Great Dissertation Topics In Finance: 15 Unique Ideas

Finance is a deceptively simple topic, covering the proper allocation of assets and liabilities over time to maximise wealth. When you factor in uncertainty, the field is diverse, rich, and exciting. Here are fifteen ideas that will lead you to a great dissertation topic in the field.

  1. Do retail hedge funds demand investor sophistication too far beyond the average? Should they be highly regulated, or left to market forces?
  2. By what channels might peer-to-peer lending schemes trigger financial crises, if at all?
  3. As wealth discrepancies widen, what effects might the abolition of inheritance have?
  4. Has the recent global financial crisis caused investors to flee banks in search of less-safe opportunities without capital protection? Does that matter?
  5. Does financial literacy have a positive impact on the discipline of investors? Or do the animal spirits nonetheless dominate?
  6. In their initial public offerings, some tech giants recently have taken very different approaches to pricing their capital raising, such as through auctions. What frameworks might guide the selection of these alternatives across industries, instruments, and geographies?
  7. Share buybacks are increasingly popular with activist shareholders. But do they signify that companies are simply running out of growth opportunities?
  8. There are lingering effects of the credit crunch triggered by the global financial crisis, leaving many firms without access to capital. What alternative sources of funding are being found?
  9. Corporates have increasing access to exotic hedging instruments to manage risks. What governance should boards institute to ensure that their treasuries achieve risk reductions, rather than risk explosions?
  10. Modern economics takes it for granted that state-owned enterprises are always less efficient than their private counterparts. Even so, what distinguishes the less efficient from the woefully inefficient?
  11. Should state-owned enterprises be beneficiaries of counter-cyclical fiscal policies, or should the focus lie with the private sector?
  12. Where nations have pursued public-private partnerships for infrastructure and service delivery, what evidence supports this as an effective and efficient model?
  13. Financial crises trigger public cries for greater ethics in finance. But are they ultimately even teachable? If so, how?
  14. Following recent regulatory trends, what are the pitfalls of attempting to more closely regulate banks and insurers together, despite their different roles in the economy?
  15. As banks face a deluge of increased regulation, investors are finding non-bank alternatives, such as asset managers. Will this ultimately undermine the role banks play in economies as they lose their deposit bases?