Fall 2015

Microeconomic Theory I
Instructor: Christopher Avery
HBS 4010
API-111/ECON 2020a
M W 8:30-10
HKS Littauer 230

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.
Psychology and Economic Theory
Instructor: Matthew Rabin
HBS 4155
Econ 2035
M 1-4*
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 102
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, September 2nd from 1-4pm. Thereafter, the course will meet on Mondays.
Asset Pricing
Instructor: John Campbell
HBS 4209
Econ 2723
T Th 2:30-4pm
First half is an introduction to financial economics emphasizing discrete-time models and empirical applications. Reviews basic asset pricing theory. Second half deals with theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of financial markets using psychological or behavioral ideas.
Accounting and Management Research Workshop
Instructor: Charles C.Y. Wang
HBS 4251
F 1:30-2:30
Morgan Hall 350
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.
Behavioral Approaches to Decision Making and Negotiation
Instructor: Francesca Gino
HBS 4420
PSY 2650
W 10-1
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 102
This course will provide a research overview of the field of behavioral decision making and decision analytic perspectives to negotiation. A core focus of the course will be the individual as a less than perfect decision making in individual and competitive contexts. On the decision making side, we will start with March and Simon's (1958) work on bounded rationality, work through the groundbreaking research of Kahneman and Tversky, and update this line of inquiry through the turn of the millennium. On the negotiation side, we will start with Raiffa's (1982) critical work on the interaction of prescriptive and descriptive research on negotiation, continue through the development of a behavioral decision perspective to negotiation, and examine how the field is currently evolving. We will examine the implications of imperfect behavior for theoretical development, as well as for how to train individuals to make wiser decisions.
Offered jointly with the the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Psychology 2650.
Please note that this class will meet for the first time on Wednesday , September 9th.
Research Seminar in Nonverbal Behavior, Social Perception, and Psychophysiology
Instructor: Amy J.C. Cuddy
HBS 4422
Psy 2661r
Students will gain human subject research skills and experience in the lab and online. We will cover a range of topics in social psychology, including but not limited to: nonverbal behavior, social perception, personal power, hormones, emotions, and performance in stressful situations. In biweekly meetings, students will have the opportunity to provide and receive feedback on the work of the lab as well as discuss relevant papers. In addition, monthly trainings will be held covering research tools such as eye-trackers, physiological measures, Qualtrics, and Mechanical Turk.

This course is open ONLY to students who are working on research in Professor Cuddy's laboratory. Prerequisites: Science of Living Systems 20 plus one from Psychology 13, 15, 16, 18, Science B 29 or MCB 80.
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
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 101
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.
Field Experiments Seminar
Instructor: Michael Luca
HBS 4431
The growth of field experiments has been one of the most important practical advances in the social sciences in recent decades. Within academia, field experiments have yielded important new insights in disciplines including economics and psychology and in domains ranging from education to e-commerce to public health. Experimental methods have also become increasingly common within companies and governments, which have begun to use experiments to evaluate products and policies. This seminar provides students with an overview of field experiments as a methodological approach, and also of some of the important insights that field experiments have begun to uncover. The course objective is for students to learn to implement field experiments, discussing issues ranging from technical ones like power calcs to logistical ones like working with partners. The topics are intended to cover a range of areas that would appeal to students with varying interests but the exact topics are secondary to the methodological and implementation questions we discuss along the way.
Doctoral Seminar on Consumer Behavior
Instructor: Anat Keinan
HBS 4630
F 1-4
Morgan Hall 250

This course will provide a research overview of the field of consumer behavior and consumer decision making.  Drawing principally from research papers from the fields of economics, psychology, and sociology, the course will cover topics including preferences, persuasion, learning, and decision making.  Students will be expected to prepare the readings, critically critique the research, and actively participate in discussions.  An exploratory research paper will be required for completion of the course.

The Economics of International Business
Instructor: Juan Alcacer
HBS 4720
W 1-4
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 103

The goal of this seminar is to introduce doctoral students to the field of international business. While economics forms the disciplinary foundation of the course, we will also compare and contrast other approaches from sociology, political science, and social psychology. At the end of this course, students should have developed the ability to evaluate various empirical approaches in the field. Finally, students should also end the course with a well-defined research proposal. This proposal will include a theoretical question, a literature review, an evaluation of the available data sources, and a plan for gathering any additional data necessary to answer the theoretical question.

We begin the course by reviewing the key theoretical ideas that launched the field of international business. The rest of the course, addressing both theoretical and empirical issues, will examine cross-country issues including the literatures on multinationals, economic geography, and FDI. The course also examines within-country issues including comparative institutional analysis and the origin and persistence of differences in the business environments across countries. The course thus develops a perspective on the extent to which firm choices and managerial behavior are universal as opposed to context-dependent.

Prerequisite: Economics 2010a or the equivalent.

