An online social network is a venue on the internet designed for interactions among members of a community. Hundreds of millions of people across the world engage in social networking to connect with each other making this relatively new practice a significant part of our lives. This year online social network membership is expected to include 50% of internet using adults and 84% of internet using teenagers. This study compares several factors relating to the two sectors of the online social networking industry, which are niche and generic websites. The analysis of these factors is used to conduct a five forces analysis on the industry. The analysis attempts to determine the competitive environment, the current state of the industry and where it might be heading. It was found that users of niche networks showed much higher levels of loyalty meaning switching costs for niche users were higher than for generic users. Niche users also showed much higher levels of engagement than generic users, which potentially will generate higher levels of profits as social networking grows. The five forces analysis concluded that the industry is an attractive one to enter if the entrant pursues a niche strategy, can cope with strong supplier forces, and can effectively build a large as well as highly engaged member base, thus generating very high traffic and profits.
A previous study suggests NFL teams are inefficient in their draft decisions. Additionally, previous studies find the NFL Combine to be a predictor of draft position but not a predictor of NFL performance. This has led some to question the overall usefulness of the Combine. The focus of this study is to determine if the NFL Combine has a positive informational value to decisions made in the NFL Draft. From an alternative perspective, this study suggests the Combine is only used to identify the best available players in a specific position for a specific year. Therefore the Combine's informative value to the NFL is its ability to act as a signal, by separating prospects in specific positions into groups based on characteristics that indicate their perceived value. A Spearman Rank Correlation is utilized to evaluate this hypothesis. Combine performance is found to significantly relate to draft round for Running Backs, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Alternatively, collegiate performance relates to draft round for Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Defensive Ends, and Linebackers. For these positions, with the exception of Running Backs and Linebackers, collegiate performance appears to act as a signal instead of Combine performance. The Combine can be considered a signal only for Running Backs, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Therefore there is evidence of signaling within the NFL Draft for six of the eight skill positions observed. Further, evidence from this study suggests the additional information from the Combine has a positive value when it has an influence on draft decisions. Therefore the Combine appears to have a positive informational value, but further research is necessary.
With the growing number of uninsured Americans, the aging baby-boomer population, and the increasing life expectancies, containing costs in order to still generate positive margins in hospitals is becoming exceedingly important. One financial and organizational trend for hospitals has been to join ranks with other hospitals to create hospital systems. This study tests the proposition that hospitals that are members of a hospital system are more likely to experience positive margins than independent hospitals. Based on the cross-sectional analysis of Colorado and Florida hospitals from 2001 and 2002, the study finds that hospitals from larger hospital systems generally achieve higher margin levels, giving financial incentive for hospitals to integrate themselves into large systems.
The recent deregulation in the financial industry in both the EU and U.S. has sparked a wave of mergers within each region and country. Furthermore, the increase in globalization and international integration has been encouraging banks to expand across borders. This study provides an analysis of EU, U.S., and Inter U.S. - EU bank mergers during the period 2002 - 2005. The hypothesis is that recent inter U.S. - EU bank mergers provide positive shareholder wealth creation around the announcement date and increase efficiency (measured via return on assets) post-merger.
This thesis analyzes the impact of identification regulations on aggregate voter turnout. It examines the presidential election cycles of 2000, 2004 and 2008 using a muItivariable regression analysis. While the raw results are statistically insignificant with regard to the impact of identification regulations affect on total voter participation, further analysis suggests a possible negative correlation. Additionally the research finds interesting disparities between the modeling of Republican and Democratic vote totals, primarily in that the explanatory power of the model is far greater for Republican vote totals.
For many years the National Hockey League was struggling to bring fans to their games. Due to such low attendance and salary caps, the National Hockey League decided to have a lockout in 2004-2005 which was the first ever season ending lockout in any sport. Since the lockout, attendance in the NHL slowly started to increase. This thesis looks at what factors affect attendance in the NHL since the lockout. Attendance was low before the lockout, but after the lockout attendance started to increase more and more every year. This thesis tests for what the NHL is doing right since the lockout so that they can continue to increase their attendance ratings even more. The research was taken from NHL.com, Versus. com, and ESPN.com. Data was found for all thirty NHL teams. A regression was used to test the data with the dependent variable being attendance. The independent variables are; goals scored, total points, winning percent, competitive balance, location, all-stars, games played, play-offs, weekend games, minor penalty minutes, and major penalty minutes. The regression found that four variables were significant in affecting attendance. These four variables were goals scored, location, minor penalty minutes, and major penalty minutes. This thesis proves that there are other factors besides game factors that affect attendance; however, the four game factors that affect attendance go along with the new rule changes that the NHL created after the lockout proving that the NHL is doing some of the right things to increase attendance in the NHL.
