PhD students from the University of Edinburgh Business School organised the in-person event held at the School on 29 and 30 May 2023, in partnership with British Accounting Review and Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies. World-Class Workshop Fund funded it, with great support from University of Edinburgh Business School Accounting & Finance Group, University of Edinburgh Research Degree Committee (RDC) and Research Office.
Edinburgh World-Class Workshop in Finance 2023 attendees

Seminar - 29 May 2023

Professor Marc Goergen from IE Business School and ECGI gave the seminar and shared his recent working paper, “CEO Political Ideology and the Pandemic: The Difficult Choice Between Downsizing and Lower Dividends”.

The paper explores whether CEO political ideology affected how S&P 500 firms reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic, an exogenous shock to demand and supply. They hypothesize that conservative CEOs are more likely to adopt shareholder-friendly than employee-friendly reactions to the pandemic. Hence, they should be more likely to downsize their workforce while maintaining dividends. In contrast, other CEOs should be less likely to meet dividend expectations and less likely to downsize. Their empirical results are consistent with these hypotheses. The paper also finds that CEOs used the dividend forecasts for 2020 as their benchmark rather than the 2019 dividends to make their dividend decision.

Throughout the seminar there was an intense discussion as participants raised questions about various aspects of the paper. Prof. Hou, Dr. Lucy Liu, and Dr. Shuo Wang were particularly involved in a lively conversation focusing on the empirical section. Their insightful comments and critical analysis spurred a thorough examination of the research's methodology and findings. In the midst of the passionate debate, Marc actively responded to numerous queries, providing detailed explanations that alleviated concerns and brought clarity to uncertainties. Marc also capitalized on the opportunity to exchange ideas with other attendees, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that encouraged the sharing, challenging, and enrichment of perspectives.

A networking event followed the seminar, allowing PhD students and researchers to share their ideas and enhance their collaborations.

Workshop - 30 May 2023

We successfully invited renowned experts in the field to grace our workshop with their presence. William Megginson, Sergei Sarkissian, Wenxuan Hou, Yizhe Dong, and Lucy Liu delivered exceptional editor speeches.

We received over 70 enthusiastic submissions from all over the world. After a rigorous selection process, we chose 21 outstanding papers from esteemed institutions including:

  • Zhejiang University
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Cardiff Business School
  • Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
  • University of Bath
  • University of Reading
  • University College Dublin
  • University of Portsmouth

These papers covered a diverse range of topics and presented in seven engaging sessions, namely:

  • Corporate Finance & Governance (Session 1)
  • Corporate Finance & Governance (Session 2)
  • Asset Pricing
  • Financial Markets
  • Climate & Environment
  • Corporate ESG
  • Board & Executives

The 21 presenters showcased their papers at the workshop, all but one were in-person. The presenters also took on the role of discussants for each other's work, engaging in discussions on the motivation, data, and empirical design of their papers. The audience consisted of 21 individuals who were actively involved in the sessions.

A gala dinner followed the workshop providing a conducive environment for networking and socializing. This occasion offered an invaluable opportunity for the 40 guests, organisers and presenters to foster new professional relationships, exchange ideas, and engage in meaningful conversations, further enriching their overall experience and facilitating ongoing connections beyond the workshop.

Signed, Edinburgh World-Class Workshop in Finance 2023 Organising Committee (Boyang Chen, Jingyuan Chen, Fangmin Hao, Mao Li, Xiapeng Song, Tianxi Wang, and Ruoran Zhao)