Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Edward R. Lawrence

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Krishnan Dandapani

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Qiang Kang

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Abhijit Barua

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


M&A, CDS, Credit Ratings, Terrorism

Date of Defense



In this dissertation, I focus my research on some of the economically significant and current open problems in international finance, specifically the relationship between Credit Default Swaps (CDS) on sovereign debt, the importance of fundamental dyadic distances on the initiation and completion of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and the impact of domestic and transnational terrorism on cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

In the first essay, we study the relationship between sovereign debt ratings and the information contained in CDS spreads regarding the credit risk of the reference entity. Using data for 54 countries over a twelve-year period, we find that the variation in average sovereign ratings in a given year can be explained by average CDS spreads over the previous three years. In a horse race between CDS spreads and sovereign ratings, we find that CDS spread changes can predict sovereign events while rating changes cannot.

In the second essay, we study how dyadic distance influences the initiation, completion, and duration of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Using a sample of 173,616 cross-border deals announced between 1970 and 2016, we find evidence that cross-country cultural, institutional, geographical, religious, and language differences, all play a deciding role in the initiation of mergers and acquisitions. The completion of acquisitions is independent of cultural factors, but largely depends on differences in economy size, language, religion, and bureaucracy of the acquiring and target countries. Finally, the duration of deals is influenced by idiosyncratic factors only.

In the third essay, we study whether incidents of domestic and transnational terrorism impact the propensity of firms to acquire cross-border firms. We adopt a theoretical model to show that high levels of terrorism in the target countries are associated with lower cross-border acquisition flows. Empirically, we exploit the exogenous variation induced by differences in genetic diversity, ethnic fractionalization, and religious fractionalization between acquirer and target countries. Our results show that an target from a country with lower terrorist incidents than the acquirer country are associated with more cross-border mergers and acquisitions.





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