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Canonical Sectors and Evolution of Firms in the US Stock Markets  [PDF]
Lorien X. Hayden,Ricky Chachra,Alexander A. Alemi,Paul H. Ginsparg,James P. Sethna
Quantitative Finance , 2015,
Abstract: A classification of companies into sectors of the economy is important for macroeconomic analysis and for investments into the sector-specific financial indices and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Major industrial classification systems and financial indices have historically been based on expert opinion and developed manually. Here we show how unsupervised machine learning can provide a more objective and comprehensive broad-level sector decomposition of stocks. An emergent low-dimensional structure in the space of historical stock price returns automatically identifies "canonical sectors" in the market, and assigns every stock a participation weight into these sectors. Furthermore, by analyzing data from different periods, we show how these weights for listed firms have evolved over time.
The Structure of Manufacturing Flexibility: Comparison Between UK and Malaysian Manufacturing Firms  [PDF]
H.M. Judi,R. Beach
Journal of Applied Sciences , 2008,
Abstract: This research identified the basic structure of manufacturing flexibility based on literature of previous researches and examined the fitness of this theoretical structure. The identified theoretical structure of manufacturing flexibility consists of four flexibility dimensions: Volume, variety, process and material handling. Data collection from the UK and Malaysian manufacturing firms was conducted to test whether the theoretical structure of manufacturing flexibility was fulfilled. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed and the results showed that the existing structure of manufacturing flexibility fits the theoretical structure. A comparison was made between the UK and Malaysian samples and the results showed that there was no significant difference in the existing structure and they confirmed the theoretical structure. The structure of manufacturing flexibility could be used by both researchers and managers as a framework to clarify the concept of manufacturing flexibility, so that the issue could be better understood and managed.
Ana Gisbert,Vitória Lunardi
Revista de Educa??o e Pesquisa em Contabilidade , 2012,
Abstract: This paper analyzes the improvements in corporate social responsibility (CSR) among Brazilian companies listed on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange – Bovespa, focusing on the type of social and environmental projects together with the amount of investments over the period 2003-2007. The empirical analysis is based on the content of the CSR reports of 48 companies, among them those making up the Bovespa’s Corporate Sustainability Index. All the identified social and environmental projects were classified into eleven categories and three investment categories: internal, external and environmental. The results show the need to standardize the CSR reports due to the absence of uniformity among the sample firms. The investment data reveal a significant increase in external investment projects, followed by the internal category. The results of the environmental category reveal only a moderate increase due to the reduction of the environmental investment in the petroleum industry. Overall, the results reveal that companies tend to invest in projects strongly linked to their main activities.
Is the Great Moderation Ending?——UK and US Evidence  [PDF]
Giorgio Canarella, Wen-Shwo Fang, Stephen M. Miller, Stephen K. Pollard
Modern Economy (ME) , 2010, DOI: 10.4236/me.2010.11002
Abstract: The Great Moderation, the significant decline in the variability of economic activity, provides a most remarkable feature of the macroeconomic landscape in the last twenty years. A number of papers document the beginning of the Great Moderation in the US and the UK. In this paper, we use the Markov regime-switching models to document the end of the Great Moderation. The Great Moderation in the US and the UK begin at different point in time. The explanations for the Great Moderation fall into generally three different categories—good monetary policy, improved inventory management, or good luck. The end of the Great Moderation, however, occurs at approximately the same time in both the US and the UK. It seems unlikely that good monetary policy would turn into bad policy or that better inventory management would turn into worse management. Rather, the likely explanation comes from bad luck. Two likely culprits exist—energy-price and housing-price shocks.
Capital Budgeting Practices: A Survey of Croatian Firms
Lidija Dedi , Silvije Orsag
South East European Journal of Economics and Business , 2007, DOI: 10.2478/v10033-007-0016-y
Abstract: This paper reports the results of a mail survey of capital budgeting practices among Croatian firms and compares the results with those from similar studies in the USA, UK, Sweden, and other European countries. It is based on a questionnaire sent to 200 firms selected from 400 of the best Croatian firms (special edition of Privredni vjesnik) and to 34 banks from a ranking of Croatian banks (special edition of Privredni vjesnik). The response rate was 25,21%. The goal of the empirical survey was to determine the present application of quantitative capital budgeting methods, cost of capital and cash flow estimation, risk analysis and application of a real options approach in capital budgeting practices in Croatian firms. This is the first empirical survey of Croatian capital budgeting practices that has been undertaken.
Transitions in the Stock Markets of the US, UK, and Germany  [PDF]
Matthias Raddant,Friedrich Wagner
Quantitative Finance , 2015,
Abstract: In an analysis of the US, the UK, and the German stock market we find a change in the behavior based on the stock's beta values. Before 2006 risky trades were concentrated on stocks in the IT and technology sector. Afterwards risky trading takes place for stocks from the financial sector. We show that an agent-based model can reproduce these changes. We further show that the initial impulse for the transition might stem from the increase of high frequency trading at that time.
