• Canadian investors and the discount on closed-end funds

      Wang, Yue; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Small investors' sentiment has been proposed by behaviouralists to explain the existence and behavior of discount on closed-end funds (CEFD). The empirical tests of this sentiment hypothesis so far provide equivocal results. Besides, most of out-of-sample tests outside U.S. are not robust in the sense that they fail to well control other firm characteristics and risk factors that may explain stock return and to provide a formal cross-sectional test of the link between CEFD and stock return. This thesis explores the role of CEFD in asset pricing and further validates CEFD as a sentiment proxy in Canadian context and augments the extant studies by examining the redemption feature inherent in Canadian closed-end funds and by enhancing the robustness of the empirical tests. Our empirical results document differential behaviors in discounts between redeemable funds and non-redeemable funds. However, we don't find supportive evidence of CEFD as a priced factor. Specifically, the stocks with different exposures to CEFD fail to provide significantly different average return. Nor does CEFD provide significant incremental explanatory power, after controlling other well-known firm characteristics and risk factors, in cross-sectional as well as time-series variation of stock return. This evidence, together with the findings from our direct test of CEFD as a sentiment index, suggests that CEFD, even the discount on traditional non-redeemable closed-end funds, is unlikely to be driven by elusive sentiment in Canada.
    • The carbon disclosure project, an evolution in international environmental corporate governance : motivations and determinants of market response to voluntary disclosures

      Wegener, Matt; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This paper examines the factors associated with Canadian firms voluntarily disclosing climate change information through the Carbon Disclosure Project. Five hypotheses are presented to explain the factors influencing management's decision to disclose this information. These hypotheses include a response to shareholder activism, domestic institutional investor shareholder activism, signalling, litigation risk, and low cost publicity. Both binary logistic regressions as well as a cross-sectional analysis of the equity market's response to the environmental disclosures being made were used to test these hypotheses. Support was found for shareholder activism, low cost publicity, and litigation risk. However, the equity market's response was not found to be statistically significant.
    • CEO Compensation, Compensation Risk, and Corporate Governance: Evidence from Technology Firms

      Yu, Zhimin (Jimmy); Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2012-05-17)
      Literature suggests that CEOs of technology firms earn higher pay than CEOs of non-technology firms. I investigate whether compensation risk explains the difference in compensation between technology firms and non-technology firms. Controlling for firm size and performance, I find that CEOs in technology firms have higher pay, but also have much higher compensation risk compared to non-technology firms. Compensation risk explains the major part of the difference in CEO pay. My study is consistent with the labor market economics view that CEOs earn competitive risk-adjusted total compensation.

      Wang, Ziwen; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis compares the performance of ten well-known asset-pricing models for cross-sectional returns of various portfolios from January 1967 to December 2016. We rely on the distance-based metrics as the primary performance measure and use quantile regressions to compare models at a wide range of quantiles of the asset return distribution. The model performance is examined from both statistical and economic perspectives. We find that the Fama and French (2018) six-factor model reliably outperforms other competing models in pricing the selected portfolios. In particular, both the momentum factor and the value factor are necessary in asset-pricing models to explain the return variations in different quantiles. We also find that the performance of Barilla and Shanken (2018) six-factor model exhibits strong explanatory power in medium to high quantiles, despite some existing findings that their model performs poorly in OLS regressions. Overall, we show that the distance-based metrics coupled with quantile regressions provide a consistent and robust model-comparison methodology that largely enhances the existing OLS-based statistical measures.
    • Corporate Inversions and Long-Run Performance

      Warraich, Hamza; Faculty of Business Programs
      This paper investigates the short-term and long-term stock performance of firms that undergo corporate inversions. The results show that the market response to the initial inversion announcement differs based on the type of inversion. Merger & Acquisition (M&A) and restructuring inversions are perceived positively by the market, but naked inversions do not generate a price response. Furthermore, acquirers in inversion-related M&A transactions generate a price premium that is in excess of what is typically generated by acquirers in non-inversion M&A. In the long-run, firms that invert through naked and M&A inversions do not generate significant excess returns above the S&P 500. In contrast, restructured inverted firms generate significant excess returns of 214.53%. Collectively, however, the results suggest that corporate inversion alone is not an indicator of future stock returns.
    • Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance, And Managerial Risk-Taking

