Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Donald J. Bruce

Committee Members

Matthew C. Harris, Maria Padilla-Romo, LeAnn Luna


This dissertation is a compilation of three individual papers that collectively examine several determinants of business activity and entrepreneurship. My goal is to add to the well-established literature in the field of public economics by providing fresh empirical analysis. In the first chapter of my dissertation, Don Bruce and I examine the empirical relationship between sales tax nexus standards and measures of business activity. In my second chapter, I explore how the availability of broadband Internet affects the start-up and expansion of firms and entrepreneurs. Finally, in my third chapter, I investigate how the sharp decline in high-propensity business applications that occurred at the onset of the 2007 financial crisis might have exacerbated the slowdown in business dynamism. Individually, these chapters address timely economics questions and provide valuable insight for researchers and policymakers.

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