Featured Research

February 2017

Dr. Lisa Schulkind is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. Her research focuses on understanding how parents' decisions and circumstances affect their children and using this knowledge in order to make policy recommendations to improve intergenerational mobility. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Davis.

Department: Economics

Publication: Getting a Sporting Chance: Title IX and the Intergenerational Transmission of Health, Lisa Schulkind 

Published in: Health Economics  

Abstract: We know that healthier mothers tend to have healthier infants, but we do not know how much of that relationship reflects the intergenerational transmission of genetic attributes versus environmental influences. From a policy perspective, it is crucial to understand which environmental influences are important and whether investments in one generation affect outcomes for the next. Schulkind uses variation in the implementation of Title IX to measure the effects of increased athletic opportunities on the health of infants. Babies born to women with greater athletic opportunities as teenagers have babies that are healthier at birth. They are less likely to be born of low or very low birthweight and have higher Apgar scores.

December 2016

Nima Jalali photoDr. Nima Jalali is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. His research and teaching interests include social media marketing and analytics, digital marketing, consumer word of mouth, quantitative marketing and Bayesian Modeling.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Department: Marketing

Recent Publication: The Palette that Stands Out: Color Compositions of Curated Online Visual UGC with Higher Consumer Interaction, Nima Y. Jalali and
Purushottam Papatla

Published in: Quantitative Marketing and Economics

Abstract: Photos posted by consumers on social media, like Instagram, often include brands. Despite the substantial increase in such photos, there have been few investigations into how prospective consumers respond to this visual UGC. We begin to address this gap in this research by investigating the role of the color compositions of photos in consumer response. Consumer response is operationalized as the proportion of views by visitors that stimulate clicks to enlarge the photo when it’s curated on the included brand’s website. Composition is operationalized as the specific combination of levels of the photo’s color attributes: hue, chroma, and brightness. Our goal is to identify the color compositions of photos, ceteris paribus, which get more clicks when they are curated. Data for our investigation comes from clicks over a one-year period on photos posted on Instagram curated by fifteen brands in six product categories on their sites. We assume Beta distributed proportions and calibrate a Beta regression using MCMC methods for our investigation. We find that click-rates are higher for photos that include higher proportions of green and lower proportions of red and cyan. We also find that chroma of red and blue are higher in photos with higher click-rates. Findings from our research led the sponsoring firm to modify its proprietary curation algorithm for client brands. The firm informed us that, post-modification, there has been a substantial increase in click-rates of curated photos for brands in several categories.

October 2016

George Banks photoDr. George C. Banks is an assistant professor in the Department of Management in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. His research and teaching interests include strategic human resource management, leadership and team development, ethics, as well as research methods and statistics. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Department: Management

Recent Publication: Management’s science practice gap: A grand challenge for all stakeholders,George C. Banks, Jeffrey M. Pollack, Jaime E. Bochantin, Bradley L. Kirkman, Christopher E. Whelpley, Ernest H. O’Boyle

Published in: Academy of Management Journal

Abstract: Despite multiple high-profile calls—across decades and from multiple stakeholders—to address the widening gap between science and practice, the relevance of research conducted in the management domain remains in question. To once again highlight this issue and, more importantly, identify solutions, we explore the grand challenge of the science-practice gap by applying stakeholder theory. Using a grounded theory approach, we conducted a series of interviews (n = 38) and a focus group with academics and practitioners (e.g., executives, entrepreneurs, government officials) in order to develop a set of theoretical models and propositions that extend stakeholder theory. We supplemented our inductive theory building approach with a survey of academics (n = 828) and practitioners (n = 939) and a qualitative content analysis to identify 22 grand challenges (i.e., eight shared, eight uniquely academic, and six uniquely practitioner). We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings and illustrate multiple directions for future research to build permanent bonds—not just temporary links—between science and practice.

August 2016

Ethan Chiang photoDr. I-Hsuan Ethan Chiang has research focus areas that encompass empirical asset pricing, portfolio management and performance evaluation, fixed income securities and financial econometrics. He earned his Ph.D. in finance from Boston College. 

Department: Finance

Recent Publication: Estimating Oil Risk Factors Using Information from Equity and Derivatives Markets, I-Hsuan Ethan Chiang, W. Keener Hughen, Jacob S. Sagi

Published in: The Journal of Finance

Abstract: The authors introduce a novel approach to estimating latent oil risk factors and establish their significance in pricing nonoil securities. The model, which features four factors with simple economic interpretations, is estimated using both derivative prices and oil-related equity returns. The fit is excellent in and out of sample. The extracted oil factors carry significant risk premia, and are significantly related to macroeconomic variables as well as portfolio returns sorted on characteristics and industry. The average nonoil portfolio exhibits a sensitivity to the oil factors amounting to a sixth (in magnitude) of that of the oil industry itself.

