Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Business Administration


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Atsuyuki Naka, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

James R. Davis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Tarun Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Peihwang Wei, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Duygu Zirek, Ph.D.


The dissertation consists of two essays. The first essay investigates the ability of prior returns, relative to some aggregate market returns, to predict future returns on industry style portfolios. By pooling time series of returns across industries for the period between July 1969 and June 2012, we find that prior returns differential predicts one month ahead returns negatively, even in the presence of a set of popular state variables. The predictability remains significant and negative for up to 5 month ahead returns. The predictability is shown to be robust to alternative specifications, estimation methodology and industry classifications. A possible explanation of this finding is based on time–varying (dynamic) loss aversion among investors. More specifically, when combined with house money effects, prior performance has inverse relationship with degree of loss aversion leading to predictability in the next period returns. The second essay examines the nature of time variation in the risk exposure of country mutual funds to the US market movement and to the benchmark foreign market movement. It uses weekly data on 15 closed end funds and 19 exchange traded funds for the sample period between January, 2001 and December, 2012. Conditional factor models are employed to uncover the time variation in the estimated betas through short horizon regressions. The findings of the paper indicate considerable time variation in risk exposure of country mutual funds to the US market and foreign market risk factors. Additional investigation reveals the following observations. First, the US market betas suffer greater variation over the sample period than the target foreign market betas. Second, the overall fluctuation in betas for the closed end funds is found to be higher than that for the exchange traded funds. Third, emerging market funds experience more oscillation in the risk exposure than their developed market counterparts. It is found that a combination of the US macroeconomic state variables and investors’ sentiment can predict future betas significantly. The findings of the paper have important implication for US investors seeking diversification benefits from country mutual funds.


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