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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Language
  • English
Subject
Date Range
2012 2019


This paper examines dealers' inventory holding periods and the associated price markups on corporate bonds from 2003 to 2010. Changes in these measures explain a large part of the time series variation in aggregate corporate bond prices. In the cross-section, holding periods and markups overshadow extant liquidity measures and have significant explanatory power for individual bond prices. Both measures shed light on the credit spread puzzle: changes in credit spread are positively correlated with changes in holding periods and markups, and a large portion of credit spread changes is explained by them. The economic effects of holding periods and markups …

Contributors
Qian, Zhiyi, Wahal, Sunil, Bharath, Sreedhar, et al.
Created Date
2012

I examine the degree to which stockholders' aggregate gain/loss frame of reference in the equity of a given firm affects their response to the firm's quarterly earnings announcements. Contrary to predictions from rational expectations models of trade (Shackelford and Verrecchia 2002), I find that abnormal trading volume around earnings announcements is larger (smaller) when stockholders are in an aggregate unrealized capital gain (loss) position. This relation is stronger among seller-initiated trades and weaker in December, consistent with the cognitive bias referred to as the disposition effect (Shefrin and Statman 1985). Sensitivity analysis reveals that the relation is stronger among less …

Contributors
Weisbrod, Eric, Hillegeist, Stephen, Kaplan, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2012

This paper examines how equity analysts' roles as information intermediaries and monitors affect corporate liquidity policy and its associated value of cash, providing new evidence that analysts have a direct impact on corporate liquidity policy. Greater analyst coverage (1) reduces information asymmetry between a firm and outside shareholders and (2) enhances the monitoring process. Consistent with these arguments, analyst coverage increases the value of cash, thereby allowing firms to hold more cash. The cash-to-assets ratio increases by 5.2 percentage points when moving from the bottom analyst-coverage decile to the top decile. The marginal value of $1 of corporate cash holdings …

Contributors
Chang, Ching-Hung, Bates, Thomas, Bharath, Sreedhar, et al.
Created Date
2012

Mutual monitoring in a well-structured authority system can mitigate the agency problem. I empirically examine whether the number 2 executive in a firm, if given authority, incentive, and channels for communication and influence, is able to monitor and constrain the potentially self-interested CEO. I find strong evidence that: (1) measures of the presence and extent of mutual monitoring from the No. 2 executive are positively related to future firm value (Tobin's Q); (2) the beneficial effect is more pronounced for firms with weaker corporate governance or CEO incentive alignment, with stronger incentives for the No. 2 executives to monitor, and …

Contributors
Li, Zhichuan, Coles, Jeffrey, Hertzel, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2012

This paper investigates the role of top management and board interlocks between acquirers and targets. I hypothesize that an interlock may exacerbate agency problems due to conflicting interests and lead to value-decreasing acquisition. An interlock may also serve as a conduit of information and personal experience, and reduce the cost of information gathering for both firms. I find supporting evidence for these two non-mutually exclusive hypotheses. Consistent with the agency hypothesis, interlocked acquirers underperform non-interlocked acquirers by 2% during the announcement period. However, well-governed acquirers receive higher announcement returns and have better post-acquisition performance in interlocked deals. The proportional surplus …

Contributors
Wu, Qingqing, Bates, Thomas W, Hertzel, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2012

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have been in use for years in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and for a shorter time here in the United States. Typical PPP infrastructure projects include a multi-year term of operation in addition to constructing the structural features to be used. Early studies are proving PPP delivery methods to be effective at construction cost containment. An examination of the key elements that constitute the early stage negotiation reveal that there is room for negotiation created by the governing documentation while maintaining a competitive environment that brings the best value available to the Public entity. This …

Contributors
Maddex, William E., Chasey, Allan, El Asmar, Mounir, et al.
Created Date
2012

I study the performance of hedge fund managers, using quarterly stock holdings from 1995 to 2010. I use the holdings-based measure built on Ferson and Mo (2012) to decompose a manager's overall performance into stock selection and three components of timing ability: market return, volatility, and liquidity. At the aggregate level, I find that hedge fund managers have stock picking skills but no timing skills, and overall I do not find strong evidence to support their superiority. I show that the lack of abilities is driven by the large fluctuations of timing performance with market conditions. I find that conditioning …

Contributors
Kang, Minjeong, Aragon, George O, Hertzel, Michael G, et al.
Created Date
2013

I show that firms' ability to adjust variable capital in response to productivity shocks has important implications for the interpretation of the widely documented investment-cash flow sensitivities. The variable capital adjustment is sufficient for firms to capture small variations in profitability, but when the revision in profitability is relatively large, limited substitutability between the factors of production may call for fixed capital investment. Hence, firms with lower substitutability are more likely to invest in both factors together and have larger sensitivities of fixed capital investment to cash flow. By building a frictionless capital markets model that allows firms to optimize …

