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2014-2015

63 hits

  • Thumbnail for  Sunny side up? Analyzing the effectiveness of policy support for solar energy on a state level
    Sunny side up? Analyzing the effectiveness of policy support for solar energy on a state level by Poneman, Michael

    Solar energy is a growing player in the electricity generation industry, second just to natural gas in new electricity generation over the past two years. Policy support is crucial to the success of all energy sources, and solar is no different. This paper uses several Fixed Effects models to analyze the effectiveness of state-issued policy and incentive programs aimed to assist in the generation of solar energy. Comparing the results of the different models reveals trends in policy effectiveness that may warrant policy shifts in many states.

  • Thumbnail for  The effect of insurance status on healthcare utilization and outcomes for patients with Crohn’s disease
    The effect of insurance status on healthcare utilization and outcomes for patients with Crohn’s disease by Zhang, Rebecca

    Differences in Crohn’s disease-related outcomes and medical expenditures were analyzed by insurance status, using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Results from the analysis suggested that although total and acute care expenditures for publicly insured Crohn’s disease patients were disproportionately high compared to their privately insured and uninsured counterparts, privately insured patients experienced the best disease outcomes and healthcare quality. These findings led to the conclusion that in order to improve the outcomes and reduce the economic burden of Crohn’s disease, publicly insured and uninsured patients should be granted universal access to healthcare – specifically non-acute doctors and services.

  • Thumbnail for 5.0.0 Shades of Android: Determining App Preferences from User Reviews
    5.0.0 Shades of Android: Determining App Preferences from User Reviews by Richmond, Will

    In the burgeoning personal and business market of mobile apps, user reviews are a critical quality information source, significantly affecting app download rates and sales. For five Android music apps, this paper investigates determining user preferences from user reviews using a manual content analysis.User reviews were scored for usability, functional, nonfunctional and control factors using an ordered logit model, applying constructs of the Technology Acceptance Model and TaskFunctional Fit theory. This methodology is loosely based on previous iOS manual content analysis. Usability and functionality were hypothesized to increase user reviews, while functionality critiques, especially nonfunctional factors, were hypothesized to negatively affect user reviews. Negative, nonfunctional use comments had the largest effect on reviews, while usability only slightly improved user ratings. Most positively predicted factors, including functionality and ease of use, had no effect on user ratings. Overall results differ from Apple iOS user reviews, but emotion and user’s experience with the mobile app environment have very pronounced ratings effects for both platforms. Finally, analyzing all five apps separately for user preferences highlights the disparity in user review content across apps, even within a similar category.

  • Thumbnail for A Silver Lining or the Postponement of the Inevitable? The Impact of Recessions on the Incidence of Divorce
    A Silver Lining or the Postponement of the Inevitable? The Impact of Recessions on the Incidence of Divorce by Houghton, Emily

    During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, popular media reported that tough financial times were strengthening marriages and decreasing the risk of divorce. Several recent studies using vital statistics have found empirical evidence supporting this, labeling the effect the, “cost of divorce perspective.” Using new data on marital history provided by the American Community Survey and census-tract level unemployment, this study further analyzes the relationship between recessions and an individual’s decision to divorce. Results show that unemployment rates do not influence divorce risks, regardless of differences in gender. Moreover, evidence for a hybrid perspective on divorce is found, suggesting that individuals postpone divorce during recessions, but then end their marriages when the health of the economy improves.

  • Thumbnail for AN EVALUATION OF PRICE RELATIONSHIPS FOR SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON ACCURATE PRICE FORECASTING FOR THE EMERGING BISON MEAT INDUSTRY
    AN EVALUATION OF PRICE RELATIONSHIPS FOR SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS ON ACCURATE PRICE FORECASTING FOR THE EMERGING BISON MEAT INDUSTRY by Bemis, Charles Albert

    The emerging market for North American Bison has recently shown steady growth in both demand and production that has led to strong pricing for bison meat products. Despite the wide interest in forecasting bison prices and the potential for industry-wide benefits of accurate forecasts, limited work dealing with bison price forecasting has been published. An econometric model used by I. J. Bourke (1979) for beef price forecasting was adapted for the bison industry expressing monthly bison carcass prices as a function of national unemployment rates, personal disposable income, and the prices of beef, pork, lamb, turkey, and broiler meats. Separate models were built for bull and heifer carcasses to test for price discrepancies based on gender. Finally, months were included in the original model to account for the cyclical nature of agricultural industries. This paper aims to establish a basis of price relationships between bison carcasses, common substitutes, and macroeconomic indicators for potential use in an accurate price-forecasting model.

