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The Impact of Agglomeration Externalities on Product Innovation Output in Chinese Industrial Firms

By Cindy Feng  

Agglomeration externalities is defined as the economic benefits from concentrating firms, housing, and output. This study investigates the impact of agglomeration externalities of industrial firms on product innovation output in China. In the research, I specified the impact of agglomeration into three types: Marshallian or localization externalities, defined as the impact of collocating with same-industry firms; Urbanization economies, defined as the impact of collocating with different-industry firms, and Porter externalities, the impact of competing with same-industry firms as a result of localization. My result suggests endogenous spatial selection of firms account for most of the agglomeration impacts we observe. Despite so, urbanization economies is still impactful in boosting a firm’s innovation performance, and should be taken into account as the government implements policies that boost firm performance.

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Advisors: Professor Charles Becker, Professor Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: R3, D24, R50

The Investment Cost of Currency Crises in Emerging Markets: An Empirical Treatment from 1994-2015

By Eric Ramoutar

Currency crises – large and sudden depreciations in the value of a country’s currency – have been an unfortunate by-product of increased financial openness over the last half century. This study extends the already vast literature on the impact of currency crises by estimating how currency crises affect domestic investment in emerging markets. Specifically, the study uses panel data with fixed effects and various robust standard errors as well as a generalized method of moments estimator to investigate the impact of currency crises on domestic investment in a sample of 14 countries that experienced currency crises between 1994 and 2015 and 10 that did not. The results of the analysis initially indicate that, after controlling for a host of macroeconomic fundamentals, currency crises contribute significantly to dampened domestic investment. Ultimately, after controlling for banking crises, the study concludes that relatively severe, but not all, currency crises have a significant depressing effect on investment. The results further indicate that all currency crises should not be treated equally; those involving exceptionally large depreciations lead to an even greater decline in domestic investment.

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Advisor: Cosmin Ilut | JEL Codes: E4, F3, F4, E42, F31, F32, F41, G01

Volatility and Correlation Modeling for Sector Allocation in International Equity Markets

By Melanie Fan

Reliable estimates of volatility and correlation are crucial in asset allocation and risk management. This paper investigates Static, RiskMetrics, and Dynamic Conditional Correlation (DCC) models for estimating volatility and correlation by testing them in an asset allocation context. Optimal allocation weights for one year found using estimates from each model are carried to the subsequent year and the realized Sharpe ratio is computed to assess portfolio performance. We also study cumulative risk-adjusted returns over the entire sample period. Our ndings indicate that DCC does not consistently have an advantage over the other two models, although it is optimal in certain scenarios.

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Advisor: Aino Levonmaa, Emma Rasiel | JEL Codes: C32, C51, G11, G15 | Tagged: Asset Allocation, Dynamic Correlation, Emerging Markets, Volatilita

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