• Keyword Competition and Determinants of Ad Position in Sponsored Search Advertising

      Karimi, Armin; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2012-10-11)
      Given the significant growth of the Internet in recent years, marketers have been striving for new techniques and strategies to prosper in the online world. Statistically, search engines have been the most dominant channels of Internet marketing in recent years. However, the mechanics of advertising in such a market place has created a challenging environment for marketers to position their ads among their competitors. This study uses a unique cross-sectional dataset of the top 500 Internet retailers in North America and hierarchical multiple regression analysis to empirically investigate the effect of keyword competition on the relationship between ad position and its determinants in the sponsored search market. To this end, the study utilizes the literature in consumer search behavior, keyword auction mechanism design, and search advertising performance as the theoretical foundation. This study is the first of its kind to examine the sponsored search market characteristics in a cross-sectional setting where the level of keyword competition is explicitly captured in terms of the number of Internet retailers competing for similar keywords. Internet retailing provides an appropriate setting for this study given the high-stake battle for market share and intense competition for keywords in the sponsored search market place. The findings of this study indicate that bid values and ad relevancy metrics as well as their interaction affect the position of ads on the search engine result pages (SERPs). These results confirm some of the findings from previous studies that examined sponsored search advertising performance at a keyword level. Furthermore, the study finds that the position of ads for web-only retailers is dependent on bid values and ad relevancy metrics, whereas, multi-channel retailers are more reliant on their bid values. This difference between web-only and multi-channel retailers is also observed in the moderating effect of keyword competition on the relationships between ad position and its key determinants. Specifically, this study finds that keyword competition has significant moderating effects only for multi-channel retailers.
    • Keyword Segmentation, Campaign Organization, and Budget Allocation in Sponsored Search Advertising

      Visser, Derek; Faculty of Business Programs
      Sponsored search advertising, where search providers allow advertisers to participate in a real-time auction and compete for ad slots on search engine results pages (SERPs), is currently one of the most popular advertising channels by marketers. Some domains such as Amazon.com allocate in millions of dollars a month to their sponsored search campaigns. Considering the amount of money allocated to sponsored search as well as the dynamic nature of keyword advertising process, the campaign budget planning decision is a non-trivial task for advertisers. Budget constrained advertisers must consider a number of factors when deciding how to organize campaigns, how much budget to allocate to them, and which keywords to bid on. Specifically, they must decide how to spend budget across planning horizons, markets, campaigns, and ad groups. In this thesis, I develop a simulation model that integrates the issues of keyword segmentation, campaign organization, and budget allocation in order to characterize different budget allocation strategies and understand their implications on search advertising performance. Using the buying funnel model as the basis of keyword segmentation and campaign organization, I examine several budget allocation strategies (i.e., search Volume-based, Cost-based, and Clicks-based) and evaluate their performance implications for firms that may pursue different marketing objectives based on industry and or product/service offerings. I evaluate the simulation model using four fortune 500 companies as cases and their keyword advertising data obtained from Spyfu.com. The results and statistical analysis shows significant improvements in budget utilization using the above-mentioned allocation strategies over a Baseline strategy commonly used in practice. The study offers a unique insight into the budget allocation problem in sponsored search advertising by leveraging a theoretical framework for keyword segmentation, campaign management, and performance evaluation. It also provides insights for advertiser on operational issues such as keyword categorization and campaign organization and prioritization for improved performance. The proposed simulation model also contributes a valid experimental environment to test further decision scenarios, theoretical frameworks, and campaign allocation strategies in sponsored search advertising.
    • Learning Product Attributes from User-Generated Content for Dynamic Promotion Strategies

      Abduvaitova, Lola; Faculty of Business Programs
      One widely adopted product attribute classification in the literature is the “Search” versus “Experience” dichotomy. Because the costs involved in searching and experiencing products vary across consumers and over a product’s life time, it is important for marketers to understand consumers’ evaluation of these attributes in order to formulate scalable and dynamic promotion strategies. This thesis attempts to address this challenge by proposing a text analytics framework for understanding consumers’ evaluation of product attributes to support agile promotion strategies. In the past, researchers have attempted to classify entire product categories as search or experience via questionnaires or using quantitative approaches by analyzing review star ratings. This thesis uses objective consumer reviews and text mining techniques to extract product features that can define search or experience attributes. A hybrid of unsupervised and supervised learning techniques was used to generate labelled training data from eight different product categories of Amazon and train classification models to determine the likely position of a product within the search-experience product classification spectrum. Extensive experiments using best-case and worst-case scenario were used to improve the accuracy levels of decision-tree based classification models and demonstrate the scalability of the text analytics framework. The proposed approach also incorporated a mechanism to aggregate the scores that the model gives to each individual review in order to determine the likely position at a product level. It is also shown that a product’s position in the search-experience spectrum may change during its review cycle, indicating that marketers need to investigate reviews for any periods of interest to develop effective promotion strategies in a more agile fashion. From a theoretical view, the text mining approach significantly adds to the existing body of knowledge in the classification of product attributes for supporting promotions. In addition to detecting dominant signals for search and experience positions, marketers can uncover a great deal of contents to formulate more specific advertising messages.
    • Leveraging Mobile App Classification and User Context Information for Improving Recommendation Systems