  • Thumbnail for ATHLETIC SUCCESS: DOES IT DRIVE ENROLLMENT RETURNS IN U.S. COLLEGES?
    ATHLETIC SUCCESS: DOES IT DRIVE ENROLLMENT RETURNS IN U.S. COLLEGES? by Mars, Jonah A

    This thesis examines the correlations between variables related to college enrollment and college football and basketball success between 2003 and 2012. Using OLS regression to test the correlation between athletics and enrollment, it finds that colleges that produce high draft picks in the NFL and NBA draft are sometimes more highly correlated with improvements in enrollment than colleges that have team success.

  • Thumbnail for An Analysis of the Correlation of Online Ratings to the Fund Raising Success of Charitable Organizations
    An Analysis of the Correlation of Online Ratings to the Fund Raising Success of Charitable Organizations by Pham, Zhachary Render

    Charity Navigator (“CN”) is an on-line site that rates charities based on financial and accountability/transparency measures using a 0 to 4 “star” rating system. This study examines the correlation between the CN ratings of charities and their fund raising success, as defined by revenue growth rate. Potential factors that may influence a donor’s decision are also examined. Prior to testing the data, the possible variables that might influence the correlation between CN ratings and fundraising success are discussed. According to a regression incorporating 258 charities, the correlation of the star ratings to revenue growth was not statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval for 0, 1, 2 and 3 stars, but the coefficient of the 4-star binary variable was statistically significant at that confidence level. Additional regressions derived from sub-sets of charities based on different charitable causes indicate that the significance of CN stars on revenue growth rate varies between causes. Star ratings are not statistically significant at a 95% confidence interval for charities in the General Health and International Relief/Development sectors but are statistically significant at the 4-star level for the Veteran/Military sector and at the 3-star and 4-star levels for the Environmental sector. Overall, these findings suggest that, depending on the dynamics of the sector, ratings might affect a charity’s revenue growth but only at the higher CN rating level. Correlation between CN ratings and revenue growth rate appears to be strongest in highly competitive charity sectors and less significant in sectors where donors have limited choice and where a donor may have great personal connection to specific charities. These findings offer guidance to the management of charities looking to enhance their fund raising effectiveness.

  • Thumbnail for An assessment of renewable energy producer support policy effectiveness in the European Union
    An assessment of renewable energy producer support policy effectiveness in the European Union by Nelson, Scott

    Through the Effort Sharing Decision, the European Commission has dictated individual renewable energy targets for each EU member-state, but has left each member-state to determine how it will reach its goal. In the past fifteen years, ten unique types of producer support policy have been implemented to increase renewable energy investment throughout Europe. This thesis analyzes the effectiveness and impacts of different policy designs that promote investment in renewable energy production in the European Union to determine if there is a dominant or most successful policy strategy. To compare producer support designs, this study examines the various policy designs and their temporal impacts on household electricity prices, the proportion of renewable energy in national energy mixes, real GDP, employment, and energy intensity. It also assesses the impact of policy alteration on the same dependent variables. Finally, it evaluates the idea that a dominant strategy might exist for countries facing more or less ambitious targets.

  • Thumbnail for Are oil products overpriced in China? An evaluation of the oil pricing mechanism in China
    Are oil products overpriced in China? An evaluation of the oil pricing mechanism in China by Pan, Hengjie

    This paper uses a panel dataset of a series of variables to evaluate the Chinese oil pricing mechanism and attempts to find out what variables are determinants for price revising, given the wide complaints about the unaffordability for oil products in China. Most of the explanatory variables are proved by previous scholars to be more or less influential to the fluctuations of oil prices in several oil markets. By running a regression model, we conclude that large domestic demand, changes in the international crude oil market and rapid growth of vehicles in China are statistically significant to the high gasoline price in China.