      Pyo, Minyoung; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-05-15)
      This dissertation investigates the association between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and managerial risk-taking, as well as the differences in governance structure that affect this association. Using a sample of US public firms from 1995 to 2009, we find that firms with strong CSR records engage in higher risk-taking. Furthermore, we find that this relationship is robust when accounting for differences in governance structure and correcting for endogeneity via simultaneous equations modeling. Additional testing indicates that performance in the employee relations dimension of CSR in particular increases with risk-taking, while high firm visibility dampens the association between CSR and the accounting-based measures of risk-taking. Prior literature establishes that high managerial risk-tolerance is necessary for the undertaking of risky yet value-enhancing investment decisions. Thus, the main findings suggest that CSR, rather than being a waste of scarce corporate resources, is instead an important aspect of shareholder value creation. They contribute to the debate on CSR by documenting that corporate risk-taking is one mechanism among others through which CSR maps into higher firm value.
    • COVID-19 news announcements and the foreign exchange markets

      Gholi Panah, Pari; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis entails an empirical study investigating the intraday effects of corona-virus pandemic news announcements on FX market price diffusion components, return, and volatility. The study examines explicitly the major foreign exchange market response to the COVID-19 news release, including pandemic figures related to new confirmed cases, number of deaths, progress of vaccine development and administration, government intervention measures to mitigate virus spread, and the World Health Organization senior official speech about pandemic progress. In addition, this paper investigates the context-specific effects of macroeconomic news. In other words, it examines the effects of important macroeconomic news on currency price components prior to and during the pandemic period. The reason behind this is that the literature has reached a clear consensus about macroeconomic news’s significant effects over time. The findings of this research contribute to both the empirical finance literature and the financial industry because they include insights into the behavior of foreign exchange market participants and international finance portfolio managers when analyzing the effects of unprecedented health, social and economic crises. Previous literature shows that the stability of a country’s foreign trade and its external environments impacts the exchange rate return and volatility. COVID-19 made financial markets more volatile as the pandemic increased uncertainty in foreign trade and foreign investment and intensified financial market risks. To have a clear picture of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FX markets, we incorporate all the essential COVID 19 announcements in this study. Our analysis documents that COVID-19 pandemic indicators and government response policies profoundly impact FX market volatility than a return. Also, regarding vaccine development news, there is strong evidence of FX market reaction to phase 3and emergency approval news related to COVID-19 vaccine development news. There is no evidence of market reaction to WHO official speeches about the COVID-19 pandemic in FX markets. The findings reveal that the FX market reacts to fewer macroeconomic news during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the market reaction to US macroeconomic news is still state-dependent.
    • Determinants of bankruptcy protection duration for Canadian firms

      Xing, Dan; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2011-05-17)
      The present thesis examines the determinants of the bankruptcy protection duration for Canadian firms. Using a sample of Canadian firms that filed for bankruptcy protection between the calendar years 1992 and 2009, we fmd that the firm age, the industry adjusted operating margin, the default spread, the industrial production growth rate or the interest rate are influential factors on determining the length of the protection period. Older firms tend to stay longer under protection from creditors. As older firms have more complicated structures and issues to settle, the risk of exiting soon the protection (the hazard rate) is small. We also find that firms that perform better than their benchmark as measured by the industry they belong to, tend to leave quickly the bankruptcy protection state. We conclude that the fate of relatively successful companies is determined faster. Moreover, we report that it takes less time to achieve a final solution to firms under bankrupt~y when the default spread is low or when the appetite for risk is high. Conversely, during periods of high default spreads and flight for quality, it takes longer time to resolve the bankruptcy issue. This last finding may suggest that troubled firms should place themselves under protection when spreads are low. However, this ignores the endogeneity issue: high default spread may cause and incidentally reflect higher bankruptcy rates in the economy. Indeed, we find that bankruptcy protection is longer during economic downturns. We explain this relation by the natural increase in default rate among firms (and individuals) during economically troubled times. Default spreads are usually larger during these harsh periods as investors become more risk averse since their wealth shrinks. Using a Log-logistic hazard model, we also fmd that firms that file under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection spend longer time restructuring than firms that filed under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). As BIA is more statutory and less flexible, solutions can be reached faster by court orders.
    • Do pervasive economic factors explain momentum?

