My first essay examines the effects of dividend policy on the liquidity risk of REITs. I argue that the mandatory high cash payouts of REITs reduce investor reliance on the stock market to satisfy their liquidity needs. Using a sample of equity REITs from 1980 through 2015, I find strong empirical evidence consistent with this paradigm. Unlike non-REIT property companies, I find REITs exhibit negative sensitivity to marketwide liquidity shocks; a result that is evident across most property type sectors. Moreover, while my findings are robust across a wide range of portfolios based on size, dividend frequency, leverage, market-to-book, operations type, and the presence of dividend reinvestment plans, smaller REITs mitigate liquidity risk only when their dividend frequency is relatively high. Finally, I find that price sensitivities to marketwide liquidity shocks increase after firms elect to discontinue REIT status. These findings strongly support the notions that investors view dividend payouts as a substitute for liquidity, and that REITs' relatively high mandated payout requirements benefit investors with reduced liquidity risk. My second essay re-examines the ability of the Mills-Muth neoclassical land use theory to explain urban sprawl. I test the robustness of Brueckner and Fansler's (1983) seminal study using data drawn from the 1970 U.S. Census. A repeated sampling test shows that their 1970 sampling methodology led to spurious estimates; their conclusions regarding the economic factors driving sprawl cannot be supported. Nor can they be supported using more recent data from the 2000 and 2010 Census. Given this, I offer two alternate measures of urban sprawl: the traditional population density gradient and a new measure that relaxes the monotonicity constraint implied by traditional density gradients. I find the factors identified by neoclassical theory better explain sprawl when using the density gradient and the non-monotonic measure than the Brueckner-Fansler approach.


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Graduation Date





Gatchev, Vladimir


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration

Degree Program

Business Administration; Finance









Release Date

May 2018

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2018; it will then be open access.