Department of Finance (BFW)

 

The Department of Finance headed by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Breuer offers various courses in the fields of Finance, Investment and Real Estate. These are primarily aimed at bachelor and master students of economics and industrial engineering.

Research

The research focus is on Capital Budgeting and Finance, money, finance and real estate markets as well as psychology and decision theory.

Research Projects

Behavioral Finance:

A large number of empirical studies points to the existence of systematic errors in individual decision-making, which forms the basis of the popular field of behavioral economics. In this case, the deviation of an individual’s decision from the normatively right one determined by Expected Utility Theory is considered to be erroneous. One can observe these irrationalities especially when it comes to the perception and processing of information. In addition to that, there are inconsistencies concerning the identification of alternatives and the selection of the final decision.

Our research project is predicated on the assumption that an automated investment decision-making process based on so-called robo advisors may widely inhibit the occurrence of systematic errors. In addition to that, we investigate whether new systematic errors may arise in this context or may even be induced by the way of presenting the decision problem.

The project is supported by the “Wissenschaftsförderung der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe“ and conducted in cooperation with the “Hochschule der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe“.

Corporate Investment:

While firm-level and country-level factors have received ample attention in explaining corporate investment decisions, individual managerial characteristics have only experienced limited recognition in this field. However, a large body of literature suggests that corporate financial decision-making exhibits a substantial manager fixed effect. Our project thus aims at explaining the role of managerial characteristics, especially time preferences and managers‘ trustworthiness as perceived by investors, in explaining corporate investment decision.

Among others, our research attempts to answer several important questions:

  1. Do managerial time preferences and perceived trustworthiness influence corporate investment efficiency?
  2. Can certain governance structures curtail managerial traits that lead to sub-optimal investment decisions?
  3. Are managerial time preferences and perceived trustworthiness complements in fostering investment efficiency?

Methodologically, we employ numerous approaches to determine managerial traits. Among other things, we derive measures on managerial traits from textual sentiment on public disclosure documents. For this purpose, we have established a rich database on 10-K filings, analyst calls and further documents that convey managerial language. We also use CEOs’ cultural background or other observable characteristics that have been linked to individual time preferences or perceived trustworthiness by the psychology literature.

The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.