Master: Accounting Theory: Analytical Research Topics in Accounting

Course Description:

The course focuses on contractual relationships between the firm, the manager, the auditor and/or outside investors. Asymmetric information and opposing objectives between the contracting parties lead to agency problems. The course will analyze the strategic interactions of the participants and it will addresses the specific agency problems. A special emphasis will be put on the accounting information system and the value of accounting information in agency settings.

Learning Objectives:

After the course, the students will:

  • become aware of the analytical accounting research topics in accounting,
  • have an understanding of the analytical research in accounting and its implications,
  • be able to differentiate and apply the agency settings to different accounting issues,
  • be able to summarize the assumptions of the analytical contracting models in accounting and state, explain and understand the main results of these models.


  1. Introduction
  2. Accounting Research Topics: Precision of Accounting Information
  3. Moral Hazard Problem and Accounting Information
  4. Adverse Selection Problem and Accounting Information
  5. Signaling
  6. Applications


  • Macho-Stadler, I. and Perez-Castrillo, J.D. (2001): An Introduction to the Economics of Information, Oxford.
  • Original Research Papers (e.g. Drymiotes 2011: Information Precision and Manipulation Incentives, Journal of Management Accounting Research)


Term paper (Hausarbeit) - includes the following:

  • Analytical literature review that includes discussion and analysis. The focus should be on the application of agency settings in accounting. (10 pages)
  • Short written summary and critical analysis of the original analytical research paper in the field of accounting. (2-3 pages)
  • Discussion and presentation of the original analytical research paper.

Digital learning:

  • The course uses Moodle as the learning platform. All the information and material will be regularly posted and updated on Moodle.
  • Presentation slides and additional material will be uploaded and available before each of the scheduled lectures.
  • In case SoSe 2021 continues to be a digital semester:
    • All presentation slides will be accompanied by videos (in Panopto) explaining the content.
    • Discussions, reviews and Q&A will be organized as Live Sessions through MS Teams.
    • There will be several problem sets accompanying the lectures. They will be uploaded 1 week prior to the scheduled session. Most of the exercises will be organized as Live Sessions through MS Teams. The solutions will be made available.