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 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.
The aim of this study is to examine National Hockey League (NHL) player production during contract years. The term contract year refers to the last year of a player's contract. The hypothesis is that players perform better during their contract year in hopes of receiving a higher salary on their next contract (through free agency). The other hypothesis is that players will perform worse in the first year of their new contract because there is a decrease in incentive. In studying player production, this thesis uses nine independent variables believed to explain the dependent variable points per game. Data was collected for every forward during the 2007-2008 NHL season. All in all, data for 416 players was gathered. Regression analysis was performed for these 416 players. Of the four models tested, five independent variables were found to be significant. Both salary and nationality-Europe were found to have a positive impact on points per game. Year in league, first year, and age were all found to negatively affect points per game. The independent variable last year, which is the variable that this thesis concerns, was found to be statistically insignificant.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 thesis examines how different forms of participation impact the job satisfaction of blue-collar workers. By examining previous literature, satisfaction has shown to be beneficial for both the worker and the employer, but limited research has been done in the blue-collar sector of the workforce. Six types of participation were analyzed including: participation in work decisions, consultative participation, informal participation, short-term participation, representative participation, and employee ownership. In order to analyze these types of participation, four companies were used to interview twenty blue-collar employees. A qualitative approach was used to discover what employees thought about participation and satisfaction within their own companies, and participants were encouraged to tell stories of past experiences to exemplify their responses. Results suggested that informal participation, consultative participation and emotional attachment have the most impact on blue-collar employee satisfaction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The era of monetary targeting ignited research into the area of interest rate response to money supply announcements. During the 1980s and 1990s, research focused in this area; however, there is been a lack of updated research. This study examines the updated response of interest rates to unanticipated changes in Ml money supply announcements for the sample period 1985 to 2005. The crucial ideas behind this hypothesis include money demand, money supply, expectations, and the role the Federal Reserve plays in the interaction of the three. Data was taken from the Federal Reserves statistical and historical data release for weekly M1 money supply measures and for daily interest rates of treasury securities. The results revealed an inability of the presented model to capture the relationship between money supply announcements and interest rates; leading to the conclusion of a mis-specified model.
This thesis explores what economic factors had the greatest affects on the early 1990s commercial real estate recession and the current commercial real estate recession. Equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are used as the measure of the commercial real estate market. The Hypothesis states that because of the fundamental differences between the two recessions, the influential factors will also be different. Through the use of an ordinary least squares regression, the hypothesis is tested using a series of asset pricing explanatory variables. The findings suggest that the hypothesis was correct and the two recessions are influenced by different explanatory variables.
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.
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.
Water scarcity presents an obstacle to economic development in the western United States. In an attempt to accommodate the increasing levels of demand that population growth, recreation, industry, and environmental protection place on water supplies, western states frequently establish markets for water. Water markets promote efficient allocation, helping states to derive the highest possible economic benefit from available resources, and allowing western water supplies to support as much new development and population growth as possible. However, imperfect pricing information for water threatens the ability of water markets to efficiently allocate water. Correct valuation improves water right allocation by aiding market participants in negotiating and completing sensible transactions despite the limited availability of price signals. This project will estimate the values market participants place on shares of ditch company water rights in Colorado's South Platte basin. Based on observed market activity, the hedonic will method will be used to estimate the implicit value consumers place on each characteristic of a water right, and the contribution of each characteristic to the water right's price. The dataset analyzed in this project includes price, quantity, reliability, location, and type of use information for 254 transfers of ditch company shares. Because these data are proprietary and difficult to collect, this dataset represents one of the most comprehensive collections of water transaction information in existence for Colorado's South Platte basin. It is predicted that the ordinary least squares estimation of the hedonic price model developed in this project will reveal that reliable water supplies located near municipalities attract higher prices than variable water supplies situated downstream from cities. In addition, economies of scale and water price appreciation are predicted to exist in the South Platte basin.
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 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.
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.