Centre for Business Improvement

Recent Submissions

  • Internal lean practices and performance: The role of technological turbulence.

    Chavez, Roberto; Yu, Wantao; Jacobs, Mark; Wiengarten, Frank; Lecuna, Antonio; Fynes, Brian; University College Dublin; Universidad Diego Portales; University of East Anglia; University of Dayton; Ramon Llull University; Universidad del Desarrollo (Elsevier, 2014-10-18)
    Drawing upon resource dependence theory, this study investigates the linkages from supplier partnership and customer relationship to internal lean practices. Furthermore, this study investigates the linkages from internal lean practices (ILP) to operational performance and organizational performance, and assesses the contingency perspective of these relationships with respect to technological turbulence. The study is based on a questionnaire sent to 228 manufacturing companies in the Republic of Ireland, and the relationships proposed analyzed with structural equation modeling and OLS regression. The results reveal the importance of supply chain relationships, in particular through supplier partnership and customer relationship, in that they are positively associated with ILP. Further, the study finds that ILP are positively associated with both operational and organizational performance. This study also adds to the understanding of the circumstances under which ILP impact performance in that technological turbulence was found to negatively moderate the linkages between ILP and operational performance and ILP and organizational performance. While lean practices can stimulate improved operational and organizational performance, this relationship is not monotonic and is timely to consider the rate of technological change at the time of implementing lean manufacturing.
  • Can gold prices forecast the Australian dollar movements?

    Apergis, Nicholas; University of Piraeus (Elsevier, 2014-05-07)
    This paper explores whether gold prices have a reliable out-of-sample relationship with the Australian dollar/US dollar nominal and real exchange rates using daily and quarterly data, respectively, spanning the period 2000–2012. Through an Error Correction Model (ECM), the empirical findings suggest that the out-of-sample predictive ability is strong and robust across short- and long-run horizons. The results could offer informational availability for monetary policymakers, hedge fund managers and international portfolio managers. They also provide additional support to the hypothesis that both markets are driven by the same information sets.
  • Causality between energy consumption and GDP in the U.S.: evidence from wavelet analysis.

    Aslan, Alper; Apergis, Nicholas; Yildirim, Selim; Nevsehir University; University of Piraeus; Anadolu University (Springer, 2013-12-02)
    This study investigates the dynamic causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in the U.S. at different time scales. The main novelty of the study is that this paper complements the existing studies on the nexus between energy consumption and economic growth by employing the wavelet transformation to obtain different time scales in order to investigate causality between energy consumption and economic growth. This method is first developed by Ramsey and Lampart. Their approach consists of first decomposing the series into time scales by wavelet filters and testing causality of each time scale with the pertinent time scale of the other series separately. The data span from 1973q1 to 2012q1 on a quarterly basis. The main empirical insight is that the causal relationship is stronger at finer time scales, whereas the relationship is less and less apparent at longer time horizons. The results indicate that energy consumption causes economic growth, while the reverse is not true at the original frequency of the data. At the very finest scale the same result arises. However, at coarser scales feedback is observed. In particular, at intermediate time scales the evidence indicates that energy consumption causes economic growth, while the reverse is also true. These empirical findings are expected to be of high importance in terms of the effective design and implementation of energy and environmental policies, especially when a number of countries in the pursuit of high economic growth targets do not pay any serious attention on environmental issues.
  • Country and industry convergence of equity markets: International evidence from club convergence and clustering.

    Apergis, Nicholas; Christou, Christina; Miller, Stephen; University of Piraeus; University of Piraeus; University of Nevada Las Vegas (Elsevier, 2014-05-22)
    This study employs the panel convergence methodology developed by Phillips and Sul (2007) to explore the convergence dynamics of international equity markets. The analysis considers both country and industry effects. While traditional portfolio management strategies usually follow a top-down procedure, assuming that country-level effects drive financial aggregates (e.g., stock returns) our empirical results suggest that the equity markets of 37 of the 42 counties in our sample do form a unified convergence club. The empirical findings, however, also show more numerous stock-price convergence clubs in certain industries. That is, country factors play a more important role in explaining the actual convergence in real stock prices than industry factors. Conversely, the volatility of stock prices exhibits much more evidence of convergence than stock prices. These findings should assist portfolio managers in the design and implementation of appropriate portfolio management strategies. Regulatory authorities also can benefit in the design of financial regulation.
  • Does Happiness Converge?

