Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays in applied economics
by Gupta, Sonam, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 182; 3356416
Abstract (Summary)

The first essay of this dissertation focuses on studying the relationship between private politics and corporate environmentalism. This work analyzes the determinants and effects of two private political actions, boycotts and proxy contests. The analysis shows that: (i) the size of a firm is an important predictor of whether a firm will be chosen as a target of an activist campaign; (ii) firms headquartered in states with larger environmental constituencies are more likely to be targeted by activist campaigns; (iii) "dirty firms" (with larger relative or absolute emissions and/or high level of regulatory scrutiny) are more likely to become targets of an activist campaign; and (iv) private political campaigns are effective in improving the environmental performance of their targets.

The second essay examines the trends in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and investigates the effects of major changes in the economy on measures of TFP in eight industries during the Interwar period from 1919 through 1939. TFP estimates show that each industry followed a different path of TFP change. There is no consistent evidence on large TFP decline during the years 1929-33 in the industries studied, as proposed in the literature. TFP measures also do not support the hypothesis that the 1930s were a period of interrupted TFP growth but there is evidence that five industries out of eight had higher productivity in the 1930s than in the 1920s. Regression analysis of major determinants of the TFP change for the motor vehicles and the cotton goods industry shows that TFP fell with increases in employment and strike activity. The NRA code might have also contributed to a decline in TFP.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fishback, Price V., Innes, Robert
Commitee: Oaxaca, Ronald L., Rhode, Paul
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics, Economic history, Labor economics, Economic theory
Keywords: Boycott, Great Depression, ISO 14001, Private politics, Proxy vote, Total factor productivity
Publication Number: 3356416
ISBN: 978-1-109-16739-9
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