      Mingshan, Han Jr; Faculty of Business Programs
      Mobile apps play a significant role in current online environments where there is an overwhelming supply of information. Although mobile apps are part of our daily routine, searching and finding mobile apps is becoming a nontrivial task due to the current volume, velocity and variety of information. Therefore, app recommender systems provide users’ desired apps based on their preferences. However, current recommender systems and their underlying techniques are limited in effectively leveraging app classification schemes and context information. In this thesis, I attempt to address this gap by proposing a text analytics framework for mobile app recommendation by leveraging an app classification scheme that incorporates the needs of users as well as the complexity of the user-item-context information in mobile app usage pattern. In this recommendation framework, I adopt and empirically test an app classification scheme based on textual information about mobile apps using data from Google Play store. In addition, I demonstrate how context information such as user social media status can be matched with app classification categories using tree-based and rule-based prediction algorithms. Methodology wise, my research attempts to show the feasibility of textual data analysis in profiling apps based on app descriptions and other structured attributes, as well as explore mechanisms for matching user preferences and context information with app usage categories. Practically, the proposed text analytics framework can allow app developers reach a wider usage base through better understanding of user motivation and context information.
    • Linking Ethical Leadership and Employees’ In-Role Performance: Exploring the Mediating Roles of Psychological Capital and Follower-Leader Relational Capital

      Zafar, Asma; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2013-05-14)
      This study investigates the mediating impact of psychological capital and follower-leader relational capital on the relationship between ethical leadership and in-role performance through the lenses of social exchange theory, social information processing theory, and psychological resources theory. Analysis of data collected from a sample of 171 employees and 24 supervisors from Pakistan reveals that ethical leadership has a positive effect on followers’ in-role job performance, yet this effect is fully explained through the role of psychological capital and partially through follower-leader relational capital. Significant implications of these findings for further research and practice are discussed.
    • Liquidity, institutional ownership and regulation fair disclosure

      Lin, Ji; Faculty of Business Programs (2012-03-29)
      There is a body of academic literature addressing two issues of importance for leveling the playing field for all classes of investors: 1) the impact of institutional investors on liquidity; and 2) the impact of Regulation Fair Disclosure on institutional investors and liquidity. Our study addresses both issues with the purpose of attaining a better understanding and explanation of this relationship. We classify institutional ownership according to Bushee's (1998, 2001) methodology; transient institutions, dedicated institutions and quasi-indexers. Our results indicate that while transient institutions and quasi-indexers have a positive impact on liquidity, dedicated institutional ownership is negatively associated with liquidity. This result is consistent with prior theoretical studies. We also find that the effectiveness ofthe Regulation Fair Disclosure in improving liquidity is limited to firms with higher transient institutional ownership, whereas quasi-indexed institutions have not been significantly affected by the regulations. In fact, the liquidity of firms is lower for firms with higher dedicated institutional holdings, which is evidence of the "chilling effect".
    • Macroeconomic News and Exchange Rates: Evidence of Unstable Effect

      Zhou, Xinyao; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-05-02)
      Although the link between macroeconomic news announcements and exchange rates is well documented in recent literature, this connection may be unstable. By using a broad set of macroeconomic news announcements and high frequency forex data for the Euro/Dollar, Pound/Dollar and Yen/Dollar from Nov 1, 2004 to Mar 31, 2014, we obtain two major findings with regards to this instability. First, many macroeconomic news announcements exhibit unstable effects with certain patterns in foreign exchange rates. These news effects may change in magnitude and even in their sign over time, over business cycles and crises within distinctive contexts. This finding is robust because the results are obtained by applying a Two-Regime Smooth Transition Regression Model, a Breakpoints Regression Model, and an Efficient Test of Parameter Instability which are all consistent with each other. Second, when we explore the source of this instability, we find that global risks and the reaction by central bank monetary policy to these risks to be possible factors causing this instability.
    • Macroeconomic News and LOB in Foreign Exchange ECN Market