    Apergis, Nicholas; Georgellis, Yiannis; University of Piraeus; Kingston University (Springer, 2014-01-09)
    Using the Phillips and Sul (Econometrica 75:1771–1855, 2007) club convergence and clustering procedure, we examine happiness convergence dynamics across Europe. Although we reject the hypothesis of full convergence, we find evidence of distinct happiness convergence clubs. Against the background of a weak link between income and happiness in the existing literature, we advocate that happiness convergence is a legitimate policy goal on its own right as well as a useful barometer of changes in the political landscape, societal values, and citizens’ sentiments about developments in the European Union.
  • Banking development and energy consumption: Evidence from a panel of Middle Eastern countries

    Aslan, Alper; Apergis, Nicholas; Topcu, Mert; Nevsehir University; Curtin University; Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University (Elsevier, 2014-06-21)
    Since the late 1990s, much scholarly work has been done in the field of energy economics on the nexus between economic growth and energy consumption. Over the last decade, however, the literature has been recompiled through examining the relationship between energy consumption and a set of variables by referring to the implicit role of economic growth. Based upon finance-energy nexus, this paper attempts to investigate the linkage between the banking development and energy consumption for a panel of seven Middle Eastern countries using panel cointegration and causality techniques over the period 1980–2011. Panel cointegration results show a long-run relationship between energy consumption, income, energy prices and banking sector development indicators. FMOLS (Fully Modified OLS) results reveal that all banking sector indicators affect energy demand positively in the long-run and the impact range falls between 0.169 and 0.396. In terms of causality, there is evidence of a one way short-run relationship from banking expansion to energy consumption while long-run dynamics indicate a bi-directional feedback relationship. These results have some implications for energy and environmental policy. One main implication is that energy conservation policies may be implemented with little or no adverse impact on financial development in the short-run whereas they might become detrimental in the long-run.
  • The role of FOMC minutes for US asset prices before and after the 2008 crisis: Evidence from GARCH volatility modeling.

    Apergis, Nicholas; Curtin University (Elsevier, 2014-10-07)
    This study explores the impact on US asset prices of novel data from minutes released by the Federal Open Market Committee. With data from fixed income assets, the main exchange rates of the US dollar, a House Price Index and various GARCH modeling, the empirical findings document significant effects of those minutes on the mean and volatility of asset prices only before the 2008 crisis. After the crisis, these effects become weaker, which is possibly attributable to the stronger transparency of monetary policy decisions as well as the implementation of monetary policy that persistently leads interest rates close to the zero lower bound, where they carry a weaker informational content. The baseline results survive a number of robustness tests. In addition, the findings are expected to provide important insight for monetary policymakers and market participants as they provide significant information on how well decisions are anticipated by market participants and how they adjust their views about future monetary policy, output growth, and inflation.
  • Accounting standards convergence dynamics: International evidence from club convergence and clustering

    Apergis, Nicholas; Christou, Christina; Hassapis, Christis; University of Piraeus; University of Piraeus; University of Cyprus (Emerald, 2014-10-28)
    This paper aims to explore convergence of accounting standards across worldwide adopted measures to investigate whether countries that have not completely adopted International Accounting Standards across the globe have displayed a tendency to act so. The new panel convergence methodology, developed by Phillips and Sul (2007), is employed. The empirical findings suggest that countries form distinct convergent clubs, albeit on a limited prevalence, yielding support to the notion that on a global basis firms and countries have initiated processes that will eventually lead them to a uniform pattern of employing common accounting standards.
  • Convergence in provincial‐level South African house prices: evidence from the club convergence and clustering procedure.

    Apergis, Nicholas; Simo‐Kengne, Beatrice; Gupta, Ragan; University of Piraeus; University of Pretoria; University of Pretoria (Wiley, 2015-02-24)
    This empirical study analyzes the long run behavior of provincial house prices in South Africa based on the club convergence and clustering procedure of Phillips and Sul. Using quarterly data covering the period of 1976Q2–2012Q4, 1974Q1–2012Q4 and 1977Q3–2012Q4 for the large, medium, and small middle segments of the housing market, respectively, we test the law of one price across nine provinces. The empirical findings suggest that the nine provinces do not form a homogeneous convergence club. Unlike the small middle segment, which consists of two convergence clubs of seven and two provinces, the large and medium middle segments have three convergence clubs corresponding to three segmented independent local markets. Possible intuitive explanations for the existence of such clubs are discussed and resulting policy implications provided.
  • The bank lending channel and monetary policy rules for Eurozone banks: further extensions

