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Student Blog – University of St. Gallen 2014 Summer School in Empirical Research Method

nchimunyaThe University of St. Gallen 2014 Summer School in Empirical Research Methods evoked mixed experience of intense high-level empirical Lecturers with enthused relaxing expeditions. The two weeks symposium drew determined PhD and Post doctorate students from diverse continents and universities. The world renowned professors conveyed their intellectual and in-depth knowledge in empirical research methods in a professional approach. Learning went beyond the lecture rooms as participants were housed in fully furnished flats where we were able to professionally network, despite cultural diversity.

As a PhD student from Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape in South Africa, my area of interest was mainly in three empirical quantitative research methods; regression, advanced micro econometrics and advanced time series analysis. With the overlaps in the time table, I could only attended regression I and II that were more applicable to my current study on financial crises and investments strategies in developing countries. However, the study will eventually incorporate the time component where advanced micro econometrics and advanced time series analysis will be vital in the analysis.

Professor Tim McDaniel, a visiting lecturer from the School of Business and the School of Science & Mathematics at Buena Vista University based in the USA, enhanced my understanding in Model specification and interpretation with focus on:

  • Various F-tests (e.g., group significance test; Chow test; relative importance of variables; comparison of model performance)
  • Categorical (Likert scale) variables (e.g., new tests for “intervalness” and “collapsing categories”)
  • Dichotomous Dependent Variables: Logit and Probit analysis
  • Advanced diagnostic plots and graphical techniques
  • A quick primer on matrix algebra (optional)
  • Regression models using matrix algebra
  • Heteroskedasticity
  • Autocorrelation
  • Diagnostic tests and plots
  • Analysis of residuals and outliers
  • Transformations to induce linearity
  • Multicollinearity
  • Dichotomous (Dummy) independent Variables
  • Multiplicative interaction terms
  • Model Specification
  • Outliers, influence, and leverage

After an intense week of comprehensive lecturers and hands on exercises, participants braved a joint excursion to Jaskobad, Eastern part of Switzerland. Activities ranged from Kronberg cable car, bob run, climbing park to many more activities.

I would like to state my gratitude to Global Business School Networks (GBSN) for the rare but important scholarship to attend the St. Gallen summer school for empirical research method. The course was timely and important for my current research on financial crises and investment strategies in developing countries. Gratitude also goes to St. Gallen University, for making our stay and study less stressful by organizing relaxation and joint excursion trips including the barbecue at Drei weiern among other activities. Last but not least, many thanks goes to Professor Tim McDaniel, for delivering the knowledge in a less stressful approach despite the comprehensive quantitative applications.Nchimunya Ndiili Kunda is currently working towards earning her PhD in Business Administration at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. In light of her research focus on portfolio management and investment, she was excited to attend the training in quantitative methods specifically in modeling, conceptualization and operationalization of empirical phenomena.