      Chen, Lemeng; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis investigates the relationship between the profitability of momentum strategies and macroeconomic variables associated with the business cycles. We hypothesize that momentum is a risk factor that correlates with economic dynamics, which drive stock prices. We apply the two-state Markov regime switching model of Hamilton (1989) to capture the dynamic behavior of the time series of momentum return across different regimes. We include both univariate and multivariate regressions to examine the explanatory power of independent variables during different states. Moreover, we explore whether economic dynamics and investor sentiment are the only sources of the pricing effect of momentum. We adjust the momentum returns for selected macroeconomic variables, risk factors and proxy for investor sentiment. We define the residuals from the model as “pure momentum” and test the pricing capability of pure momentum in a standard asset pricing model. Using a sample of monthly data of US market covering the period between August 1962 and December 2014, we document that macroeconomic factors, risk factors and investor sentiment are unable to fully explain the momentum profits. Using a sample of monthly return on portfolios constructed by double-sorting stocks on size and book-to-market equity ratio, which include NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ stocks, we show that the pricing capability of momentum cannot be entirely explained by macroeconomic variables, risk factors and investor sentiment.
    • Does e-Government Always Fit? Moderating Role of Technology-Job Fit on Employee Acceptance of e-Government Technology.

      Belkhiria, Fares; Belkhiria; Faculty of Business Programs
      E-government technologies have widely been praised by academics, policy makers and the public. However, despite that many governments heavily invest in these technologies, they still struggle to implement them into their organisations because of employees not accepting them. In my study, I argue that this is due to the lack of “fit” of these technologies with the structure, processes, and practices of the employees. Against this backdrop, my study draws from organisational job fit, task-technology fit and technology acceptance literatures to examine the “Technology-Job fit” construct and explore its moderating role on how employees of government organisations perceive and adopt e-government technologies. I test my model on a sample of 347 employees of different government organisations in a developing country (Thailand). I find that employees’ judgements and satisfaction regarding a technology are significantly moderated by their perception of fit of the technology with their job. My study presents several contributions to research, policymaking, and practice of e-government and technology acceptance.
    • Does zero lower bound policy affect managerial risk-taking and executive compensation?

      Cai, Yue; Faculty of Business Programs
      This study empirically examined whether the zero lower bound policy of 2008 promotes managerial risk-taking using samples of U.S. publicly traded firms. Based on the evidence documented in previous research, this policy can lead to a change in firms’ managerial risk-taking and in turn result in a difference in executive compensation. By conducting empirical research, it was found that managerial risk taking increases significantly after the zero lower bound policy. In addition, firms’ total executive compensation also increased significantly after the zero lower bound policy. Further analysis showed that the increase in executive compensation was caused by the partial mediation of managerial risk-taking. Moreover, robustness checks showed that the relation between zero lower bound policy and managerial risk-taking is less significant for S&P 500 firms. In addition, corporate governance moderates the relation between managerial risk-taking and executive compensation.

      Agyemang, Isaac; Faculty of Business Programs
      This paper investigates the impact of personal affinity toward a charity and information regarding financial management of potential recipient charitable organizations on decisions to donate. Using an experiment, the study examines how personal donation decisions differ from corporate donation decisions made by managers and how the emotional intelligence of donors affects donation decisions. The results indicate that threshold and financial information on charities assembled by the Better Business Bureau, a charity rating agency, made a significant impact on corporate donation decisions. The study also shows that emotional intelligence plays an important role that aids both individual donors and managers to regulate their donation decisions.
    • Drivers and Barriers of Mobile Commerce: The Role of Consumers’ Personal Innovativeness

