, framing and sensemaking, stakeholder activism and firm response, principles of market category creation, optimal distinctiveness, the role of institutional logics in influencing organizational behavior and strategy, as well as the construction and organizational impact of social evaluations such as ratings, rankings, and certifications.

Course Syllabus

Marketing

MKT Schedule of Classes - Spring 2022

MKT 618: Consumer Behavior and Decision Making

Professors: Joseph Nunes and Kristin Diehl

This class provides an overview of important topics in the field of judgment and decision. This field has grown rapidly in the past 50 years and impacted many areas of research from business and communication to medicine, public policy, and the law. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a solid foundation for research that builds on the judgment, decision-making and choice aspects of human behavior in marketing or other fields. This course will be conducted as a research seminar. Each week we will discuss three or more articles. The articles will be a mixture of “classics” or seminal pieces and more recent papers.

Course Syllabus

MKT 699: Critical Review of Advanced Marketing Models

Professors: Sivaramakrishnan Siddarth and Gerard Tellis

This course provides students with an overview of hot topics that quant researchers are studying today and the models used to explore them. The instructors will choose both classic articles from the field and recent advances. The purpose of the seminar is educate students about picking interesting problems to research, positioning their research in the literature, collecting suitable data, choosing the right model to address the problem, and crafting their article for impact.

Substantive topics covered are innovation, market entry, incumbent defense, diffusion, quality, price, advertising, promotion, category choice, brand choice, competitive targeting, social media, returns to marketing, and network effects.

The course includes Bayesian and non-Bayesian estimation for Logit and Probit models, and covers Tobit, Hazard, Diffusion, Structural Models,  Functional Analysis, Synthetic Control, 2- & 3-Stage Least Squares, Instrumental variables, and  Latent Dirichlet Allocation.

Method of instruction includes a mix of instructor presentations, student critiques of papers, and lively discussion of pros and cons of topics, models, and  papers. The goal is critical appreciation of the rich literature in quant marketing on these topics without requiring derivations of models.

Course Syllabus