Contributors
Kim, Kirak, Bates, Thomas, Babenko, Ilona, et al.
Created Date
2013

I examine the determinants and implications of the level of director monitoring. I use the distance between directors' domiciles and firm headquarters as a proxy for the level of monitoring and the introduction of a new airline route between director domicile and firm HQ as an exogenous shock to the level of monitoring. I find a strong relation between distance and both board meeting attendance and director membership on strategic versus monitoring committees. Increased monitoring, as measured by a reduction in effective distance, by way of addition of a direct flight, is associated with a 3% reduction in firm value. …

Contributors
Bennett, Benjamin Frank, Coles, Jeffrey, Hertzel, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2014

The Dodd-Frank Act was created to promote financial stability in the United States. However, no one is quite sure what it is yet. While action had to be taken and Dodd-Frank has some positives, Dodd-Frank, as it is deciphered today, has severe drawbacks. Since Dodd-Frank is only in its infancy, it is difficult to form an interim conclusion about its effects on agricultural lending at this point. After passing Dodd-Frank in 2010, the government began trying to figure out what it means. Four years later, they are still trying and are about half way through making the rules. This law …

Contributors
Bettencourt, Bradley David, Thor, Eric, Manfredo, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2014

One theoretical research topic in organizational economics is the information issues raised in different organizations. This has been extensively studied in last three decades. One common feature of these research is focusing on the asymmetric information among different agents within one organization. However, in reality, we usually face the following situation. A group of people within an organization are completely transparent to each other; however, their characters are not known by other organization members who are outside this group. In my dissertation, I try to study how this information sharing would affect the outcome of different organizations. I focus on …

Contributors
Wu, Zhenhua, Friedenberg, Amanda, Manelli, Alejandro, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation provides an analysis of the effects of public secondary equity offerings by private equity sponsors at portfolio firms that have become publicly traded entities via initial public offerings. Such secondary offerings were rare prior to 2000, but in recent years have become an increasingly common form of financial activity. A large sample of these offerings is analyzed within the framework of corporate finance theory, taking into account that they allow a private equity sponsor to sell off a large, controlling block of common stock to dispersed investors. This work provides a basis to draw conclusions about the effects …

Contributors
Dong, Qi, Sushka, Marie E., Slovin, Myron B., et al.
Created Date
2015

Merton (1987) predicts that idiosyncratic risk can be priced. I develop a simple equilibrium model of capital markets with information costs in which the idiosyncratic risk premium depends on the average level of idiosyncratic volatility. This dependence suggests that the idiosyncratic risk premium varies over time. I find that in U.S. markets, the covariance between stock-level idiosyncratic volatility and the idiosyncratic risk premium explains future stock returns. Stocks in the highest quintile of the covariance between the volatility and risk premium earn an average 3-factor alpha of 70 bps per month higher than those in the lowest quintile. Dissertation/Thesis

Contributors
Xie, Daruo, Wahal, Sunil, Mehra, Rajnish, et al.
Created Date
2015

In the first chapter, I develop a representative agent model in which the purchase of consumption goods must be planned in advance. Volatility in the agent's portfolio increases the risk that a purchase cannot be implemented. This implementation risk causes the agent to make conservative consumption plans. In the model, this leads to persistent and negatively skewed consumption growth and a slow reaction of consumption to wealth shocks. The model proposes a novel explanation for the negative relation between volatility and expected utility. In equilibrium, prices of risky assets must compensate for the utility loss. Hence, the model suggests a …

Contributors
Wan, Pengcheng, Boguth, Oliver, Tserlukevich, Yuri, et al.
Created Date
2015

While credit rating agencies use both forward-looking and historical information in evaluating a firm's credit risk, the role of forward-looking information in their rating decisions is not well understood. In this study, I examine the association between management earnings guidance news and future credit rating changes. While upward earnings guidance is not informative for credit rating changes, downward earnings guidance is significantly and positively associated with both the likelihood and speed of rating downgrades. In cross-sectional analyses, I find that downward guidance is especially informative in two important circumstances: (i) when a firm's current credit rating is overly optimistic compared …

Contributors
Lin, An-Ping, Hillegeist, Stephen, Hugon, Jean, et al.
Created Date
2015

The purpose of this research is to efficiently analyze certain data provided and to see if a useful trend can be observed as a result. This trend can be used to analyze certain probabilities. There are three main pieces of data which are being analyzed in this research: The value for δ of the call and put option, the %B value of the stock, and the amount of time until expiration of the stock option. The %B value is the most important. The purpose of analyzing the data is to see the relationship between the variables and, given certain values, …

Contributors
Reeves, Michael Thomas, Richa, Andrea, McCarville, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2015