Please note that this class will meet for the first time on Wednesday, September 9th.
Applied Econometrics for Research in Management
Instructor: John Beshears
HBS 4809
M 1-4*
Cumnock Hall 220
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, September 2nd from 1-4pm. Thereafter, the course will meet on Mondays.
Business History Seminar
Instructor: Walter A. Friedman
HBS 4810
Tu 1-4
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 475
This course provides a comparative approach to the historical process of industrialization and modernization in the West and Asia, drawing specifically on the examples of China, Japan, the United States and Western Europe. Starting from the mid-19th century to the present, this course will explore the economic, technological, cultural and political dimensions of economic growth and business development. Among the topics covered are the causes of wealth and poverty, the nature and impact of globalization, knowledge creation and transfer, the emergence of modern management, government policies, and the cultural transformation of societies. Each meeting will discuss the key literature by authors in the field, and explore and test the premises on which their works are based. The overall aim of the course is to introduce graduate students to central issues and theoretical discourses in the broad field of business history, and to explore the relevance of this literature to other disciplines. The course provides a unique opportunity to develop research skills through designing, researching and writing a paper using original sources, either quantitative or qualitative. Students will work closely with one of the instructors during the semester on this paper.
Micro Topics in Organizational Behavior
Instructor: Michael I. Norton
HBS 4882
Tu 3:15-6pm
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. Please note that the first meeting of this class will take place on September 15th.

Spring 2016

Perspectives on Research in Organizations (formerly Perspectives in Management Research)
HBS 4008
Tu 12-2:30 PM
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 102
Exposes students to cutting edge research across a spectrum of management functions and demonstrates how various types of research contributes to management questions. Please note the first class meeting will take place at 12:30 instead of 12pm
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.

Design of Field Research Methods
Instructor: Robin J. Ely
HBS 4070
W 12-3
Cumnock Hall 101A
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.
Empirical Methods in Financial Economics (formerly Empirical Methods in Corporate Finance)
HBS 4220
ECON 2727
Tu 2:30-5:30
Cumnock Hall 220

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.

Corporate Finance and Banking
HBS 4243
ECON 2725
M W 10:00-11:30
Littauer M-16

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.

Empirical Research in Corporate Valuation, Reporting and Governance
Instructor: George Serafeim
HBS 4254
M 12:30-3:30pm
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 275
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.
Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship: Organizational Economics and Growth
Instructor: Josh Lerner and William R. Kerr
HBS 4351
Th 2:30-5:30
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 102
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 explores the emerging work in this dynamic area. Reflecting the complex nature of entrepreneurship, the course will touch on literature in a variety of academic disciplines. The 2015-16 class focuses on works from the industrial economics, organizational economics, economic geography, macroeconomics and sociology literatures; the 2016-17 class focuses on works from the corporate finance and labor literatures. Students taking the course for credit will be expected to complete three 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
Baker Library│ Bloomberg Center 101
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.
Stochastic Modeling
Instructor: Nikolaos Trichakis and Joel Goh
HBS 4465
Tu Th 4:15-5:45
Cumnock Hall 230
The course covers the modeling, analysis, and control of stochastic systems. Topics include Bernoulli and Poisson processes, Markov chains and Markov decision processes, optimization under uncertainty, queuing theory, and simulation. Applications will be presented in healthcare, inventory management, and service systems.
Empirical Technology and Operations Management
Instructor: Michael W. Toffel
HBS 4482
Th 9:30am-12pm
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 275
This course exposes students to cutting-edge empirical research on innovation and operations management topics. In addition to familiarizing students with key empirically-derived insights in these domains, it enhances students’ understanding of empirical methods and strengthens their ability to design and conduct empirical research. Offered in alternating years, this course is required of TOM doctoral students and is open to other doctoral students.
Empirical Studies of Innovation and Digitization
HBS 4561
Tu 2-5
Baker Library Bloomberg Center 101
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: Michael W. Toffel
HBS 4840
Th 12:30-2:00
Baker Library   |   Bloomberg Center 103
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.
Macro Topics in Organizational Behavior: Organization and Management Theory Seminar
HBS 4880
F 9-12
Cumnock Hall 220
This doctoral seminar explores fundamental aspects of organizations and organization theory. This seminar will cover various approaches to organizations and the institutional contexts within which they operate. We will pay particular attention to innovation and differential organizational outcomes, and the role (and limits) of agency within the firm and in institutional contexts. We will also discuss organization and management theory in the context of today’s society. In particular, we will explore the impact of sharply decreased communication and information processing costs on organizations and industries. This course is for students interested in understanding and, in turn, conducting research on macro-organizational topics. As research in organizations, institutions, and innovation areas are contested terrains, after moving through the basics we will focus on contentious and unresolved issues. Our seminar will improve your ability to be a critical consumer of organizational and institutional research. It will also sharpen your ability to build mid-range theory and to connect your concepts to empirical research. During the term we will focus on a range of inter-related topics, including identity, organization design, senior teams, power and politics, social networks, innovation, organizational evolution, and institutional dynamics. These topics will be considered across levels of analysis and disciplinary boundaries and students will be encouraged to develop their own cross- boundary ideas. Finally, students will develop their own research proposal and present it to the community in our last class.


For the Harvard University Course Catalog