DFG Network Textual Analysis in Economics and Finance

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Project Description on the German Research Foundation's Webpage (in German)

Practitioners and researchers face the challenge of having to extract information from the vast amount of unstructured data available today. This data typically takes the form of text written in natural language, such as corporate filings, transcripts of earnings calls, news articles, twitter feeds, etc.. Due to its size, it is infeasible to manually process this data. Instead, computer-based methods of textual analysis are required. Textual analysis, i.e. automated extraction of information from text, requires fundamentally different approaches compared to analyzing structured data, such as tabulated time-series data. Academics in finance have started to adopt methods of textual analysis from linguistics and machine learning for their research. For instance, textual analysis is being applied to extract the tone or complexity of financial texts and analyze their effect on firm performance and investor behavior.

Despite these first successful attempts, textual analysis is not yet part of the standard toolset in financial economics research. This is due to methodological issues of this relatively new discipline, and due to the fact that textual analysis has yet to be proven useful in the various fields of financial economics. The scientific network aims to address these challenges. To this end, three areas of a lack of existing research have been identified:

  1. Testing the ability of existing methods to select and classify information in financial texts.
  2. Application of textual analysis in the context of capital markets and corporate finance applications.
  3. Application of textual analysis in the international context, i.e. application to text written in foreign languages.


  • 2017-08 in Mannheim

  • 2016-12 in München (LMU)
 Program Munich

  • 2016-07 in Berlin (HU)
 Program Berlin


Invited Guest Speakers

  • Matthias Buehlmaier (University of Hong Kong)
  • Axel Groß-Klußmann (Quoniam Asset Management GmbH)
  • Ulf Leser (HU Berlin)
  • Tim Loughran (University of Notre Dame)
  • Hinrich Schütze (LMU Munich Center for Information and Language Processing)
  • Alexander Wagner (Swiss Finance Institute)


Contact information

Contact any of the members (see above) for further information or if you wish to contribute.

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