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.
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.
Hunting licenses do not represent the true value of the sport for hunters. This study examines the monetary value hunters, resident and non-resident, place on elk hunting in Colorado and which factors affect their valuation. The contingent valuation method is used to determine this information through a survey that was posted on several internet hunting forums. A hypothetical fee increase in hunting licenses from an improvement in elk habitat is used in the survey. To elicit a response, this study uses a two part question for willingness to pay, which is different from previous studies. First, intervals are presented and then the respondent answers an open-ended question. The data obtained from the survey is analyzed using the Tobit regression method. Separate regression equations are used for resident and non-resident hunters. The study finds that Colorado resident and non-resident hunters have differing views on the amount of license fee increase they would accept and base their decision on different factors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This paper analyzes a large data base containing over 18,000 women micro finance clients of the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF). The data base contains a powerful new poverty impact assessment tool - the Progress Out of Poverty (PPl) Scorecard. The focus of the data analysis performed in this paper was the observable characteristics of actual borrowers and how those factors influence changes in that client's PPI Scorecard Poverty Score. The conclusion of this paper is that micro finance is working in the fight against poverty in the Philippines (average change in poverty score for the population is 28.51 %) but that a small subset of the population sees dramatically greater results. Specifically, clients that receive larger loans from a successful lending branch and employ their loans in non-agriculture/non-fishing industries see on average much greater gains then the rest of the population. Results of the data analysis suggest that the NWTF employs a suboptimal lending strategy. Sixty-six borrowers received abnormally large loans; average loans size for this subset of the population is $63,780 Filipino pesos. On average, these borrowers saw a 55.86% change in pscore. Regression results upon this population yield insignificant results for initial poverty score and years as a client of the NWTF. Loan size among this population has a positive coefficient similar in size to the larger population regression results. The other 17,937 clients of the NWTF received on average a loan $10,205 pesos and saw a 25.63% change in pscore (both sig. at [alpha] =.0I level). Policy suggestions are given in the concluding chapter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The present study investigates the ideas of labor market discrimination within the National Basketball Association, specifically consumer discrimination through gate revenues collected at NBA games. Previous research has mainly focused on consumer-based discrimination on consumption of nationally televised games. These studies have shown a variety of results, but the majority imply that consumers discriminate against African-American players. Thus, teams with higher participation by white players enjoy increased revenues. This study will use similar techniques but will attempt to explain the determinants of gate revenues instead of television viewership. In order to accomplish this, an ordinary least squares (OLS) model will be employed, with a wide variety of explanatory variables in an attempt to best explain consumer's preferences when deciding to attend a professional basketball game. The current study has used a more recent data set than previous research. It is the goal of this study to determine if there is evidence of consumer discrimination in the unique labor market of the National Basketball Association.
Consumer behavior revolves around individuals' ability to gather and assess all the visual information provided by the product in order to decide whether or not to purchase that product. Traditionally consumers' wine purchasing decisions have been viewed as a function of three variables: brand, region of origin, and price. However in the past decade, societies around the world have become more aware of their impacts on their surrounding environments and as a result a new kind of consumer has emerged. The eco-consumer, when given the choice, will prefer to use/consume a product that was produced with minimal or no effect on the environment. This thesis aims to explain individuals' wine purchasing decisions, and specifically examines whether consumers' wine choices are not just a function of brand, region of origin, and price, but are also influenced by an organic designation.
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.
Previous research has examined factors influencing attendance at various sports leagues, but very little attention has been focused specifically on the PGA and PGA Tour. This study examines the potential factors influencing a fan to attend PGA and PGA Tour tournaments from the 1998-2007 seasons. This study incorporates a regression analysis along with qualitative research to analyze the data. The regression results suggest that income, the type of course the tournament is played on, and the tournament number are all important factors influencing attendance at PGA and PGA Tour tournaments. However, the qualitative research results suggest that Tiger Wood's participation and the strength of the field competing in the tournament are the most important factors impacting attendance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been such a debatable topic for the past 15 years of it's implementation, previous research has been conducted on this topic. However, most of this research ignores the positive effects that this agreement may have caused. The purpose of this thesis is to examine an industry that has experienced positive changes induced by NAFTA. The positive changes are expected to have occurred using expectations from classical international trade theory. Based off of these theories, the hypothesis is that in an industry that has experienced an increase in net exports, employment will have increased as well. This thesis examines the cattle industry in Colorado, which has seen a net increase in exports of beef products as a direct result of NAFTA. A qualitative research method was used, interviewing cattle ranchers in Colorado to gather data on the changes that have occurred since NAFTA. Results from data show that NAFTA has caused employment in this industry to remain stable over the NAFTA years. Also concluded from the data is that international trade models do not explain enough, resulting in expectations that do not capture the entire dynamics of free trade and globalization.
This study analyzes the market, cost, and income valuation methods used in the healthcare industry. There are problems with the current valuation methods, especially the valuation of health care assets used in the cost approach, the exclusion of demographics, which would aid in the market valuation approach, and the difficulty of projecting revenues when smaller companies merge with larger public healthcare organizations in the income approach. Two hundred and thirty-five individual hospitals in the states of Florida and Colorado along with 14 public hospital corporations spanning the country were examined to produce the results of the study. The results of the regression analysis show that demographics play a large role in a hospital's potential earnings base. This study provides information that will help analysts develop a more complete and accurate valuation of healthcare companies.
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.
The study undertaken in this paper will address the subject of the role of organizational culture in the success of GreatAmerica Leasing Corporation (GreatAmerica). This privately held commercial equipment finance firm has, against overwhelming odds, overcome serious competitive shortcomings to become one of the largest entities in a commoditized industry where brand name, cost of funds and expensive systems technology are thought to be overriding competitive advantages. The company has enjoyed a record of impressive financial success competing with some of the largest banking and other corporate giants while selling the exact same commoditized product; money.
This study aims to determine the best possible option for the United States to reduce the number of disposable plastic carrier bags consumed each year. First an evaluation of the economic and environmental implications associated with disposable carrier bag use is discussed to justify the research question. An analysis of global plastic bag regulation is used to demonstrate strategies that can be pursued in the United States. Several initiatives have been introduced by city and state governments within the United States. to control plastic bag consumption. These examples are analyzed and discussed Retailers including Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and IKEA have also chosen to voluntarily reduce the number of plastic bags used in their stores. The results of these voluntary initiatives are examined in case studies. Two surveys were conducted to compliment the qualitative analysis in this report with quantitative statistics used to predict plastic bag consumption. The results of this analysis indicates that the United States should balance voluntary reductions with legislative actions.