Please note that course listings will be updated throughout the summer and are subject to change.  


Fall 2016

 
Microeconomic Theory I
Instructor: Maciej Kotowski
HBS 4010
API-111/ECON 2020a
M W 8:30-10

A comprehensive course in economic theory designed for doctoral students in all parts of the university. Topics include consumption, production, behavior toward risk, markets, and general equilibrium theory. Also looks at applications to policy analysis, business decisions, industrial organization, finance, and the legal system. Undergraduates with appropriate background are welcome, subject to the instructor's approval.

Prerequisite: Multivariate calculus and one course in probability theory. Thorough background in microeconomic theory at the intermediate level. Students may receive credit for both API-111 and API-101/API-105 only if API-101/105 is taken first. API-111 and API-109 cannot both be taken for credit. Also offered by Harvard Kennedy School as API-111 and the Economics Department as Econ 2020a.
 
Design of Field Research Methods
Instructor: Robin J. Ely
HBS 4070
W 12-3
Field research involves collecting original data (qualitative or quantitative) in field sites. The course will combine informal lecture and discussion with practical sessions designed to build specific skills for conducting field research in organizations. Readings include books and papers about research methodology, as well as articles that provide exemplars of field research, including both theory driven and phenomenon driven work. Specific topics covered include variance versus process models, blending qualitative and quantitative data (in one paper, one study, or one career), collecting and analyzing different kinds of data (observation interview, survey, archival), levels of analysis, construct development, and writing up field research for publication. A core aim of the course is to help students understand the contingent relationship between the nature of the research question and the field research methods used to answer it, and to use this understanding to design and carry out original field research. Course requirements include several short assignments assessing readings and a final paper designed to help students' further their own field research goals. This seminar fulfills a requirement for HBS Organizational Behavior and Management students. Students are required to be in or beyond their second year of study. Other students permitted by permission of the instructor.
 
Psychology and Economic Theory
Instructor: Matthew Rabin
HBS 4155
Econ 2035
M 1-4*
This course explores ways that psychological research indicating systematic departures from classical economic assumptions can be translated into formal models that can be incorporated into economics. Topics include ways utility theory can be improved--such as incorporating reference dependence, news utility, social preferences, self image, and other belief-based tastes--and ways we can relax assumptions of perfect rationality--such as incorporating focusing effects, limited attention, biased prediction of future tastes, present-biased preferences, biases in probabilistic judgment, and errors in social inference. The course will emphasize (a) careful interpretation and production of new evidence on relevant departures,(b) formalizing this evidence into models that can, with discipline and rigor, generate sharp predictions using traditional economic approaches, and (c) exploring economic implications of those models presented. Although we will primarily emphasize (b), the course is meant to be useful to students whose interests lie anywhere in this spectrum, under the premise that all such research will be improved by a greater appreciation of the full spectrum. The course is intended for PhD students in the Business Economics and Economics programs and others who have a solid background in microeconomic theory at the level of introductory PhD courses in these programs. While obviously appropriate to those wishing to specialize in "behavioral economics", the course is also designed for those interested in doing research in particular fields of economics. And while the course centers on theoretical models (learning and evaluation will center around solving formal problem sets), the theory is focused towards its empirical implementability and economic relevance, so that the course is also designed for those interested in theory-influenced empirical research.
*Please note that this class will meet for the first time on Wednesday, August 31st from 1-4pm. Thereafter, the course will meet on Mondays.
 
Empirical Methods in Financial Economics (formerly Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance)
HBS 4220
ECON 2727
Tu 3:00-6:00

Examines empirical research in corporate finance. Covers empirical research methodology, financial institutions, and financial policy. Major emphasis is on how to do well-executed and persuasive research in corporate finance. Seminar format; students write referee reports and a research paper.

Offered jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Economics 2727. Structured to minimize overlap with Economics 2725.

