The organization of markets have changed significantly in recent decades. Transaction costs in capital markets have declined, and now provide firms with much better access to private equity, venture capital, and tailorized products. Product markets have internationalized and resulted in more complex and widely distributed supply chains. And labor markets have been affected by the trend towards the gig economy and firms’ increased reliance on innovation and intangible assets. The last aspect is key, because we need to ask how firms can develop a competitive advantage if their key assets are employees whose human capital they cannot control. All these developments have a significant impact on how firms are managed, owned, financed, and organized.
This course surveys and discusses recent findings on the interface between financial markets and firms’ employees and their human capital. Much of the textbook discussions in various subfields of business and economics is still based on traditional paradigms, which view firms as collection of physical assets that generate cash flows, and which see financial markets as mainly occupied with valuing and distributing these cash flows. Yet, recent research has moved on from this paradigm and recognizes that this traditional conception is in serious need of overhaul, but much of this change in thinking and many of these new findings have not found their way into business education. This course is intended to fill this gap.
After successfully completing this course, students should be able to do the following:
If you believe that your exam was not fairly graded (e.g., a mistake in the correction or unfair allocation of points), you can ask for your exam to be regraded. In such a case, you must provide a written statement in which you request a complete revision of your exam, provide reasons for why you believe to deserve more credit, and ask for regrading. Please note that we will regrade the entire exam and not just the passages for which you request regrading. The revision may also negatively affect your grade (e.g., we spot a mistake that was not previously identified). We will not modify the grade on the day of the exam revision.