    Apergis, Nicholas; Miller, Stephen; Alevizopoulou, Effrosyni; Curtin University; University of Nevada Las Vegas; University of Piraeus (De Gruyter, 2014-06-12)
    The monetary authorities affect macroeconomic activity through various channels of influence. This paper examines the bank lending channel, which considers how central bank actions affect the loan supply through its main indicator of policy, the real short-term interest rate. This paper employs the endogenously determined target interest rate, emanating from the European Central Bank’s monetary policy rule, to examine the operation of the bank lending channel. Furthermore, it examines whether different bank-specific characteristics affect how Eurozone banks react to monetary shocks. That is, do sounder banks react more to the monetary policy rule than less-sound banks? The paper finds evidence of an active and statistically and economically significant bank lending channel for the Eurozone between 2000 and 2009.
  • An empirical note on entrepreneurship and unemployment: Further evidence from U.S. States

    Apergis, Nicholas; Payne, James; University of Piraeus; Georgia College & State University (Emerald, 2016-11-04)
    The purpose of this paper is to extend the existing literature on the causal dynamics between entrepreneurship and the unemployment rate (UR) in the use of the Kauffman Foundation index of entrepreneurial activity. Recently developed panel unit root tests with recognition of cross-sectional dependence and panel cointegration/error correction modeling techniques are applied to US States. The results indicate that the rate of entrepreneurship, the UR, and real per capita personal income are cointegrated. The panel error correction model reveals that bidirectional causality exists among the variables in both the short run and long run. With respect to entrepreneurship, an increase in the UR increases the rate of entrepreneurship, in turn, an increase in the rate of entrepreneurship lowers the UR. Moreover, the results also show a positive bidirectional relationship between the rate of entrepreneurship and real per capita personal income.
  • Renewable energy, output, CO2 emissions, and fossil fuel prices in Central America: Evidence from a nonlinear panel smooth transition vector error correction model

    Apergis, Nicholas; Payne, James; University of Piraeus; University of New Orleans (Elsevier, 2014-01-20)
    This study examines the determinants of renewable energy consumption per capita for a panel of seven Central American countries over the period 1980 to 2010. Specifically, we find that a long-run cointegrated relationship exists between renewable energy consumption per capita, real GDP per capita, carbon emissions per capita, real coal prices, and real oil prices with the respective coefficients positive and statistically significant. A structural break in the cointegrating relationship appears in 2002 which coincides with the establishment of the Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America initiative to expand the use of renewable energy sources. Recognizing the regime shift in 2002, we estimate a nonlinear panel smooth transition vector error correction model to show that for the post-2002 period, the influence of renewable energy consumption per capita upon real coal and oil prices strengthened relative to the pre-2002 period as well as a greater sensitivity of real GDP per capita to carbon emissions per capita.
  • Financial portfolio choice: Do business cycle regimes matter? Panel evidence from international household surveys.

    Apergis, Nicholas; Curtin University (Elsevier, 2014-11-06)
    This study investigates how business cycles regimes can explain financial portfolio decisions across investors and countries, given a number of idiosyncratic characteristics. In particular, the empirical strategy studies the relationship between risky asset shares and linear and nonlinear business cycles. The empirical part employs data from household surveys in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for the period of 1998–2012. The analysis provides evidence that while a linear framework does not provide a statistically significant association between business cycles and decisions in risky investments, a nonlinear business cycles context leads investors to decrease their risky investments stronger during recessions than they increase them during booms, lending support to the hypothesis of interaction between financial risks and other determinants. The results are expected to signal interesting flashing points not only to market participants and portfolio managers, but mainly to policy makers and the way their economic policy decisions affect the working of financial markets.
  • The oil curse, institutional quality, and growth in MENA countries: Evidence from time-varying cointegration

    Apergis, Nicholas; Payne, James; University of Piraeus; Georgia College & State University (Elsevier, 2014-09-16)
    This study re-examines the impact of oil abundance on economic growth in a number of MENA (Middle East and North African) countries for the period 1990–2013. Given the number of economic and institutional reforms undertaken by these countries in recent years, we incorporate measures of institutional quality to evaluate if oil abundance impacts economic growth differently. The results from time-varying cointegration reveal that better institutional quality reduces the unfavorable effect of oil reserves on the performance of the real economy.
  • The long-term role of non-traditional banking in profitability and risk profiles: Evidence from a panel of U.S. banking institutions