As the world enters a low carbon economy, companies must begin recognizing carbon emissions as a risk to doing business. This paper develops several regression models that test the effects of carbon emissions on company performance, whether or not carbon-intensive industries have been hurt, and the ability of the carbon to revenue ratio to capture a firm's risk exposure from carbon emissions. Carbon emissions data comes from the Carbon Disclosure Project and company performance data comes from Mergent Online. The paper concludes that carbon emissions are a liability to company performance, but carbon intensive industries have not been adversely affected. The carbon to revenue ratio does have a negative impact on company performance and may be used by companies as a measure of carbon efficiency.
This study provides a theoretical analysis and empirical investigation of China's reliance on net exports to grow its gross domestic product (GDP), and current efforts to shift towards a more private domestic consumption driven economy. Using data from 1975 to present and analyzing numerous past research done on similar topics regarding China's GDP expenditures and net export driven developing countries, suggestions supporting private domestic consumption as the most efficient GDP expenditure variable to sustaining long term growth are made.
Payday lenders provide access to credit for millions of credit-challenged Americans. Yet because payday loans are viewed as a predatory debt trap many states have passed legislation that effectively prohibits their use, and other states are quickly following their lead. The restriction of credit in an economically stressed environment punishes those who are less able to weather the turmoil. This thesis examines the seminal articles, studies, and reports on the development of payday lending and analyses current trends from the consumer's perspective, and used a survey to determine the consumers' attitudes toward payday loans and to understand what alternatives sources of credit they might use if payday lending were no longer available. This thesis concludes that Colorado payday borrowers are becoming more responsible despite the pitfalls of payday lending, and that current legislation is effective at protecting the consumer. Furthermore, Colorado consumers like payday lending because it fills their need for small loan credit and they believe it is their best option available.
The gravity equation is one of the most empirically successful tools to model international capital flows. However, technological developments and globalization have brought into question the significance of the distance aspect of the model. Contagion theory offers an avenue for developing the gravity equation and capturing some of the lost effect of distance. Therefore, this study will show that contagion theory is an effective instrument to improve the gravity model. To do this, the study will utilize international capital flows between the United States and various emerging markets from Latin America and Asia. This study will also employ principle component analysis and a random effect model for regression analysis. The results suggest that contagion theory provides a valuable improvement over the existing gravity equation.
The 21rst century will be marked by an ever increasing urban world. Projections predict this trend to be largest for developing nations in which formal housing markets are inefficient at meeting the increasing demand for urban housing. This unmet housing demand will continue to exacerbate the housing crisis and necessitate sustainable solutions. Past policies of slum clearance, modernist apartment projects, housing provision, self-help, sites and services, and in-situ upgrading have not been effective at solving the crisis. This thesis considers the central role that architectural elements plays in slum housing communities. Considering architectural elements in addition to the conventional elements of financing mechanisms and land tenure augments an understanding of what a successful housing project is. Analyzing six successful international slum housing projects for both conventional and architectural elements, this thesis highlights the importance of vernacular architecture as a determinant of a successful project. Appropriate, vernacular architecture will best serve the beneficiary community's built environment needs and lead to sustainable housing solutions. Central in this process is the inclusion of slum communities in the design process of housing projects.
This study attempts to explain the determinants of NFL franchise revenue generation. Seven variables will be examined and tested in order to determine which of those variables have the most significant effect on revenue. Data were collected from the 2000 through 2005 regular seasons. Regression analyses were used to analyze the data. The results of this study were that ticket price, attendance, and television deals all have a large positive effect on NFL franchise revenue generation.
