PhD Defence Sebastian Stirnkorb

In his dissertation Sebastian examined how changes to the information landscape affect the quality of information reported by companies, its dissemination in capital markets, and investors’ processing of the information. In particular, Sebastian investigated experimentally how public scrutiny of companies, changes to the structure of transaction fees, and the framing of company disclosure affect capital market communications. Sebastian defended his dissertation on Thursday, 4 November at 13:00h. His supervisors were Prof. Marcel van Rinsum (RSM) and Prof. Erik Peek(RSM). The members of the Doctoral Committee were Prof. Anna Gold (VU Amsterdam), Prof. Jessen Hobson (University of Illinois), Prof. Victor Maas (UvA), Prof. Mark Peecher (University of Illinois), Prof. Evelien Reusen (RSM), and Prof. Erik Roelofsen (RSM).

About Sebastian Stirnkorb

Sebastian Stirnkorb was born on June 27th, 1989 in Künzelsau, Germany. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Management from the European School of Business Reutlingen in 2013. In 2016, Sebastian completed his Master’s studies in Economics and Management at Humboldt University Berlin. He subsequently joined Erasmus University Rotterdam to begin his doctoral studies at the Rotterdam School of Management’s department of Accounting and Control. His research uses experimental methods to examine how changes to firms’ information environment, spurred by advances in technology and regulation, affect the judgment and decision making of investors, managers and auditors. During fall semester 2018, Sebastian visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since September 2021, he has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Accounting at the University of Amsterdam.

Thesis Abstract

Companies operate in a constantly changing environment that is shaped by technological innovations, regulatory initiatives and events that are outside of management’s direct control. Not only is it crucial to understand how these developments and events directly affect the availability and transparency of information, but it is also important to examine what behavioral forces drive investor-manager communications. Isolating and explaining these forces can shed light on some surprising capital market findings, such as why even conscientious managers manage earnings (Chapter 2), why investor protection initiatives do not achieve the desired benefits (Chapter 3) or why disclosures might induce rather than resolve disagreement among investors (Chapter 4). Taken together, the three studies of this dissertation illustrate how developments in companies’ information landscape can have a profound impact on preparers of financial statements and their intended users.

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Photos: Michelle Muus / Michelle Muus Fotografie