      Yusi, Tao; Faculty of Business Programs
      We investigate the macroeconomic news effect on the dynamics of the limit order books (LOB) for euro-dollar ECN market in different economic states between Jan. 2006 to Dec. 2009. Using a VAR-STR model on the news surprise, pure news, aggregated good and bad news, we show that news effects on the LOB dynamics vary in different states of economy. The LOB dynamics are measured by depth, spread, slope and volatility. In contract to slope and volatility, depth and spread strongly respond to news surprise and pure news during recession and expansion. These characteristics are more affected by aggregated good and bad news during expansion. News effects are robust to alternative characteristic measures, the different sides of the LOB and the different levels in the LOB.
    • MACROECONOMIC NEWS ANNOUNCEMENTS, US PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS AND EMERGING CURRENCY MARKETS DURING THE POST-GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

      Das, Deepan Kumar; Faculty of Business Programs
      In this study, we examine the relationship of foreign and domestic macroeconomic news announcements and US public communication from senior officials in the Federal Reserve and the US Department of the Treasury with high-frequency exchange rates in 5 emerging currencies over 2010-2017. To be more specific, we investigate the impact of the announcements and communications on return, volatility and price discontinuity (jump) of the emerging currencies. First, we study the return and volatility reaction to the announcements and communication releases, and then analyze the effects of those announcements and communications on jumps and cojumps. We find that a great majority of the announcements and communications have strong impacts on return and volatility, however, only a few of them can trigger jumps and cojumps. Effects of communications and European announcements specifically are more pronounced and consistent on return and volatility adjustments than on jumps and cojumps. Though less in number, US and domestic macroeconomic news announcements consistently affect jumps and cojumps across most of the emerging currencies. Like in previous studies, we observe in ours that currencies are most sensitive to US announcements. Though previous studies cannot establish any significant relationship with domestic announcements, we evidence that currencies have become very responsive to domestic announcements after the global financial crisis in 2008. Most important US announcements, when it comes to affecting return and volatility, are FOMC rate decisions, FOMC meeting minutes, non-farm payrolls, CPI, GDP, ISM, PPI, retail sales and unemployment rates. Jumps and cojumps, on the other hand, exhibit tendency to respond significantly to FOMC rate decisions, FOMC meeting minutes, non-farm payrolls and CPI out of all the US announcements. With regards to domestic announcements, releases on central bank’s rate decision, CPI, trade balance and bond trading are very important.
    • Macroeconomic News Effects and Foreign Exchange Jumps

      Wang, Jiahui; Faculty of Business Programs
      This thesis investigates how macroeconomic news announcements affect jumps and cojumps in foreign exchange markets, especially under different business cycles. We use 5-min interval from high frequency data on Euro/Dollar, Pound/Dollar and Yen/Dollar from Nov. 1, 2004 to Feb. 28, 2015. The jump detection method was proposed by Andersen et al. (2007c), Lee & Mykland (2008) and then modified by Boudt et al. (2011a) for robustness. Then we apply the two-regime smooth transition regression model of Teräsvirta (1994) to explore news effects under different business cycles. We find that scheduled news related to employment, real activity, forward expectations, monetary policy, current account, price and consumption influences forex jumps, but only FOMC Rate Decisions has consistent effects on cojumps. Speeches given by major central bank officials near a crisis also significantly affect jumps and cojumps. However, the impacts of some macroeconomic news are not the same under different economic states.
    • Managerial Risk-Taking and CEO Excess Compensation

      Jafri, Syed Rahat Ali; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2013-05-14)
      This paper examines risk taking and CEO excess compensation problems in U.S firms to determine their impact on shareholders wealth. Literature suggests a positive effect of CEO incentive risk and strong corporate governance on CEO risk taking. Furthermore, the strong governance mitigates excess compensation problem. Controlling for governance quality and incentive risk, I provide empirical evidence of a significant association between risk taking and CEO excess compensation. When I also control for pay-performance sensitivity (delta) and feedback effects of incentive compensation on CEO risk taking, I find that higher use of incentive pay encourages risk taking, and due to a high exposure to risk CEOs draws excess compensation. Furthermore, I find that the excess compensation problem is more serious with CEOs taking high risk than with those taking low risk. Finally, I find that CEO risk taking also has structural impacts on CEO compensation
    • Margin requirements and volatility : evidence from Canadian stocks