Customer loyalty is widely studied in both the goods and service industries; however, there has been very little customer loyalty research on an industry that combines goods and services. Studying the specialty coffee industry fills this gap. This study investigates the determinants of customer loyalty to an independent coffee shop and to Starbucks. I surveyed sixteen coffee shop patrons, eight from an independent Colorado Springs coffee shop called Pikes Perk and eight from the Starbucks located across the street. The study did not turn up much loyalty behavior at either coffee shop, however it did indicate several important factors in a customers decision of where to buy their coffee such as, convenience, ambiance, and the need to support an independent coffee shop.
In 2008, the World Health Organization's Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) released a global strategy and plan of action for boosting R&D of medicines for neglected diseases predominantly found in developing countries. Among other recommendations, the report advocates and prioritizes the promotion of local R&D capacity in developing countries as a solution to the absence of pharmaceutical drug innovation. In response to the primary assumption underlying the IGWG proposal, that innovation is a positive determinant of public health, the purpose of this study is to investigate the socioeconomic determinants of public health in developing countries as well as introduce innovative capacity as a potential factor influencing the level of health. This study will test whether public health is a function of innovative capacity using a cross-country regression that incorporates known determinants of public health. Fifty-nine developing countries are included in the sample, two different measures of public health are used, and nine independent variables are tested. A total of four regression models are used to explain the relationships between the variables. Innovative capacity is quantified in two different ways in order to increase the accuracy of the measure. Ultimately, the results of the study show that democracy, number of physicians, sanitation, infrastructure, and one of the measures of innovative capacity are statistically significant determinants of public health in developing countries. The conclusions of this study provides perspective on the IGWG proposal and enriches the discussion about what socioeconomic factors are most important to develop in order to achieve increased public health in developing countries.
Hybrid vehicles have recently emerged as a growing market segment in the automobile industry. The value these vehicles hold over time has important implications for consumers. Vehicles that maintain their value better over time are likely to be in higher demand, and thus auto-makers are keen on producing more and more of these vehicles in the next few years. Using a multiple variable regression analysis, this thesis analyzes the major determinants of resale value in used cars. Current market values of used cars compared with their original prices are used as data. This study predicts that hybrid vehicles maintain their value better than traditional vehicles due to environmental perceptions as well as fuel efficiency ratings.
A key element of any business is determining the profit maximizing price of a good. Yet each price level will exclude some consumers who find the equilibrium too high and refrain from entering the market. If a similar product could be offered at a lower price it may lure the abstaining customers to consume, thereby increasing profits. For an industry that is flustering like the music industry, it is crucial new sales methods are found to continue growth and expansion. This paper evaluates an MP3 bundle as a modified product to attract new customers and encourage current customer to purchase more songs. Survey response data is used to determine a profit maximizing price at which to offer the modified digital song.
The exact motivations for a 'green' and/or stakeholder approach to business are often unclear, though many view these approaches as beneficial to business over the long-term. This study specifically examines the incentives that stock market investors provide for companies to adopt an environmental program or environmentally friendly practices within their business. It also addresses the possible motivations that those companies might give investors in return. Voluntary company participants of the Environmental Protection Agency's 33/50 Program are used in econometric regressions that analyze both stock price and earnings per share changes before and after the program was began, from 1987 to 2007. After controlling for firm-specific and market variables, the stock price data concludes that investors do value the 33/50 program over the long-run. To address the efficient markets hypothesis, a time period analysis is performed. It does not find significant over- or underreaction evidence, but instead shows greater overall price increases over time with lower predictability. Whether or not the investors should have valued the 33/50 program, as would be indicated by long-run earnings growth, is largely inconclusive.
This study was inspired by the recent trend in the National Basketball Association (NBA) of teams signing seemingly mediocre players to abnormally large contracts. The purpose of this study was to identify if there were in fact other player characteristics that NBA teams looked for other than pure basketball ability when signing players. 284 NBA players and their salaries during the 2006-2007 were collected along with twenty other independent variables. Obviously players' salary was the single dependent variable. Data and analysis comprised a regression test to determine the relationship between these twenty independent variables and salaries. The regression test revealed a relationship between age and athleticism to salaries. A player's contract year approximate value to his team and scoring ability proved to have a strong relationship with salaries as well. Surprisingly, no player characteristic related to efficiency had any relationship to salaries.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the four largest professional sports organizations in the United States. There are currently 23 teams in the NBA that gathered over $100 million in revenue during the 2007-08 season alone. This study examines the components of total NBA franchise revenues and investigates the effect that multiple losing seasons has on total revenue performance. A fixed-effects regression analysis is used to examine the effect of multiple losing seasons on total NBA franchise revenue. All the statistics and data observed in this study are from the 10 year period of 1999 to 2008. The findings in this study provide valuable information to NBA teams as to whether losing consecutive seasons affects total revenue performance.
