Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Gabriel G. Ramírez

Second Advisor

Dr. Divesh S. Sharma

Third Advisor

Dr. Xiao Huang


Essay 1

This research examines the relationship between Real Estate Investment Trusts‘ uses of the audit process to increase financial transparency, and their ability to attract and/or maintain reasonable access to capital investment. I find that capital investment is positively and significantly associated with three commonly used audit-related attributes: auditor quality (captured by higher audit fees), auditor specialization (captured by industry-audit specialization), and auditor reputation (captured by the audit firm being a Big 4 auditor). Moreover, I find the positive relationship between capital issuance and auditor fees remains after controlling for the financial crisis of 2007-2008. This positive association between the use of audit fees as a means of signaling transparency and capital investment after the crisis offers a possible strategy for firms seeking capital investment during periods of high capital market illiquidity resulting from a severe external shock to the financial markets.

Essay 2

Challenging real estate market conditions present highly motivated sellers with a difficult trade-off between lowering list price, and offering sales incentives to attract buyers. Research suggests that under-pricing may not prove effective, while empirical investigations of seller-paid sales incentives have yielded mixed results. This study extends the literature by investigating seller-paid incentives offered to buyers, buyers‘ agents, and/or both. I find a positive association between: (1) the likelihood of sellers offering buyer sales incentives and higher real estate asset bid-ask spread; (2) the likelihood of sellers offering agent sales incentives and highly motivated sellers; (3) offering sales incentives and sales price; and (4) offering sales incentives and market duration.