      Lee, Kwan Yiu; Faculty of Business Programs (St. Catharines, Ont. : Brock University, Dept. of Management, 2010., 2010-03-09)
      Margin policy is used by regulators for the purpose of inhibiting exceSSIve volatility and stabilizing the stock market in the long run. The effect of this policy on the stock market is widely tested empirically. However, most prior studies are limited in the sense that they investigate the margin requirement for the overall stock market rather than for individual stocks, and the time periods examined are confined to the pre-1974 period as no change in the margin requirement occurred post-1974 in the U.S. This thesis intends to address the above limitations by providing a direct examination of the effect of margin requirement on return, volume, and volatility of individual companies and by using more recent data in the Canadian stock market. Using the methodologies of variance ratio test and event study with conditional volatility (EGARCH) model, we find no convincing evidence that change in margin requirement affects subsequent stock return volatility. We also find similar results for returns and trading volume. These empirical findings lead us to conclude that the use of margin policy by regulators fails to achieve the goal of inhibiting speculating activities and stabilizing volatility.
    • Market Reaction to the Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

      Rahman, Mahmud; Faculty of Business Programs
      I investigate the market reaction to the events leading up to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) using short and long window event studies. Using the sample of S&P 1,500 firms, I find positive market reaction to the enactment of the TCJA only in one short window; market reaction to other windows remains weak. This study documents that firms with high marginal tax rate have positive market reaction only in one long window. Further investigation reveals that for the firms with deferred tax assets the market reaction is positive only in one short window and in another long window market reaction is negative. I also find weak evidence that firms with high deferred tax liabilities have a positive market reaction to the passage of the TCJA. In addition, I document that firms with high executive compensation record negative market reactions in the short windows, but no market reaction in the long windows. I finally find that market reaction to the marginal tax rate varies with firm corporate governance only in one short window. Overall, my study contributes to the existing tax and accounting literature by examining investor reaction to the passage of TCJA based on dominant firm characteristics such as marginal tax rates, corporate governance structures, the nature of deferred taxes, and the level of executive compensation for events leading to and after the passage of the Act.
    • Market reactions to changes in the Nasdaq-100 Index membership

      Xu, Yuanbin; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2012-05-17)
      We examine stock market reactions around the Nasdaq-100 Index reconstitutions. We find a symmetric and transitory price response accompanied by a significant increase in trading volume on the effective date. Firms added to the Nasdaq-100 Index experience significant increases in institutional ownership, the number of market makers, and the number of shareholders. In contrast, firms removed from the index show significant decreases in the number of institutional shareholders. Additions to the Nasdaq-100 Index also show significant increases in four liquidity measures, whereas deletions demonstrate significant decreases in two liquidity measures. These changes in liquidity are related to the abnormal return on the announcement day. Taken together, the results suggest support for the price pressure, liquidity, and investor awareness hypotheses.
    • The metacognitive cue of fluency on taste perception

      Aysan, Ummugulsum; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      The relative ease tha t a person experiences while performing cognitive operations, namely processing fluency, affects a broad range of judgments such as product evaluations. For example, an increase in fluency through repeated exposure to product packages enhances attitude toward the brand (Janiszewski 1993). This thesis examined the effect of fluency on taste perception and demonstrated where the fluency created an advantage or disfluency created a disadvantage for taste evaluations. Experiment 1 examined the effect of perceptual fluency on taste perception. It was found that perceptual disfluency derived from r eading the labels (i.e., font) lowered taste evaluations only when it was experienced be for the sensory experience. Experiment 2 examined the effect of linguistic fluency (i.e., pronunciation) on taste perception. However there was no evidence for the effect of linguistic fluency on taste perception. Thus, it is concluded that either the effect size of linguistic fluency is lower than perceptual fluency, or participants discounted their linguistic fluency experience because they realized that the brand names used in Experiment 2 were not real brand names. To sum up, it was found that perceptual disfluency created by presenting a difficult to read product-related information created a disadvantage for taste perception compared to when no information was presented. Therefore, this thesis provides the first evidence for the effect of the metacognitive cue of fluency on sensory evaluations.
    • OPEC PRODUCTION DECISIONS, MACROECONOMIC NEWS AND VOLATILITY IN THE CANADIAN AND ENERGY MARKETS