In trading, volume is a measure of how much stock has been exchanged in a given period of time. Since every stock is distinctive and has an alternate measure of shares, volume can be contrasted with historical volume inside a stock to spot changes. It is likewise used to affirm value patterns, breakouts, and spot potential reversals. In my thesis, I hypothesize that the concept of trading volume can be extrapolated to social media (Twitter). The ubiquity of social media, especially Twitter, in financial market has been overly resonant in the past couple of years. With the growth of its …

Contributors
Awasthi, Piyush, Davulcu, Hasan, Tong, Hanghang, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation consists of two essays on corporate policy. The first chapter analyzes whether being labeled a “growth” firm or a “value” firm affects the firm’s dividend policy. I focus on the dividend policy because of its discretionary nature and the link to investor demand. To address endogeneity concerns, I use regression discontinuity design around the threshold to assign firms to each category. The results show that “value” firms have a significantly higher dividend payout - about four percentage points - than growth firms. This approach establishes a causal link between firm “growth/value” labels and dividend policy. The second chapter …

Contributors
Lee, Tae Eui, Mehra, Rajnish, Tserlukevich, Yuri, et al.
Created Date
2015

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) whose observed personal option-holding patterns are not consistent with theoretical predictions are variously described as overconfident or optimistic. Existing literature demonstrates that the investment and financing decisions of such CEOs differ from those of CEOs who do not exhibit such behavior and interprets the investment and financing decisions by overconfident or optimistic CEOs as inferior. This paper argues that it may be rational to exhibit behavior interpreted as optimistic and that the determinants of a CEO’s perceived optimism are important. Further, this paper shows that CEOs whose apparent optimism results from above average industry-adjusted CEO performance …

Contributors
Walton, Richard, Bates, Thomas, Lindsey, Laura, et al.
Created Date
2016

Based on multiple case studies of the transactions in China by private equity funds, this paper attempts to explore the value-creation capabilities of private equity funds at the transaction/deal level. Previous studies on financial performance of PE funds utilized data collected from publically traded companies in European/US markets. By measuring financial performance of both “pre- and post-transactions,” these studies researched two questions: 1) Do buyout funds create value? 2) If they do, what are the sources of value creation? In general, studies conclude that private equity/buyout funds do create value at both the deal level and investor level. They also …

Contributors
Ye, Youming, Lee, Peggy, Zhu, Ning, et al.
Created Date
2016

This paper examines the link between firm size and innovation. Given that innovation is highly reliant on human capital, the ability to attract, motivate, and retain high quality inventors is a key determinant of firm innovation. Firm size may affect these abilities, and small firms are known to account for a disproportionate share of aggregate innovation. I therefore investigate the role that sorting of inventors across firms plays in explaining this disparity. Talented inventors may find employment at a large firm less attractive due to the relative absence of growth options and a lower ability to link compensation to performance. …

Contributors
Chi, Yung-Ling, Lindsey, Laura A., Tserlukevich, Yuri, et al.
Created Date
2016

There have been extensive research in how news and twitter feeds can affect the outcome of a given stock. However, a majority of this research has studied the short term effects of sentiment with a given stock price. Within this research, I studied the long-term effects of a given stock price using fundamental analysis techniques. Within this research, I collected both sentiment data and fundamental data for Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Peabody Energy Corp. Using a neural network algorithm, I found that sentiment does have an effect on the annual growth of these companies but the fundamentals are more …

Contributors
Reeves, Tyler Joseph, Davulcu, Hasan, Baral, Chitta, et al.
Created Date
2016

Managers’ control over the timing and content of information disclosure represents a significant strategic tool which they can use at their discretion. However, extant theoretical perspectives offer incongruent arguments and incompatible predictions about when and why managers would release inside information about their firms. More specifically, agency theory and theories within competitive dynamics provide competing hypotheses about when and why managers would disclose inside information about their firms. In this study, I highlight how voluntary disclosure theory may help to coalesce these two theoretical perspectives. Voluntary disclosure theory predicts that managers will release inside information when managers perceive that the …

Contributors
Busenbark, John R., Certo, S. Trevis, Semadeni, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation is a collection of three essays relating household financial obligations to asset prices. Financial obligations include both debt payments and other financial commitments. In the first essay, I investigate how household financial obligations affect the equity premium. I modify the standard Mehra-Prescott (1985) consumption-based asset pricing model to resolve the equity risk premium puzzle. I focus on two channels: the preference channel and the borrowing constraints channel. Under reasonable parameterizations, my model generates equity risk premiums similar in magnitudes to those observed in U.S. data. Furthermore, I show that relaxing the borrowing constraint shrinks the equity risk premium. …

Contributors
Jahangiry, Pedram, Mehra, Rajnish, Wahal, Sunil, et al.
Created Date
2017