June 2016

Kexin ZhaoDr. Kexin Zhao joined the Belk College of Business in 2007 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her current research focuses on e-business standardization, electronic commerce, and IT audit and controls.

Department: Business Information Systems & Operations Management (BISOM)

Recent Publication: Online Price Dispersion Revisited: How Do Transaction Prices Differ from Listing Prices?, Kexin Zhao, Xia Zhao and Jing Deng.

Published in: Journal of Management Information Systems. Volume 32, Issue 1, 2015.

Abstract: Price dispersion of a homogeneous product reflects market efficiency and has significant implications on sellers’ pricing strategies. Two different perspectives, the supply and demand perspectives, can be adopted to examine this phenomenon. The former focuses on listing prices posted by sellers, and the latter uses transaction prices that consumers pay to obtain the product. However, no prior research has systematically compared both perspectives, and it is unclear whether different perspectives will generate different insights. Using a unique data set collected from an online market, we find that the dispersion of listing prices is three times higher than the dispersion of transaction prices. More interestingly, the drivers of price dispersion differ significantly between listing and transaction data. The dispersion of listing prices reflects sellers’ perception of market environment and their pricing strategies, and it may not fully capture consumer behavior manifested through the variation of transaction prices. Our study indicates that the difference in perspectives taken on the online prices yields different results as to their dispersion.


April 2016

Kristin RolandDr. Kristin Roland joined the Belk College of Business in 2012 after completing her Ph.D. in accounting at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Roland's research focuses on financial intermediaries and equity compensation.  

Department: Accounting

Recent Publication: Meeting-or-Beating, Earnings Management, and Investor Sensitivity after the Scandals, Sanghyuk Byun and Kristin Roland-Luttecke.

Published in: Accounting Horizons. December 2014, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 847-867.

Abstract: This article contributes to the literature investigating the market reaction to firms’ small positive earnings surprises following the large accounting scandals in the early 2000s. While prior studies provide evidence that the market no longer rewards firms for meeting-or-beating (MBE) in the post-scandal period, their efforts to address the rationality of the market response invite additional analysis. The authors demonstrate that the change in the market reaction to MBE is consistent with temporary over-skepticism. Specifically, the authors show that the market does not differentiate between MBE achieved operationally versus through earnings management, despite previously documented differences in future performance. The authors explore the relationship between MBE, earnings management, and future performance in the post-scandal period and find evidence of mispricing consistent with the market under-reacting to small positive earnings surprises earned by firms that do not appear to have manipulated earnings to MBE. The study provides evidence of a potential market anomaly, which should be of interest to financial managers, researchers, and investors, and speaks to capital market regulation.


February 2016

Dmitry Shapiro photoDr. Dmitry Shapiro joined the Belk College of Business in 2006 after completing his Ph.D. at Yale University. He is interested in modeling people's deviations from the predictions of classical economics, and in particular in analyzing them using the experimental methods.

Department: Economics

Recent Publication: Microfinance and Dynamic Incentives, D.A. Shapiro

Published in: Journal of Development Economics. Vol. 115 (2015), pp. 73-84.

Abstract: Dynamic incentives, where incentives to repay are generated by granting access to future loans, are one of the basic methodologies used by microfinance institutions (MFIs). As long as a borrower is sufficiently patient, the threat of limiting the borrower’s access to future loans serves as a punishment strong enough to deter the default. In this paper, Shapiro demonstrates limitations of the dynamic incentives methodology despite the presence of sufficiently patient borrowers and full exclusion of defaulters. He develops a model where lenders are uncertain over how much borrowers value future loans, e.g. lenders can be uncertain about borrowers’ outside options. Loan terms are determined endogenously, and loans become more favorable as the probability of default becomes lower. He shows that in all equilibria but one all borrowers, including the most patient ones, eventually default. Thus, contrary to earlier results in the literature, borrowers’ patience does not guarantee loan repayment. Shapiro then considers an extension where borrowers can take loans from several lenders, i.e. double-dipping. Qualitatively, properties of equilibria with and without double-dipping are similar. In absolute terms, when borrowers are credit-constrained double-dipping equilibrium loans have to be more favorable to outweigh increased gains from default.