Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Kun Yu

Second Advisor

Ting Chen

Third Advisor

Tyler Hull


I investigate how firm behavior and performance change when its business environment shifts at either the corporate level or the system level. Chapter 2 investigates the role of venture capitalists’ location in the success of their investments. It finds that venture capitalists located in California make consistently better investments, especially in securing next-round financing for their portfolio companies and boosting early stage investments. This location effect is incremental to the portfolio company’s location effect and their co-location effect. This chapter contributes to the literature by formally documenting an overlooked location factor in the success of venture capital investments. Chapter 3 examines the pattern of acquirers’ earnings management during an acquisition process, specifically, between the acquisition announcement and the deal completion. It finds that acquirers generally report lower earnings during this interim period, but to a lesser extent when the deal has disappointing announcement returns or when the managers receive stock-based compensation. This study highlights a reverse trend of downward earnings management during the interim period, all in hopes of boosting post-merger earnings and retrospectively justifying the merger deal. Chapter 4 explores the impact of Sea Level Rise (SLR) risk on firm financial reporting choices. It finds that firms exposed to SLR risk report larger negative special items, as well as earnings with higher volatility and lower persistence. In addition, these SLR firms are less likely to aggressively manage earnings. The results suggest that SLR firms take advantage of the opportunity to report more volatile earnings when the complex business environment surrounding SLR risk increases investors’ tolerance of poor performance. This essay is one of the first studies to link SLR risk to firm accounting disclosures. It also contributes to the important discussion on the necessity of the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021. Overall, this dissertation sheds light on new ways in which the business environment can be exploited to the efficiency and inefficiency of corporate governance and performance.


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