Doctoral Dissertations

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    Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Effects of U.S. Free Trade Agreements: An Empirical Analysis
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Al Ghababsheh, Tareg ghazi Abdel Rahman ; Fowler, Stuart ; Deme, Mamit ; Fayissa, Bichaka
    The United States of America has 12 bilateral free trade agreements and two multilateral free trade agreements, including 20 trade partner countries. Using the gravity model, this dissertation examines 13 free trade agreements. The study applies alternative methods to estimate the benefits of free trade agreements. The first section investigates the performance of U.S. reciprocal free trade agreements and compares the benefits of trade flows from the United States as an exporter to its trade partners and the United States as an importer. The second section develops a new mechanism of econometrics to overcome the endogeneity issue while examining the trade creation and diversion associated with U.S. reciprocal trade agreements. The study reveals that the benefits of bilateral free trade agreements vary depending on trade flows, whether the United States is an exporter or an importer. Generally, the United States derives more benefit as an exporter than as an importer. Furthermore, the trade diversion exporter in the United States generates a more significant impact than the trade diversion importer does.
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    Unraveling the Nexus Between Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Performance: Evidence from the United States
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Addo, Evans Dapaa ; Fowler, Stuart ; Eff, Anthon ; Anderson, Anne
    This dissertation comprises three distinct chapters, each serving as an individual publishable paper. Although these chapters share common empirical tools, the models employed in each chapter are independent of one another. As a result, each chapter is self-contained and can be comprehended separately, making its unique contribution to the subject under investigation. In the first chapter, titled “Performance Comparison of Banks Stability and Profitability Under Inflation Targeting Frameworks,” the study examines the impact of traditional inflation targeting and average inflation targeting on the stability and profitability of banks in the United States. It utilizes a sample of over 1000 banks from 2004 to 2022 and employs the fixed-effect estimator with AR (1). The findings of this study reveal that banks exhibit lower stability and reduced profitability during periods of both traditional and average inflation targeting. Furthermore, when comparing traditional inflation targeting to average inflation targeting, banks demonstrate even lower stability and experience further reductions in profitability during periods of average inflation targeting compared to periods of traditional inflation targeting. In the second chapter, titled “Analyzing the combined impact of monetary policy instruments on the profitability of banks,” this study examines the combined effect of monetary policy tools on bank profitability in the US using a sample of over 1000 banks from 2004 to 2022. Employing the two-step system generalized method of moments estimator, the results of this study show that ignoring the combination of monetary policy tools in bank profitability analysis can lead to biased and inconsistent conclusions. The study shows that the federal fund rate is negatively related to bank profit when the combination of monetary policy tools is not considered. Also, the long-term bond yield is positively related to bank profitability. Additionally, the combination of monetary policy tools is positively related to bank profitability, demonstrating that other monetary policy tools influence each monetary policy tool's impact on bank profit. In the third chapter, titled “Average inflation targeting and its effect on macroeconomic outcomes in the United States,” this paper analyzes the effect of the adoption of average inflation targeting on macroeconomic outcomes in the United States. Using the three stage least square method of estimation, this study contributes to the monetary policy literature by showing how the Federal Reserve's monetary policy has impacted economic growth and stability. In general, the study finds that the direct effects of the adoption of AIT is an increase in the percentage change in the inflation rate and interest rate. Also, the adoption of AIT has led to an increase in the percentage change in output when there is no inclusion of lagged variables. Lastly, the total effect of the implementation of AIT is an increase in both inflation rate and interest rate.
