Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation-Restricted

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Financial Economics

Department

Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Hassan, Kabir; Mukherjee, Tarun

Second Advisor

Davis, Ronnie

Third Advisor

Krishnaswami, Sudha

Fourth Advisor

Zirek, Duygu

Abstract

This dissertation consists of two essays. First essay investigates Fortune 500 companies that implemented Six Sigma. Since the 1980s, industrial organizations have adopted practices such as Six Sigma to maintain and enhance competitiveness. The purpose of this study is to look at the long run stock price and the operating performance of Fortune 500 companies that were identified to have implemented Six Sigma compared to the overall market performance as well as the performance of industry and size matched firms. Even though our sample firms improved several variables after implementing Six Sigma, their operating performances were not quite close to the performances of the matching firms. After implementing Six Sigma, compared to the industry and size matched firms, the only variable that improved out of 14 variables we looked at, is the growth in staff levels. The findings may contribute to understanding the reasons that underlie the so-called jobless recovery.

Second essay investigates the real estate price indices in 19 emerging markets. The main objectives of the central banks are not necessarily in line with the goals for asset prices, particularly house prices; however house price changes can have important implications for economic activity and inflation. The consequences of excess changes in house prices also should be watched carefully by central banks and other government agencies that regulate financial institutions for the purpose of financial stability. This essay searches for a link between house prices, broad money, private credit and the macro-economy among 19 emerging markets. We are also trying to explain which variables predict the emerging markets real estate index returns. Our results show that money market rate, growth in GDP and CPI as well as log of private credit and money supply have significant predictive power on growth in real estate price indices a quarter ahead. We also show that there is multidirectional causality among all of the variables. A unique data is being used for the emerging markets real estate price indexes in this study. The data is provided by aDubaibased private company which offers emerging markets real estate information to its customers.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.