FIN450 Consumer Finance (Spring Term 2016)



The course gives an introduction to the field of consumer finance, which covers the use of financial instruments by private households. Financial decision making is among the most important but also the most complex problems individuals face these days. Topics include both investing decisions and credit decision of consumers, highlighting several influencing variables such as cognitive abilities, financial literacy, age, and experience. Another emphasis will be on retirement savings with coverage of savings programs, annuities and retirement consumption. Finally, the interaction of the consumer with his peers and financial intermediaries such as advisors will be discussed.

Learning outcomes:

  • The course provides an overview of the research field of consumer finance with regards to current research topics and methodology used
  • Students learn to integrate interdisciplinary views from finance, economics, psychology, and behavioral sciences
  • Students acquire the ability to deal with scientific research papers, to interpret their results and to identify critical points
  • The course introduces institutional features of savings products, debt products, and retirement systems in different countries

Program-specific education goals: LG1, LG2, LG6


Formal:  None              

Recommended: Students are assumed to have undergraduate-level knowledge of finance and economics (e.g. FIN301, ECO302). Some basic knowledge of statistics/econometrics is useful to understand empirical research conducted in the research papers, which the course content is based on. A sufficient level of spoken and written English language skills is necessary.

Further Details:

LecturersDr. Christoph Merkle
TimeFridays, 10:15 - 11:45 (B2)
Language of InstructionEnglish
Course starts on19.02.2016
Course ends on03.06.2016

Materials will be uploaded to the ILIAS course "FIN 450 Consumer Finance"

Recommended Reading:

Further readings are provided in the individual lectures.