  • Thumbnail for COMPETITIVE BALANCE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ERA: How One Financially Unregulated Decade Has Altered the Competitive Behavior of English Premier League Soccer Clubs
    COMPETITIVE BALANCE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ERA: How One Financially Unregulated Decade Has Altered the Competitive Behavior of English Premier League Soccer Clubs by Worthington, Andrew

    The paper presented offers insight into a decade of English Premier League soccer. Controlling for exogenous format and rule changes, the hypothesis states that on-field, match variables have decreased in significance relative to off-field, financial variables in relation to the competitive behavior of clubs. The timeline of the paper spans ten seasons from 2003 to 2013. Using fixed effects, OLS models, the paper discovers the changes in behavior of the on and off-field variables relative to total points. The model is applied to the context of the league itself and attempts to explain the change in competitive behavior and competitive advantage in the English Premier League. KEYWORDS: Competitive Balance, Soccer, Champions League, English Premier League, OLS, Fixed Effects Model

  • Thumbnail for Calling Event Optimization for Higher Education Advancement Phonathons
    Calling Event Optimization for Higher Education Advancement Phonathons by ,

    The current phonathon system at Colorado College employs a team of students to call a randomly assigned group from a list of alumni within a certain giving segment. Using characteristics from the student caller, the targeted alum, and data about each call event, a series of models could provide more efficient event matchups. Implementation of the lists generated by the models could improve revenues and participation rates (or both) from the College’s phonathon efforts.

  • Thumbnail for Can a better digital marketing metric be built?
    Can a better digital marketing metric be built? by Pinto, Nicholas

    Online advertising yields advanced tracking capabilities and vast amounts of user-specific data, something traditional advertising lacks. Tracking technology and the methods used to buy and sell ads have advanced considerably in recent years, but the flawed metrics of the past, such as click-through rate, are still often relied upon. The development of free and user-friendly web analytics software offers new possibilities for monitoring the effect digital campaigns have on user behavior. This paper uses observational data from a small U.S. advertiser to compare campaign statistics with analytics data from the advertiser’s website in an effort to find new possibilities for measuring digital advertising campaigns.

  • Thumbnail for Critical signals of success in reward-based crowdfunding : does experience matter?
    Critical signals of success in reward-based crowdfunding : does experience matter? by Ahrens, Nicolas Russel

    Crowdfunding is a novel and promising method of raising early-seed capital for entrepreneurs. By leveraging the Internet, crowdfunding opens up a relatively large number of investors to entrepreneurial ventures. Academic research remains scarce on the subject, particularly in factors that predict fundraising success. Drawing from entrepreneurial selection theory and previous crowdfunding research, this paper accounts for the role of previous founder experience in current crowdfunding video game projects. Using Probit regression analysis, this paper finds that previous crowdfunding experience by a founder is the most influential signal in predicting fundraising success—more so than factors found in previous studies. Furthermore, founders who demonstrate support for other crowdfunding projects increase their probability of success for their own project. This finding raises a case that external motivations for investing exist within the crowdfunding realm. The conclusions in this paper can be of use to crowdfunding investors and platforms, as well as future academic research.

  • Thumbnail for Cry, The Beloved Country: A Meta Analysis of The South African Public Education System
    Cry, The Beloved Country: A Meta Analysis of The South African Public Education System by Wells, Dominique

    In this thesis, I explore some of the issues surrounding the public education system in South Africa. South Africa spends a large amount of their GDP on their education sector but still fail to see positive results. Through a meta-analysis of the research done on the South African education system, I explore what I think are the main issues in education. I found that that race, socioeconomic status, poor teacher quality and lack of service delivery are still large issues within the education system. I conclude by providing policy suggestions on how the South African government could address some of these issues.

  • Thumbnail for Determinants of vehicle-miles of travel in metropolitan areas : the effects of light rail transit and ridership
    Determinants of vehicle-miles of travel in metropolitan areas : the effects of light rail transit and ridership by Pratt-Otto, Samuel Hawkinson

    As VMT rises in many urban areas, the need for public transportation increases, whether it is to mitigate traffic congestion and emissions, or to provide the ease and affordability of public transportation. The construction of public rail lines in the United States was one response to these increases, and dates back to the end of the 19th century. Although it has been commonly assumed that adding or expanding public transportation is a driving variable contributing to changes in VMT, this study will address the effects of multiple variables on VMT including: population density, personal income, lane miles of road, fuel costs, employment density, and the availability of LRT (and other public transit systems). We examine under which circumstances public transportation and Light Rail Transit (LRT) is most attractive. A fixed effects regression model will be used to determine which of these variables have significant effects on VMT, and whether or not LRT implementation does indeed affect an urban area’s VMT. Having performed this analysis, it is our conclusion that LRT ridership does not significantly affect VMT. However, population density, personal income, and lane-miles of road are shown to have significant impacts on VMT.