    Apergis, Nicholas; University of Piraeus (Elsevier, 2014-03-18)
    The goal of this empirical study is to identify empirically and on a panel basis how non-traditional bank activities affect directly the profitability and risk profiles of the financial institutions involved in such activities. Through a dataset that covers 1725 U.S. financial institutions involved in non-traditional bank activities spanning the period 2000–2013 and the methodology of panel cointegration, the empirical findings document that non-traditional bank activities exert a positive effect on both the profitability and the insolvency risk. The results could be important for regulators given they could serve as a pre-warning signal that sends a clear message to regulators about the potential systemic risk that exists within the financial markets.
  • Dutch disease effect of oil rents on agriculture value added in Middle East and North African (MENA) countries

    Apergis, Nicholas; El-Montasser, Ghassen; Sekyere, Emmanuel; Gupta, Rangan; University of Piraeus; Université de la Manouba; Human Science Research Council-EP; University of Pretoria (Elsevier, 2014-08-27)
    This paper investigates the effect of oil rents on agriculture value added in oil producing Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. Annual data from 1970 to 2011, panel cointegration tests by Pedroni (1999), long ran panel causality tests by Canning and Pedroni (2008), and two-step System GMM by Blundell and Bond (1998) are used in this study. We find a negative relationship between oil rents and agriculture value added in the long run, with a rather slow rate of short run adjustment of agriculture value added back to equilibrium after a boom in oil rents. These results indicate that an oil sector boom is associated with a contraction in the agriculture sectors of the countries in the panel in the long run. This is probably attributable to a resource movement effect from other economic sectors to the booming oil sector in these countries. This serves as evidence of a Dutch disease effect of an oil sector boom on agriculture in the MENA countries in this study.
  • Inflation and Uncertainty: Does the EMS P a rticipation Play Any Role?

    Apergis, Nicholas; University of Macedonia (Sejong University, 1998-12)
    This paper examines whether European Monetary System (EMS) member - ship has affected the link between inflation and inflation uncertainty. ARCH measures of conditional inflation volatility and Granger-causality tests for nine OECD countries over the period 1980-1994 indicate that in non-EMS coun - tries -in these countries a monetary target seems to have been closely followedinflation seems to determine the behaviour of inflation uncert a i n t y. By con - trast, in EMS countries – these countries have geared their monetary policies to an exchange rate target – inflation seems to have no impact on inflation uncertainty. This finding is probably due first, to the absence of any institution - al restriction that characterises non-EMS membership, on the manner the monetary policy is pursued, and second, to the fact that under a monetary rule, any institutional or regulatory changes in the monetary sector are expected to fall more adversely upon inflation as well as inflation uncertainty.
  • Monetary policy rules and the equity risk premium: Evidence from the US experience.

    Apergis, Nicholas; Payne, James; University of Piraeus; Benedictine University (Wiley., 2018-04-23)
    This study explores the role of monetary policy rules and central bank actions originating from such rules that directly affects the equity risk premium. The results indicate that monetary policy rules have a direct impact on the equity risk premium through investors’ appetite for risk and greater uncertainty faced by market participants. The analysis includes the pre‐ and post‐2008 financial crisis periods in finding that monetary policy actions had a much greater impact on the equity risk premium in the post‐2008 crisis period due in part to the funding conditions of banking intermediaries, thus exerting a greater impact on credit conditions during this period.
  • The determinants of business start-ups in tertiary education: evidence for Greece through a panel data approach

    Apergis, Nicholas; Fafaliou, Irene; University of Piraeus; University of Piraeus (Springer, 2011-12-03)
    Up to now there is no consensus in the relevant literature on the exact factors that lead a student to entrepreneurship. In addition, evidence on differences in the entrepreneurial activity among regions and, even more, in the entrepreneurial education provided by individual universities, within the same region, call for context-specific longitudinal studies. The primary objective of this paper is to provide evidence on the determinants that influence the propensity of young students of a Greek University to establish a new business venture. The methodological approach employed is based on a questionnaire survey collecting data from 1,500 students, spanning the period 2005–2010. Data has been processed through the use of a panel cointegration and panel causality methodology. The empirical findings entail useful insights on students’ attitudes and perceptions of entrepreneurship.
  • The impact of fracking activities on Oklahoma’s housing prices: a panel cointegration analysis.

    Apergis, Nicholas; University of Piraeus (Elsevier., 2019-01-08)
    Fracking drilling has opened a discussion on the role of technological developments in economies engaged in shale oil and gas formations. Oil and natural gas production opened new possibilities for employment benefits and housing prices decreases. This paper explores, for the first time, the impact of fracking on housing prices across Oklahoma’s counties, spanning the period 2000-2015. Through panel methods, the findings show a positive effect on housing prices, while this positive effect gains statistical significance only over the period after the 2006 fracking boom. The results survive a robustness check that explicitly considers distance and groundwater-dependency issues.

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