ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Finance



First Advisor

John D Diltz


The dissertation consists of three essays. The first essay investigates the relationship between corporate cash holdings and firm performance in new and old economy firms. Results show that firm performance increases when they maintain cash balances at or slightly above a certain level (optimum level). However, their performance degrades if they hold cash at levels beyond the optimum. Furthermore, I find that new economy firms hold more cash relative to their old economy counterparts. Corporate governance and balanced board structure also impact cash holdings and firm performance. I find that as institutional ownership increases, firm performance increases due to better monitoring. Fair board structure policy helps to minimize agency problems. Firms that have a diversity policy tend to hold less cash. Firm performance was better for firms that held excess cash balances during the financial crisis period (2007-2009). Firm performance decreases with excess cash holdings beyond the optimum during regular economic circumstances. The second essay examines the impact of cash holdings on CEO compensation. Results show that CEO compensation is higher when the firm holds greater cash reserves. I also find a positive relationship between CEO total compensation and firm performance. However, their benefit decreases when firms hold excess cash. I find that CEO compensation is higher in new economy firms than old economy firms. I also examine the relationship between a balanced board structure policy and CEO compensation, and I find a negative correlation between board diversity policy and CEO total compensation. The third essay examines the impact of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and ESG controversy scores on firm performance, cash holdings, and CEO compensation. I find a positive relationship between CEO compensation and ESG scores. For the new economy firms, firm value increases by 1.81% if they improve their ESG scores by 1% during the financial crisis period.


Cash holdings, Compensation, Governance, Tobin's q


Business | Finance and Financial Management | Real Estate


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington