My first essay examines the degree to which the market prices of publicly traded firms reflect and respond to new information regarding the economic viability and vitality of organizations to which they are strategically linked. More specifically, I exploit the uniquely transparent nature of the lessor-lessee relationship across commercial real estate markets to evaluate whether future returns to real estate investment trusts (REITs) are systematically affected by the financial return performance and/or operational opacity of the tenants who lease their investment properties. Using a hand collected data set identifying the principal tenants of 96 publicly traded REITs, I find those firms with the best performing tenants generate annualized abnormal returns which are approximately six percent higher than those realized by REITs with the worst performing tenants. These results are robust to a variety of model specifications, and a closer inspection of the results reveals these performance differentials are consistent with emerging evidence across the literature suggesting investors' limited attention materially influences the return predictability of assets. With respect to the current investigation, I thus conclude investors' limited attention leads to the failure of REIT prices to fully reflect the valuation implications of their tenants' return performance. My second essay investigates how sophisticated investors, such as short sellers, trade on information along the supply chain. Short sellers are known to be generally better informed than common investors. Given the economic linkages that exist between the suppliers and customers, one would expect short sellers to trade on such information. My results indicate that short interest predicts unexpected earnings news, consistent with short sellers extracting information from economic relationships. When I evaluate stock return and short interests in regression analysis, I find strong negative relation between short interest in supplier firm and the future stock returns for the customer firm for the return in the next month. The negative relation persists for twelve months. I find similar results from portfolio approach. I argue that one plausible channel that explains the information content of supplier (customer) firm's short interest for the customer (supplier) firms is short sale constraints on the customer (supplier) firms. My results are consistent with this explanation. Overall, my findings suggest that short sellers play an important role in the price discovery of related firms on supply chain, beyond their direct effects documented previously.


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Graduation Date





Chen, Honghui


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration

Degree Program

Business Administration; Finance Track









Release Date

August 2017

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)