Firms reduce investment when facing downward wage rigidity (DWR), the inability or unwillingness to adjust wages downward. I construct DWR measures and exploit staggered state-level changes in minimum wage laws as an exogenous variation in DWR to document this fact. Following a minimum wage increase, firms reduce their investment rate by 1.17 percentage points. Surprisingly, this labor market friction enhances firm value and production efficiency when firms are subject to other frictions causing overinvestment, consistent with the theory of second best. Finally, I identify increased operating leverage and aggravation of debt overhang as mechanisms by which DWR impedes investment. Dissertation/Thesis

Contributors
Cho, DuckKi, Bharath, Sreedhar, Hertzel, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2017

The purpose of this study was to collect specific data concerning the use of financial resources from extant adult community bands that are members of the Association of Concerts Bands (ACB). An adult community band is defined as an ensemble consisting primarily of amateur adult woodwind, brass, and percussion performers, the majority of whom are not satisfying school, college, or military requirements through participation. This investigation comprises two main parts: 1) a perusal of the development of adult community bands within the overall history of bands in the United States, including, when possible, financial aspects of their operations; and 2) …

Contributors
Raya, Bryan, Hill, Gary, Caslor, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2017

I study the relation between firm debt structure and future external financing and investment. I find that greater reliance on long-term debt is associated with increased access to external financing and ability to undertake profitable investments. This contrasts with previous empirical results and theoretical predictions from the agency cost literature, but it is consistent with predictions regarding rollover risk. Furthermore, I find that firms with lower total debt (high debt capacity) have greater access to new financing and investment. Lower leverage increases future debt issues and capital expenditures, and firms do not fully rebalance by reducing the use of external …

Contributors
Flynn, Sean, Tserlukevich, Yuri, Hertzel, Mike, et al.
Created Date
2017

I study how the density of executive labor markets affects managerial incentives and thereby firm performance. I find that U.S. executive markets are locally segmented rather than nationally integrated, and that the density of a local market provides executives with non-compensation incentives. Empirical results show that in denser labor markets, executives face stronger performance-based dismissal threats as well as better outside opportunities. These incentives result in higher firm performance in denser markets, especially when executives have longer career horizons. Using state-level variation in the enforceability of covenants not to compete, I find that the positive effects of market density on …

Contributors
Zhao, Hong, Hertzel, Michael, Babenko, Ilona, et al.
Created Date
2017

Government revenue forecasting errors have become larger, especially in exceptional times such as the periods surrounding economic recessions. Inaccurate revenue estimates stem from unanticipated revenue increases or decreases from a previous trend. Unfortunately, current forecasting methods relying primarily on trend analysis do not incorporate these kinds of sudden changes easily. When revenue punctuations occur, the revenue forecasting errors increase. To reduce forecasting errors caused by revenue punctuations in government revenue collections, I argued that analysts must not dismiss outliers as extraneous or useless phenomena. My research revealed an approach to incorporate outliers or punctuations into revenue forecasting. First, this research …

Contributors
Wang, Dan, Miller, Gerald J, Lan, Gerald, Zhiyong, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation establishes a national exploration into the subnational fiscal policies of the United States at the county level of government. This dissertation begins a dialog about county fiscal practices and examines budget stabilization policies of county governments across the country and studies how county governments are codifying the action of setting funds aside for use during times of need. The study moves from the descriptive analysis of counties and explore quantitatively the effects of county government general fund balances and reserve practices over time and documents the reserves, revenue and expenditures of 43 counties across the United States over …

Contributors
Flick, Angie, Reilly, Thomas, Miller, Gerald J, et al.
Created Date
2018

By matching a CEO's place of residence in his or her formative years with U.S. Census survey data, I obtain an estimate of the CEO's family wealth and study the link between the CEO's endowed social status and firm performance. I find that, on average, CEOs born into poor families outperform those born into wealthy families, as measured by a variety of proxies for firm performance. There is no evidence of higher risk-taking by the CEOs from low social status backgrounds. Further, CEOs from less privileged families perform better in firms with high R&D spending but they underperform CEOs from …

Contributors
Du, Fangfang, Babenko, Ilona, Bates, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2018

Personal finances are an essential part of adulthood, yet we find that many Americans have low financial literacy (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation, 2016). This phenomenon is especially true for young adults (18-25 years old) (Lusardi, 2019). Lusardi, Mitchell, and Curto (2009) found that fewer than one-third of young adults possess basic financial knowledge. The present study examined whether financial self-efficacy and financial hardship were moderators between financial literacy and financial anxiety among a young adult sample (18-25 years old; Arnett, 2000). The current study utilized moderated moderation analyses to explore the associations between financial literacy, financial anxiety …

Contributors
Faison, Alexis Duckett, Tran, Alisia (Giac-Thao), Bernstein, Bianca, et al.
Created Date
2019