      Yan, Xusheng; Faculty of Business Programs
      This study investigates the determinants of oil and Canadian dollar volatilities. We use the multivariate volatility model to examine the simultaneous impacts of OPEC press releases and production decisions, oil and gasoline inventory surprises, and U.S. and Canadian macroeconomic news announcements on oil and CAD returns and volatilities during, before and after the U.S. financial crisis and European sovereign debt crisis. Besides, we apply the impulse response analysis to decompose the exogenous effects into direct and indirect effects resulting from volatility spillover. We find that the effects of OPEC press releases and decisions are more prominent than those of inventory announcements and macroeconomic news. Furthermore, over 50% of the total accumulated effects of OPEC decisions to maintain, on oil volatility are from the indirect effect via volatility spillover of CAD exchange rate during the U.S. financial crisis. Our findings shed light on the dynamic of volatility spillover channel during financial turmoil, which may facilitate the process of investments and policy decision-making, trading strategies of market participants, and the efficiency of stabilizing market volatility in a multilateral setting.
    • Perception of Competition Among Social Enterprises

      Di Matteo, Michael; Faculty of Business Programs
      This paper examines how social enterprises – organizations that use marketplaces to create both social and economic value – compete with one another and how they perceive of other social enterprises. I conducted a study in which I interviewed key executives of social enterprises in the second-hand textile marketplaces within North America and examined their perceptions of rivalry. My findings suggest that social enterprises categorized and developed mental models for how they perceived rivalry with other social enterprises. Specifically, the categorization of the type of social value that another social enterprise creates, and a subsequent identity comparison and orientation, led to different rivalrous responses: compassionate, marketplace, and ideological. My study builds upon perceptions of rivalry and examines a growing form of organizing: social enterprises.
    • Process Improvement in Phlebotomy

      Huang, Yunqu (Coey); Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2014-09-17)
      This study has two main objectives. First, the phlebotomy process at the St. Catharines Site of the Niagara Health System is investigated, which starts when an order for a blood test is placed, and ends when the specimen arrives at the lab. The performance measurement is the flow time of the process, which reflects concerns and interests of both the hospital and the patients. Three popular operational methodologies are applied to reduce the flow time and improve the process: DMAIC from Six Sigma, lean principles and simulation modeling. Potential suggestions are provided for the St. Catharines Site, which could result in an average of seven minutes reduction in the flow time. The second objective addresses the fact that these three methodologies have not been combined before in a process improvement effort. A structured framework combining them is developed to benefit future study of phlebotomy and other hospital processes.
    • Profitable opportunities around macroeconomic announcements in the U.S. Treasury market

      Luo, Haiming; Faculty of Business Programs (Brock University, 2011-05-17)
      This thesis studies the impact of macroeconomic announcements on the U.S. Treasury market and investigates profitable opportunities around macroeconomic announcements using data from the eSpeed electronic trading platform. We investigate how macroeconomic announcements affect the return predictability of trade imbalance for the 2-year, 5-year, IO-year U.S. Treasury notes and 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds. The goal of this thesis is to develop a methodology to identify informed trades and estimate the trade imbalance based on informed trades. We use the daily order book slope as a proxy for dispersion of beliefs among investors. Regression results in this thesis indicate that, on announcement days with a high dispersion of beliefs, daily trade imbalance estimated by informed trades significantly predicts returns on the following day. In addition, we develop a trade-imbalance based trading strategy conditional on dispersion of beliefs, informed trades, and announcement days. The trading strategy yields significantly positive net returns for the 2-year T-notes.
    • Public Communications and the Foreign Exchange Risk Around the Global Financial Crisis

      Wang, Jiayu; Faculty of Business Programs
      This study explores the effect of four public communication attributes and macroeconomic news surprises on the conditional mean, volatility, and the jump components of the euro-dollar, pound-dollar, and yen-dollar foreign exchange rates from November 1st, 2004 to February 28th, 2015. We extract key attributes from central bank senior official speeches and examine their impact on currencies. We show that price diffusion components respond differently to such attributes across economic states. In addition, volatility exhibits the highest response to the four attributes during the US crisis compared to return and jump components. We find that even though the central bank chairman position has significant impact in general on the price diffusion components, some chairmen have no effect. Yet, the name and personality of the central bank officials matter for the foreign exchange market. We also find that the market fluctuates significantly to speeches related to Economy, Monetary, Interest rate and Real Estate Market during the US crisis. Additionally, central banks play important roles in influencing the market. ECB has a significant effect on returns across all three currencies during the US crisis and plays an important role by affecting the volatility during all periods. Moreover, the central bank chairman can generate greater market reaction than the other positions as it consistently increases the volatility across our sample.