  • Thumbnail for Determinants of violent crime rates : observing education and population density
    Determinants of violent crime rates : observing education and population density by Lesnansky, Christopher James

    Education and violent crime rates appear to be negatively correlated. Research has also suggested that living in a densely populated city may promote more violent behavior. This paper explored the effects that education and population density has on violent crime rates in cities within the United States. It was found that if a higher percentage of population graduates high school, violent crime rates will decrease. It also was found that as population density increases, violent crimes will increase as well. This should promote the notion that the more funding put into education will have a direct impact on lowering violent crime rates.

  • Thumbnail for Do increased broadband speeds promote economic growth?
    Do increased broadband speeds promote economic growth? by Dimmit, John

    Since its introduction in the late 1990’s, broadband internet has significantly impacted the way societies and economies function. Literature suggests that there is a positive relationship between broadband penetration rates and economic growth rates. Because broadband achieves faster speeds that non-broadband connections, these findings indicate a possible link between broadband speeds and general well-being. Using panel data from 50 US states and the District of Columbia, we estimate the association between broadband speeds and US state level GDP growth. We find that broadband speeds have a positive and significant effect on GDP growth rates for the US from 2009-2011. Considering the controversy surrounding the change to Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality and internet speed regulation policy in February 2015, these results are particularly relevant.

  • Thumbnail for Do more years of schooling and high quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge induce safe sexual behavior in Swaziland
    Do more years of schooling and high quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge induce safe sexual behavior in Swaziland by Shongwe, Nompendulo Ncobile

    This paper uses DHS sample data on Swaziland to investigate the relationship between education and health by focusing on education level (defined by number of years of schooling) and quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge and their effects on risky sexual behavior. An ordered probit model is used to address the quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge, using a 4 level scale, where knowledge ranges from zero/no knowledge to excellent knowledge. A regular probit model is used to analyze the effect of the quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge on various factors used as a measure of risky sexual behavior. The main findings are that the education level is positively correlated to the quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge. Yet, a higher quality of HIV/AIDS knowledge does not always result in safe sexual behaviors. It does not influence the likelihood of having multiple sexual partners in a statistically significant way, but does increase the likelihood of condom use.

  • Thumbnail for Does Gaining or Losing a Star Player Affect Franchise Valuation Differently for Different Teams?
    Does Gaining or Losing a Star Player Affect Franchise Valuation Differently for Different Teams? by McCully, Caroline Zara

    This study investigates a superstar’s affect on the value of different NBA teams. Two team’s values were examined over the course of ten years and then used to explore the statistical value of that player on each franchise. Recent literature has examined the impact of star power on NBA gate revenues and the effect NBA player’s have on policy and our economy but none has explored LeBron James’ significance to the two teams he has played for. The evidence presented suggests LeBron’s star power is more valuable to Cleveland. Additional empirical results are reported in the text.

  • Thumbnail for Does a hockey player’s path to the NHL influence their compensation?
    Does a hockey player’s path to the NHL influence their compensation? by Wamsganz, Scott

    In this study, I ran tests to determine whether or not a player’s path to the NHL has a statistically significant impact on their salary. I did this because I wanted to test to see if there is a bias on a player’s NHL salary depending on where they played before entering the league. I tested this by devising a model using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression using a data set that I created from statistics compiled from multiple NHL databases. I found that a player’s path to the NHL was not statistically significant when determining a player’s salary and therefore failed to reject the null hypothesis.

  • Thumbnail for Does implied volatility forecast future volatility?
    Does implied volatility forecast future volatility? by Wade, Seira`

    Forecasting volatility in the financial market is a popular discussion today amongst market participants. Implied volatility is commonly recognized as the market’s expectation of future volatility. I examine the in-sample forecasting performance of a popular measure of implied volatility, the CBOE Implied Volatility Index (VIX), on the benchmark indicator of the U.S. Equity market, the S&P500, using data from 2003 to 2014. I find the VIX has the ability to forecast the S&P500. Given the importance of the ability to forecast volatility, the results of this study determine the value of the VIX and its relevance to the discussion of implied volatility.