      Anwar, Ali; Faculty of Business Programs
      Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has experienced rapid growth in recent years, gaining importance in both academia and industry. However, extant literature has paid little attention to how m-commerce value is shaped, particularly in emerging economies. This study develops a framework of m-commerce value by studying its determinants. These comprise of the benefit: ubiquity (time convenience and accessibility), and barriers to m-commerce: perceived risk (financial risk /performance risk), and perceived cost. Moreover, this research investigates the moderating role of personal innovativeness on the relationship between the drivers/barriers and value. The findings of the empirical survey-based study in emerging m-commerce economies reveal a positive impact of ubiquity on value, while risk and cost have a negative influence. Furthermore, innovativeness was found to moderate the relationships between the determinants and value, apart from that between cost and value. The results further show that value positively affects actual usage and is enhanced by consumer innovativeness.
    • Drivers of Local Firms’ Focus on Internal R&D in Emerging Economies and Their International Performance

      Gloger, Manuel; Faculty of Business Programs
      Grounded on the resource-based view of the firm, the study of this thesis investigates the effect of four internal and external factors – engineer intensity, location, affiliation with the government, government funding – on Chinese firms’ decision to either invest in internal R&D activities or external R&D and the effect of this decision on the firms’ international market success. In addition, the moderating role of the presence of foreign firms in China is examined. To understand these relationships, the thesis’ theorization focuses on the issue of how firms can combine optimally the two options – “internal R&D” and “external R&D”. In this regard I juxtapose internal R&D and external R&D and compare their advantages and disadvantages. To test my model, I apply panel data from the Annual Industrial Survey Database provided by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. My results show that three of the four investigated factors affect Chinese firms’ resource allocation decisions; and effective resource allocation decisions lead effectively to international market success, strengthened by the presence of foreign firms in China. Moreover the findings bear several theoretical and managerial contributions. First I propose the last dimension of the “VRIO framework” – “organization” – as an endogenous component of the VRIO framework, as my study investigated how firms can effectively combine resources to generate a competitive advantage in terms of international market success. Previous academic literature so far focused on examining whether internal and external R&D are complements or substitutes. My study fills a gap in the literature by investigating the determinants of the efficient combination of the two strategies and the outcome of the combination. One of the managerial implications is that Chinese firms can learn from foreign companies that are present in China.

      Yang, Jie (Stephan); Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-05-15)
      The Meese-Rogoff forecasting puzzle states that foreign exchange (FX) rates are unpredictable. Since one country’s macroeconomic conditions could affect the price of its national currency, we study the dynamic relations between the FX rates and some macroeconomic accounts. Our research tests whether the predictability of the FX rates could be improved through the advanced econometrics. Improving the predictability of the FX rates has important implications for various groups including investors, business entities and the government. The present thesis examines the dynamic relations between the FX rates, savings and investments for a sample of 25 countries from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. We apply quarterly data of FX rates, macroeconomic indices and accounts including the savings and the investments over three decades. Through preliminary Augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root tests and Johansen cointegration tests, we found that the savings rate and the investment rate are cointegrated with the vector (1,-1). This result is consistent with many previous studies on the savings-investment relations and therefore confirms the validity of the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle. Because of the special cointegrating relation between the savings rate and investment rate, we introduce the savings-investment rate differential (SID). Investigating each country through a vector autoregression (VAR) model, we observe extremely insignificant coefficient estimates of the historical SIDs upon the present FX rates. We also report similar findings through the panel VAR approach. We thus conclude that the historical SIDs are useless in forecasting the FX rate. Nonetheless, the coefficients of the past FX rates upon the current SIDs for both the country-specific and the panel VAR models are statistically significant. Therefore, we conclude that the historical FX rates can conversely predict the SID to some degree. Specifically, depreciation in the domestic currency would cause the increase in the SID.
    • Dynamic Performance Evaluation of Canadian Fixed-Income Funds using Markov Regime Switching Models