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    Knowledge and Strategies of Heat Acclimation and Heat Acclimatization in Elite Runners
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Kigen, Erick Kipkoech ; Caputo, Jenn ; Fuller, Dana ; Johnson, Samantha L ; Stevens, Sandy
    ABSTRACT Events such as the Summer Olympic Games and the World Athletic Championships are held each year in hot and humid conditions. Heat stress negatively affects endurance performance and imposes safety concerns for elite runners. The purpose of this dissertation was to highlight heat acclimation (HA) and heat acclimatization (HAz) knowledge and strategies in elite middle- and long-distance runners from Kenya and the United States (US). In the first study, elite runners were surveyed on their HA and HAz knowledge and their history of exertional heat illness (EHI). In the second study, strategies of both HA and HAz and how the runners perceived their effectiveness were investigated. Participants (N =30) were recruited through an email sent directly to the elite runners or coaches and completed an online survey. Knowledge scores were similar for Kenya (M = 50.0, SD = 15.1) and US (M = 57.6, SD = 16.5) runners (mean difference = -7.53, 95% CL [ -20.23, 5.16]). The were no significant differences in HA and HAz strategies used (p > .05). Perceptions of effectiveness were similar for the Kenya (M = 6.7, SD = 1.9) and US (M = 8.0, SD = 1.5) runners (mean difference = -1.26, 95% CL [ -2.60, 0.08]). Overall, there were no significant differences between the US and the Kenya elite middle-and long-distance runners in respect to the level of HA and HAz knowledge, reported history and symptoms of EHI, choice of HA and HAz strategies, and how their perceived effectiveness. Coaches and professionals in charge of elite runners should continue to develop comprehensive guidelines and education initiatives on combating heat stress. Universal HA and HAz protocols that adequately prepare elite runners for competitions hot and humid conditions are encouraged.
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    Essays in The Influence of Technology on Economics and Finance
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Huang, Linxian ; Gamble, Keith
    This paper investigates the impact technology-based lending on the profitability of traditional banks, employing the database from Cornelli et al. (2020). I confirm the detrimental effect of technology-based lending growth on bank profitability, with a 5.2% decrease in the ROAA ratio for each 1% increase in technology-based lending. These results are consistent after accounting for the instrumental variables regression to address endogeneity and alternative profitability indicators. Notably, BigTech lending has more substantial negative impact on bank profitability than FinTech lending, predominantly in developing countries. Technology-based lending negatively impacts bank profitability due to country characteristics rather than bank characteristics, rather than the characteristics of the bank itself. The additional negative shocks to banks are stronger when the banking sector is relatively competitive or credit accessibility is lower in the country where the bank is located. By further exploring the alternative channels, I observe that technology-based lending reduces banks' profitability by issuing more unsecured loans to maintain their original market share of lending services, reducing lending efficiency.
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    The Effects of Critical Feature Handwriting Intervention on Early Literacy Skills
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2023) Russell, Claudia ; Schrodt, Katie KS ; Schrodt, Katie KS ; Elleman, Amy AE ; Griffin, Natalie NG
    ABSTRACT This study was conducted by utilizing an experimental handwriting intervention using eight critical features as identified by Reutzel et al. (2019). The intervention used lower-case letters to group letters with similar features for instruction for preschool-age children. These features were used to facilitate instruction with letter-writing fluency, letter-writing quality, letter names and letter sounds in a pre-K (3–4 years of age) classroom. The critical features of letters include short and long lines, short and long hooks closed and open curves, and a U-turn/hump and dot. This study examined the impact of a handwriting intervention using critical features on acquisition of letter names, letter sounds, phonemic awareness, and handwriting fluency and quality. This study included 29 pre-K students in private school settings, randomly assigned to form an experimental and a control group for each center. The intervention lasted 8 weeks, at 30-minute sessions per group. Small group instruction of the handwriting intervention took place in both centers with the experimental group. There were 2 small groups, n = 29, 15 in the experimental group and 14 in the control group. Quantitative data collection consisted of data from the pre-and post-handwriting analysis and FastBridge assessments for letter recognition and letter sounds. At posttest, ANCOVA analyses demonstrated statistically significant differences between the intervention group and control group on all measures (i.e., phonological awareness, handwriting quality, handwriting fluency, letter names, and letter sounds). Keywords: handwriting, critical features, letter sound fluency, letter recognition, letter writing quality