 
Accounting and Management Research Workshop
Instructor: Charles C.Y. Wang
HBS 4251
F 12:00 -1:00
The objectives of this course are 1) to stimulate critical evaluation of current research in financial and managerial accounting; 2) to build critical skills to be an effective presenter and discussant; and 3) to facilitate students' own research. The workshop will cover A&M seminar papers as well as students' research-in-progress. Enrollment is limited to students in the DBA in Accounting and Management program.
 
Empirical Research in Corporate Valuation, Reporting and Governance
Instructor: Gwen Yu
HBS 4254
M 10:00-1:00
This course is a survey of research in corporate valuation, reporting and governance intended for doctoral students. The primary purpose of the course is to introduce fundamental research themes and methodologies used to address questions related to valuation, reporting and governance. Participants will become acquainted with the relevant literature through classroom discussions of assigned readings, paper summaries, problem sets, and individual research proposals. Moreover, the course will introduce new opportunities for scholars to conduct research in the domains of valuation, reporting and governance.
 
Behavioral Insights Group Research Seminar
Instructor: Francesca Gino and Todd Rogers
HBS 4425
PSY 2553R
Hours to be arranged

This seminar provides lab experience in behavioral approaches to decision making and negotiation.

This seminar was previously called the Decision Making and Negotiation: Research Seminar.

Offered jointly with the the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Psychology 2553r.

 
Organizational Behavior Lab
HBS 4427
Th 9-11
OB lab is a doctoral workshop that meets every other week for 1.5 hours. Students are expected to present their work and attend the other sessions to provide feedback to other members.
 
Applied Econometrics for Research in Management
Instructor: John Beshears
HBS 4809
M 1-4*
This course examines the application of econometric methods for causal inference to research questions in management and related fields. Techniques include the analysis of randomized experiments, fixed effects, difference-in-differences strategies, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity and regression kink designs, and other topics that arise in empirical studies. Research questions and examples will be drawn from a range of disciplines, such as operations management, strategy, organizational behavior, accounting, and marketing. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of understanding institutional details when constructing research designs. The prerequisite for enrollment is basic knowledge of probability and regression analysis. This course is intended for doctoral students in management and public policy who aim to become adept producers and consumers of contemporary empirical research. Undergraduate students with the appropriate background are also welcome. *Please note that this class will meet for the first time on Wednesday, August 31st from 1-4pm. Thereafter, the course will meet on Mondays.
 
Micro Topics in Organizational Behavior
HBS 4882
W 11:00 - 2:00
Micro Topics in Organizational Behavior is a survey course covering the study of individual, dyadic, small group and intra-organizational behavior, with special focus on research by Harvard Faculty. At the individual level, examples of possible topics include cognitive psychology, behavioral decision theory, motivation theory, and the study of attitudes and emotions. At the dyadic level, examples include negotiation, social perceptions, relationships and supervisor-subordinate ties. Teams, multiparty decision making and coalitions are possible topics at the group level. Examples of potential topics at the intra-organizational level include conflict, culture, person-organization fit, psychological contracts, justice and power. Most sessions will include a broad discussion of a topic, followed by a more focused discussion with a faculty member about her or his research in the area.
 

Spring 2017

 
Microeconomic Theory II
Instructor: Elon Kohlberg and Christopher Avery
HBS 4011
ECON 2020B/HKS API 112
M W 8:30-10

A continuation of Economics 2020a. This course covers game theory, economics of information, incentive theory, and welfare economics.

Offered jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Economics 2020b and the Kennedy School as KSG API-112.

 
Corporate Finance and Banking
HBS 4243
ECON 2725
T TH 11:30-1:00

Theory and empirical evidence of capital structure, dividends, investment policy, managerial incentives and takeovers. Topics include market efficiency, agency problems and ownership.

This course was previously called Corporate Finance

Offered jointly with the the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Economics 2725.

