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Three Essays on the Economic Impact of Firm Activity

Luo, Chengying (2019) Three Essays on the Economic Impact of Firm Activity. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation studies the economic causes and consequences of firm activity. The first chapter explores the impact of large initial public offerings (IPOs) in U.S. stock markets on local economic activity. Utilizing a spatial, difference-in-differences estimation framework, I find that going public leads to an increased number of businesses in the IPO firms' industries and higher employment, wages, and housing prices in the vicinity of the firms' headquarters. Information aggregated in the IPO process plays an important role in explaining housing price dynamics at different stages of IPOs. Neighborhoods close to firm headquarters experience modest growth in income, a smaller share of low-income residents, and an increase in the number of nearby restaurants.

The second chapter studies the effects of international environmental policies on firms' production and innovation, aggregate growth, and climate change. I build a two-country and two-sector endogenous growth model where clean and dirty technologies innovate to compete for global market leadership in final good production. I find that clean research subsidies and carbon taxes are effective in directing production and innovations to clean technology, though carbon taxes may encourage dirty innovation abroad. I characterize the unilateral optimal policy path implied the model and microeconomic estimates. I find that optimal policy makes heavy use of research subsidies and it can secure a transition to clean technology globally with international knowledge spillover.

The third chapter investigates how consumer reviews affect employment decision. I combine reviews from and information on the employment and wages of local businesses in Pittsburgh. Using a regression discontinuity framework that exploits Yelp's rounding thresholds, I find that an extra star rating leads to higher employment and total wage bills, while it does not affect average wage per worker. This effect also holds for other service industries. Using textual analysis on consumer reviews, my results show that consumer reviews on employees services do not seem to change employment decisions significantly.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWalsh,
Committee MemberHanley,
Committee MemberBerkowitz,
Committee MemberWeber,
Date: 27 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 April 2019
Approval Date: 27 September 2019
Submission Date: 26 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 142
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban Economics, International Economics, Public Economcis
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 16:15
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:15


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