Brock awarded more than $500K in federal funds for early-stage research

Is there a relationship between the price of a house and the way people’s attitudes and beliefs about the housing market are conveyed in news stories?

“In the United States, if the tone of articles express confidence in the housing market, this appears to lead to higher housing prices,” says Brock Professor of Finance Ernest Biktimirov.

The effect is less clear in Canada and other countries, where housing and credit markets are subject to a different set of rules and regulations, he says.

Biktimirov and his team are studying the impact of ‘news media sentiment’ — people’s attitudes and beliefs expressed in news media — on Canadian, Australian and U.K. housing markets.

Biktimirov is one of nine Brock University researchers to recently receive an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). SSHRC awarded Brock University $501,559 in Insight Development Grants for 2021.

Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon says he is pleased by the number of Insight Development Grant recipients this year.

“Our researchers’ curiosity and creativity have propelled them to expand into novel areas, contributing fresh insights on issues that are important to society,” he says.

“We are grateful for this funding, which shows great support for our scholars’ innovation.”

Biktimirov, Professor of Finance Tatyana Sokolyk and Professor of Finance, Operations and Information Systems Anteneh Ayanso will also identify specific topics that drive housing media sentiment, and examine if and how news media sentiment affected house price movements during the 2008 recession and the 2020 COVID pandemic.

“Our research results will help develop recommendations on house price movements for households, real estate investors and developers, regulators and policymakers,” says Biktimirov, adding that the housing market has become “the world’s largest asset class,” worth three times as much as all publicly traded stocks worldwide.

Brock recipients of the 2021 Insight Development Grants are:

  • Xue Bai, Assistant Professor of Economics, Faulty of Social Sciences, “Effects of Minimum Wage Policy on the Canadian Economy: A General Equilibrium Model with Labour Mobility”
  • Ernest Biktimirov, Professor of Finance, Goodman School of Business, “Relation between News Media Sentiment and House Prices: A crosscountry comparative analysis”
  • Filippo Dall’Olio, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Goodman School of Business, “The effect of advertising creative strategy on competitive interference”
  • Andrew Lee, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, Faulty of Social Sciences, “The missing links in the effects of morphological awareness on second language acquisition”
  • Kyle Rich, Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Sport Participation Policy Implementation: Regional Perspectives”
  • Danielle Sirianni Molnar, Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Living with Perfectionism: Through the Eyes of Adolescents and their Parents”
  • Livianna Tossutti, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, “COVID-19 and pathways to city and neighbourhood resiliency in Toronto’s social and community services”
  • Samir Trabelsi, Professor of Accounting and Governance, Goodman School of Business, “International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Adoption, Corporate Governance, and Bankruptcy Prediction: A Machine Learning Approach”
  • Asma Zafar, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Goodman School of Business, “The role of place in organizational dynamics”

Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and ideas.

Funding is provided for short-term research development projects of up to two years that are proposed by individuals or teams.

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