Anthropocentric action is the dominant force behind accelerating environmental deterioration and climate change well above historical levels. Personal consumption habits are a significant contributor to rapid environmental devastation. The average diet of developed nations emphasizes animal protein consumption, particularly meat products from cattle, pigs, and chicken, as well as milk and eggs. The industrialized and highly concentrated primary crop and livestock production processes in the United States emit a large percentage of greenhouse gases, contribute to over-exploitation of increasingly scarce water resources, and erode soil. Environmental externalities, such as these, are not currently accounted in consumer prices for animal products. The effects of this market failure are multiplying as developing nations industrialize and begin to adopt the consumption habits of the developed nations. This thesis examines the impact of livestock production in the United States, beginning with crop production and processing for feed, and ending with slaughter and processing. The greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and soil erosion costs are identified, incorporated into current market prices in the form of a demand-side Pigouvian tax, and compared to current market prices. By assessing three significant environmental externalities and determining a conservative estimate of the respective costs of these externalities, this research demonstrates both the failure of the neoclassical market structure to account for the true price of livestock production, and the impact that personal dietary choices make on the global environment.
Tourism is the number one industry in the world. In developing countries there is inherent exploitation of environments, cultures and economies through the tourism industry. Although shifting to a conventional and unsustainable tourism-based economy will often help develop a country, the negative externalities outweigh the economic gain. As the world is becoming ever-more aware of the need for sustainability, ecotourism is leading the way as the most sustainable travel choice. It is up to the tourist, the host, and world organizations like the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) to transform the travel industry and turn ecotourism into the main form of tourism.
Economies of scale can be used as a tool for measuring efficiency. The wholesale pharmaceutical industry recently received regulations mandating pharmaceutical wholesalers provide a pedigree to document the flow of pharmaceutical products through the pharmaceutical supply chain. Each wholesaler had to create a new system for generating these pedigrees. Economies of scale was used to decide which wholesaler was best suited to implement a pedigree program. The largest wholesalers could not move quick enough to match pedigree deadlines while smaller companies struggled financially to afford a new pedigree program. It was found that midsized companies had the appropriate balance between quantity of products sold and overall business size.
This case study examines the commodity chain and industrial upgrading concepts and applies them to the international coffee industry. By examining research on previous upgrading strategies, the study will analyze the potential implications of the buyout of Starbucks by the coffee producing countries. Due to the nature of the coffee industry in each of the top three coffee producing countries, Brazil and Colombia will benefit from the acquisition, while Vietnam will not experience positive effects. Farmer cooperatives in producing countries are the keys to discovering new methods of industrial upgrading.
Despite their prominent place in financial theory and practice, the Capital Asset Pricing Model and beta have failed test after test to explain stock returns. Research by John Y. Campbell and Tuomo Vuolteenaho in "Bad Beta, Good Beta" cite the misspecification of beta as the reason for this failure. They measure beta as the sum of two components: a more influential "cash-flow" beta and a secondary "discount-rate" beta. This thesis creates a ratio between the overall beta of a stock and the cash-flow beta and uses an ordinary least squares regression model to determine its significance in interpreting overall returns to a stock. It hypothesizes that this ratio will better explain returns than overall beta alone, offering improvements for both investors and financial managers alike.
This thesis measures the effect federal regulation has on market efficiency when considering the savings and loan failures of the 1980s and the mortgage market meltdown of 2007. It is argued that lower federal regulation over these institutions results in a lower level of market efficiency. Market efficiency is measured using the number of commercial bank and savings institution failures per year from 1980 through 2008. The level of federal regulation is calculated based on the amount and magnitude of annual policy changes. These factors are represented on a time series graphical model where index numbers of federal regulation are also calculated. This model demonstrates a relationship between low levels of regulation and high numbers of bank and savings institution failures.