Ph.D. and MSQ in Accounting

The Ph.D. Program in Accounting provides students with a thorough knowledge of issues in both financial and managerial accounting, as well as econometric and other analytical methods before beginning their own research supervised by GSEFM faculty members.

The first year involves core courses in accounting, econometrics, microeconomics, and mathematical methods. At the end of the year, students must pass qualifying examinations in accounting, econometrics, and microeconomics. In the second year, students choose field/specialization courses in two or more areas and start their own research. During this process, they are supported by faculty members, who help them transitioning from coursework to research and identifying suitable dissertation topics. By the end of their third year, students must have completed their first substantive research paper. The dissertation may be completed in the fourth year of the program. The dissertation consists of several research papers that have the potential for publication in international scientific journals.

Students in the corresponding MSQ Program enroll in the same set of courses as students from the Ph.D. Program. MSQ Program students who complete their first year of studies with strong success are eligible and strongly encouraged to also join the corresponding Ph.D. Program from their second year of studies onwards. The MSQ Program in Accounting is completed with a Master thesis written in the final months of the second year of studies.

Students completing both programs may earn both an MSQ and a Ph.D. degree in a total of four years.


Ph.D. Structure

Pre-Semester: Mathematics, Statistics, and Econometrics

First Semester: Advanced Accounting 1 (8 CP), Advanced Econometrics 1 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP), Mathematical Methods (8 CP)

Second Semester: Advanced Accounting 2 (8CP), Advanced Econometrics 2 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP), Historical and Normative Foundations (8 CP)

Qualifying Examinations

First Semester: Field Courses and Seminar

Second Semester: Field Courses and Seminar

Fields Offered:

Accounting (including Analytical and Empirical Research in Performance Measurement, Management Control and Organizational Design, Incentive System Design, Research Design in Accounting, Financial Reporting, Corporate Governance, Auditing)

Econometrics (including Bayesian Econometrics, Dynamic Panel Models, Econometrics of Duration and Transition Data, Long Memory in Time-Series, Non-Parametric Econometrics)

Finance (including Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance Theory, Empirical Banking, Household Finance, Option Pricing, Taxes and Finance)

Marketing (including Bayesian Modelling for Marketing, Customer Management and Social Media, Pricing and Online-Advertising, Structural Models and Competition)

Microeconomics and Management (including Behavioral Auction Theory, Behavioral Economics, Decision Making under Risk and Ambiguity, Economics of Taxation, Empirical Labor Economics, Empirics of Contracts, Experimental Economics, General Equilibrium Theory: History, Incentives in Organizations, Intergenerational Economics, Modeling Group Behavior Using Game Theory, Taxes and Finance)

Workshop Attendance

Independent Studies Course (Teaching Skills)

Third-Year Research Paper

Workshop Attendance

Job Market Course

Thesis Defense

During either the third or fourth year in the program, students may spend one or two semesters abroad for a research stay at an internationally top ranked Ph.D. program. Such stays are facilitated by the faculty advisor.

First-Year Courses

The following list sketches typical first-year course contents. The details of the offerings may differ from year to year, though, depending on the faculty member teaching the course in question. For more details on all the courses, please consult the course syllabi typically retrievable from individual faculty members’ websites.

Mathematics and Statistics: real analysis, advanced calculus, linear algebra, static optimization, probability theory, estimation and hypothesis testing, linear regression model.

Advanced Accounting 1: financial accounting, financial reporting, corporate governance, disclosure, earnings management, value relevance, fair value of information, capital markets.

Advanced Econometrics 1: fundamentals of estimation (OLS, SUR, 2SLS, 3SLS, GMM, QML), cross-section regression models with limited dependent variables, static panel data models.

Advanced Microeconomics 1: theory of the household, theory of the firm, decisions under uncertainty, market equilibrium, static and dynamic games under alternative information structures.

Mathematical Methods: real analysis, dynamic optimization, numerical methods.

Advanced Accounting 2: management accounting, decision-facilitating and decision-influencing role of accounting information, value of information, risk-incentive trade-off, incentives and job design, multitasking, performance measurement, management control systems.

Advanced Econometrics 2: single and multiple equation time-series models (ARMA, GARCH, ARDL, VAR, VEC, factor models), dynamic panel data models.

Advanced Microeconomics 2: contract theory (moral hazard, adverse selection, mechanism design, incomplete contracts), general equilibrium theory, welfare economics, externalities.

Historical and Normative Foundations: history of economic thought (illustrated in the context of modeling economic growth and/or the modeling of financial crises), normative foundations.