  • Thumbnail for EDUCATE BEFORE YOU DRILL: NATURAL GAS AND ITS EFFECTS ON HUMAN CAPITAL
    EDUCATE BEFORE YOU DRILL: NATURAL GAS AND ITS EFFECTS ON HUMAN CAPITAL by Lynch, Patrick Russell

    The recent natural gas boom in the United States, attributable to the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, has led to abundant economic benefits over the past few years. The industry has grown so rapidly that it is important to analyze its social effects on the communities in which the extraction occurs. This paper investigates the impact of natural gas drilling on the human capital stock and accumulation of human capital in the county of extraction. Drawing on previous research that investigates how human capital is affected in the event of natural resource abundance, this paper isolates the impact a cubic foot increase in production of natural gas has on the educational outcome of a particular county. Through the use of a panel data regression, results show that counties with higher production, or any production at all, have a higher number of college dropouts as well as lower enrollment rates when looking at lagged gas production. The analysis demonstrates that natural gas production negatively affects both human capital accumulation and stock for that county.

  • Thumbnail for ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE AND ITS EFFECT ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: A STUDY OF COMPANIES IN DEVELOPED AND TRANSITIONING ECONOMIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
    ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE AND ITS EFFECT ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE: A STUDY OF COMPANIES IN DEVELOPED AND TRANSITIONING ECONOMIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION by Sukdolakova, Katerina

    The decision to pursue environmental strategies on a company level often carries financial considerations. This paper develops a regression model to examine the relationship and possible differences between financial and environmental performance of companies in western and eastern EU countries. Environmental performance is assessed through a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures focusing on both emission levels and company policies on bettering environmental performance. Financial performance is represented by profit margin. The paper concludes that improvements in company environmental performance lead to better financial performance. Decrease in carbon intensity, presence of a policy of emission reduction, and use of sustainable criteria in the selection of suppliers and trading partners are variables that positively impact financial performance. No difference was found in the sample between eastern and western EU companies or in the strength of the effect of environmental improvements on financial performance.

  • Thumbnail for Exploring the association between stock price and accounting performance measures for the pivoting company: a case study of Logitech s.a.
    Exploring the association between stock price and accounting performance measures for the pivoting company: a case study of Logitech s.a. by Darrell, Anderson

    In Anthony, Joseph and Ramesh’s (1992), The Association between Stock Price and Accounting Measures: A Life Cycle Hypothesis, life cycle theory is introduced as an important component in determining the relationship between sales and stock price responsivity. Their analysis determines that there are three generic stages of a company’s life cycle: stagnant, growth and mature, which can be estimated using accounting figures. An understanding of the correlation between a company’s current life cycle, its accounting figures, and the stock price response result in business policy applications that can increase long-term profitability and capital investment. This study explores the possibility of the existence of a fourth generic life cycle stage, a pivot stage, in which a company behaves in an entirely new way—marketing and investing befitting of a growth company, despite a classification as mature in its life span. By failing to account for behavior modifying scenarios, we construct an incomplete picture of the actual circumstance of a company; subsequently, stock price estimations will be less accurate. The case of this study is Logitech, a global PC peripheral manufacturer that has shifted its market focus from PC peripherals to music, tablet, and gaming industries in order to build a more sustainable platform for future growth.

  • Thumbnail for GOING GREEN, INVESTING FOR LONG TERM PROFITABILITY IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES IN THE FACE OF A CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM: A CASE STUDY OF SWEDISH ENERGY PRODUCING FIRMS
    GOING GREEN, INVESTING FOR LONG TERM PROFITABILITY IN RENEWABLE ENERGIES IN THE FACE OF A CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM: A CASE STUDY OF SWEDISH ENERGY PRODUCING FIRMS by Pronove, Felix Ricardo

    In response to national commitments to lower carbon emissions and to government-mandated firm-specific emissions reduction targets using an emission cap-and-trade system, affected firms are subjected to an added marginal cost related to carbon emissions. Assuming that affected firms are profit seeking, they must alter their business strategies and investment plans to accommodate this new cost. To examine how businesses change strategies in the face of a new marginal cost, I look at the choices made by Swedish electricity-producing firms in the face of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Through regressions of each firm’s profit, I discover that the investing in renewable energies will be the most profitable strategy in the long run.