Mapping an index of extreme rainfall across the UK  [PDF]
D. S Faulkner,C. Prudhomme
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) & Discussions (HESSD) , 1998,
Abstract: Distance from the sea, proximity of mountains, continentality and elevation are all useful covariates to assist the mapping of extreme rainfalls. Regression models linking these and other variables calculated from a digital terrain model have been built for estimating the median annual maximum rainfall, RMED. This statistic, for rainfall durations between 1 hour and 8 days, is the index variable in the rainfall frequency analysis for the new UK Flood Estimation Handbook. The interpolation of RMED between raingauge sites is most challenging in mountainous regions, which combine the greatest variation in rainfall with the sparsest network of gauges. Sophisticated variables have been developed to account for the influence of topography on extreme rainfall, the geographical orientation of the variables reflecting the prevailing direction of rain-bearing weather systems. The different processes of short and long-duration extreme rainfall are accounted for by separate regression models. The technique of georegression combines estimates from regression models with a map of correction factors interpolated between raingauge locations using the geostatistical method of kriging, to produce final maps of RMED across the UK.
Valuers’ and Valuation Firms’ Characteristics as Causes of Inaccuracy in Valuation in Nigeria
G. K. Babawale,M. M. Omirin
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences , 2011,
Abstract: Studies in a number of countries have identified certain factors as major contributors to inaccuracy in real property valuation. Of these, individual characteristics of valuers and to a lesser degree, the ethical culture of the firms that engage them, are foremost and universal. This study evaluates the predictive and relative importance of individual characteristics of valuers/valuation firms that contribute to inaccuracy in residential property valuation in Lagos, Nigeria. It also includes the results of an empirical study on the level of accuracy achieved by valuers in the study area. Information elicited from senior partners of 250 firms of Estate Surveyors and valuers (appraisers) operating within Lagos metropolis were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed a degree of inaccuracy that is beyond the industry’s tolerance limits. The study also identified the experience and exposure of valuers; the number of valuations undertaken by valuers within a period of time; professional status of valuers; valuers’ familiarity with relevant markets; and interestingly, the gender of valuers, in that order, as factors that significantly contribute to inaccuracy in residential property valuation in the study area. The paper prescribes, among others, quality assurance measures, and a more proactive regulatory framework, as immediate measures required to curb complacency and excesses among valuers and valuation firms in the study area.
Developing stages and causes of desertification in the Mu Us sandland
Bo Wu,Longjun Ci
Chinese Science Bulletin , 1999, DOI: 10.1007/BF02885034
Abstract: Based on historical aerial photography of three periods and together with field investigation, the status of desertification development after the 1950s in the Mu Us sandland was analyzed, the difference of the desertification developing speed at two stages was compared, and its possible causes were explored. The results show that the developing speed of desertification from the late 1970s to the early 1990s is apparently slowed down, compared with that from the late 1950s to the late 1970s and there exists an obvious recovery trend at the second stage. The difference between the two stages accounts for severely over-reclaiming, over-grazing and unrestricted cutting during the first stage, which are the main causes of desertification development in the semi-arid steppe and arid desert steppe areas.
Causes of degradation and erosion of a blanket mire in the southern Pennines, UK
D.E. Yeloff,J.C. Labadz,C.O. Hunt
Mires and Peat , 2006,
Abstract: This study investigates the causes of erosion and degradation of March Haigh, a blanket mire in the southern Pennines (UK), over a period of 160 years starting in 1840 AD. Peat samples taken from the site were dated using 210Pb; their humification and magnetic susceptibility were measured; and they were examined for pollen, plant macrofossils and microscopic charcoal. Stratigraphic correlation with a dated ‘master’ sample was achieved using indicators of air pollution (magnetic susceptibility) and climate (peat humification). The data were used in conjunction with documentary records to reconstruct past variations in grazing pressure, climate, moorland fires and air pollution. Three major vegetation changes have occurred on the moorland since 1840, namely: (1)the disappearance of Sphagnum spp. in the mid 19th century; (2)the replacement of Calluna vulgaris by Poaceae as the dominant vegetation type ca. 1918; and (3)a reduction in vegetation cover and consequent erosion ca. 1959. The results concur with the findings of other investigations of ecological change in the southern Pennines insofar as degradation of vegetation prior to the mid 20th century appears to have been caused by air pollution, climate change and fire. Following the removal of vegetation by a severe fire during the summer of 1959, unprecedented sheep stocking levels maintained the bare peat surface and thus precipitated extensive erosion.
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