 
Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Finance
Instructor: William R. Kerr and Josh Lerner
HBS 4350
Econ 2726
W 5-8

Entrepreneurship--the formation and growth of new firms--is a complex phenomenon that has historically attracted relatively little academic attention. In recent years, however, scholars in a variety of disciplines have been devoting increasing attention to this topic. This course will explore the emerging work in this dynamic area. Reflecting the complex nature of the entrepreneurship, the course will touch on literature in a variety of academic disciplines, but the readings will primarily focus on discipline-oriented research from an economics, finance, and sociological perspective. Students taking the course for credit will be expected to complete two referee reports and a paper.

 
Behavioral Insights Group Research Seminar
Instructor: Francesca Gino and Todd Rogers
HBS 4425
Psy 2553r
Hours to be arranged.

This seminar provides lab experience in behavioral approaches to decision making and negotiation.

This seminar was previously called the Decision Making and Negotiation: Research Seminar.

Offered jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Psychology 2553r.

 
Organizational Behavior Lab
HBS 4428
Th 9-11
OB lab is a doctoral workshop that meets every other week for 1.5 hours. Students are expected to present their work and attend the other sessions to provide feedback to other members.
 
Empirical Studies of Innovation and Digitization
HBS 4561
Tu 2-5
Class goals: In this course, we analyze classic and frontier empirical papers to understand the economics and strategic issues central to the study of firm conduct in innovation-intensive industries. The emphasis is on learning to ask an empirical question and critically read papers that use mainstream econometrics to address interesting research questions. This should help prepare students to understand the majority of empirical research in business economics and strategy. The course exposes students to empirical work covering a variety of topics, such as diffusion, new media, platform competition, R&D, contests, and the effect of market competition on innovative behavior. The course should not be considered comprehensive. At most, it “dips your toe in the waters” of some topics, and many topics are missing altogether. Class requirements: Students will be expected to read required papers and contribute to the discussions. Students should read papers ahead of time and come prepared for discussion. In addition, each registered student must choose two papers from the list of "optional" papers for presentation in class. These presentations will last twenty minutes to half an hour. These presentations are designed to teach students how to quickly analyze and summarize research. Students will also be required to take a short exam at the end of the quarter. It will be a 48-hour take home exam. Topics Covered: The class mixes some of the standard topics in the economics of innovation with some of the reigning “trendy” topics of the day, with a bit of emphasis on the more recent topics. That means there are certain established topics that get lots of attention and some others that just do not get covered. The course is not designed to be comprehensive. Instead, it is designed to show different templates for research, with a bias towards recent research. It will prepare you to take steps into writing in literatures reviews related to innovation, which should also with help learning new topics. The structure of the reading list: Each meeting students will be expected to read three required papers. These are designated with one * asterisk. Each topic typically has three or four “optional” papers. These are designated with two ** asterisks. These are papers that we recommend for presentation. Each topic has additional papers. Those additional papers are there for students who might be interested in following up on the topic. Some of these could be presented (instead of those designated with asterisk) and some not. If you really want to present them, then talk to me about it in private. Finally, each topic has one or more classic readings on the topics. These are written in bold. They are there as “stuff that everybody reads.” That ties them into the last section of the reading list, which is titled “Stuff which everyone reads....” These are articles and books that have passed into a canonical place, as reference points for almost everybody. This list is, once again, designed to help prepare students understand how others think about this literature. While we do not want to give a course in the history of thought, every researcher should know about them. These references are cited as motivation behind much of the research in business economics and in strategic analysis of innovation. Course assessment: Equal weighting to class participation, the presentations, and the final exam.
 
DBA Seminar for Technology and Operations Management
Instructor: Feng Zhu
HBS 4840
Th 2:30-4:00
This seminar provides a forum to provide feedback to TOM DBA students on their emerging and ongoing research projects. The seminar also seeks to bolster research collaboration among TOM DBA students and between them and TOM faculty. The seminar is offered as a Pass/Fail course and has three requirements: 1) Presenters will distribute to the students and faculty their working paper by 9am Wednesday, the day before their presentation; 2) Each student will present his or her work during one of the seminar sessions, leaving ample time for discussion throughout the presentation; and 3) Students will actively engage as audience members to provide constructive feedback to the presenter.
 

For the Harvard University Course Catalog