      Liao, Yusui; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2013-09-09)
      This thesis examines the performance of Canadian fixed-income mutual funds in the context of an unobservable market factor that affects mutual fund returns. We use various selection and timing models augmented with univariate and multivariate regime-switching structures. These models assume a joint distribution of an unobservable latent variable and fund returns. The fund sample comprises six Canadian value-weighted portfolios with different investing objectives from 1980 to 2011. These are the Canadian fixed-income funds, the Canadian inflation protected fixed-income funds, the Canadian long-term fixed-income funds, the Canadian money market funds, the Canadian short-term fixed-income funds and the high yield fixed-income funds. We find strong evidence that more than one state variable is necessary to explain the dynamics of the returns on Canadian fixed-income funds. For instance, Canadian fixed-income funds clearly show that there are two regimes that can be identified with a turning point during the mid-eighties. This structural break corresponds to an increase in the Canadian bond index from its low values in the early 1980s to its current high values. Other fixed-income funds results show latent state variables that mimic the behaviour of the general economic activity. Generally, we report that Canadian bond fund alphas are negative. In other words, fund managers do not add value through their selection abilities. We find evidence that Canadian fixed-income fund portfolio managers are successful market timers who shift portfolio weights between risky and riskless financial assets according to expected market conditions. Conversely, Canadian inflation protected funds, Canadian long-term fixed-income funds and Canadian money market funds have no market timing ability. We conclude that these managers generally do not have positive performance by actively managing their portfolios. We also report that the Canadian fixed-income fund portfolios perform asymmetrically under different economic regimes. In particular, these portfolio managers demonstrate poorer selection skills during recessions. Finally, we demonstrate that the multivariate regime-switching model is superior to univariate models given the dynamic market conditions and the correlation between fund portfolios.
    • Earnings Announcement Premium: Evidence from the XBRL Mandate

      Hasan, Mohammad Maruf; Faculty of Business Programs
      In 2009, the SEC implemented the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filings of company reports to facilitate better analysis and interpretation of financial statements. In this study, I analyze whether the XBRL filings has an impact on the earnings announcement premium of the three different sizes (tiers) of XBRL firms. In cross-sectional analysis, I find that there has been a significant increase in the earnings announcement premium for the larger and medium firms in the post-XBRL period, whereas the change in announcement premium for the smaller firms is not significant. I also find that in the post-XBRL period, there has been an increase in abnormal idiosyncratic volatility and abnormal volume for all the three different tiers of firms. Results indicate that announcement premium may have increased as a result of an increase in information asymmetry between the larger and smaller firms in the post-XBRL period as documented by Blankespoor et al. (2014).
    • The Effect of Brand Crowding on Brand Differentiation: The Moderating Effect of Product Knowledge

      Lau, Yu Hang Francis; Faculty of Business Programs
      Brand differentiation is a commonly examined phenomenon in marketing. Among the many antecedents of brand differentiation, brand crowding has not been examined, especially in the context of the chocolate industry. This paper proposes that brand crowding has a positive effect on brand differentiation. It further suggests that product knowledge has a positive effect on this relationship while brand differentiation has a positive effect on both brand preference and purchase intention. Chocolate brands are used in one study to test the hypotheses. Examining the relationship between brand crowding and brand differentiation will help marketing managers create strategies to ensure crowding does not have an adverse effect on their brands.
    • The Effect of Competition on Real Earnings Management – A Re-examination

      Yeboah, David; Faculty of Business Programs
      This study examines the effect of competition in the product and labour markets on real earnings management (REM). REM is accomplished by firms changing investing or operating decisions primarily to increase current period earnings and can affect future cash flows negatively. Using data from Standard and Poor’s 1500 index firms from 1992 to 2015, I find strong support for the prediction that managers in more competitive labour markets are more inclined to use REM activities. However, I find little evidence that firms in more competitive product markets will reduce their engagement in REM activities. The results from the interaction of these two markets show that managers are more inclined to use REM activities whenever they face high labour market competition. This suggests that managers’ primary concern as they make REM decisions is the impact on their career.
    • Effect of executive compensation on firm performance

      Abedin, Mohammad Yameenul; Faculty of Business Programs
      The paper finds evidence that the equity-based CEO pay is positively related to firm performance and risk-taking. Both stock price and operating performance as well as firm's riskiness increase in the pay-performance sensitivities (PPS) provided by CEO stock options and stock holdings. PPS can explain stock returns better as an additional factor to the Fama-French 3-factor model. When CEOs are compensated with higher PPS, firms experience higher return on asset (ROA). The higher PPS also leads to the higher risk-taking. While CEO incentive compensation has been perceived mixed on its effectiveness, this study provides support to the equity-based CEO compensation in reducing agency conflicts between CEOs and shareholders.