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2015-2016

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  • Thumbnail for  You Cannot Run Away From TV: Childhood Obesity Perpetuated by Advertisements, Regardless of Exercise Habits
    You Cannot Run Away From TV: Childhood Obesity Perpetuated by Advertisements, Regardless of Exercise Habits by Davis, Danielle Hilton

    There is evidence suggesting that food advertising causes childhood obesity. The strength of this effect is unclear. This study attempts to estimate how much of the childhood obesity prevalence is attributable to unethically constructed food advertisements on television (TV), and argues that watching child-oriented TV, with regularly programmed advertisements, is the most impactful predictor of childhood obesity. A survey was distributed to parents of 5- to 13-year-old US children, asking information about their children’s TV watching habits, eating and exercise habits, height and weight, as well as many other questions. Model input was based on body measurements from the survey, the CDC-2015 cut-offs for weight categories, and literature that relates advertising to consumption and consumption to body mass. The model predicts that reducing the exposure of general TV watching per week by 1 hour would decrease the average logged BMI by 4.6%. If one were to exclusively watch commercial free child-oriented programming (Netflix for example), the model predicts a drop in logBMI of .02% with every additional hour. Several variables were controlled for including: exercise per day, age of child, child and adult-directed TV per day (hours), commercial free TV per week (hours), fruits consumed per week, vegetables consumed per week, sweets consumed per week, soft-drinks consumed per week and socioeconomic status. This study suggests that a healthier TV choice is one that is entirely free of unethically manufactured advertisements. If corporations were to limit exposing children to the marketing of their energy dense, high sugar and sodium products, this could contribute significantly to making children’s diets healthier.

  • Thumbnail for A Proposal for Simplification of Pricing at Private Colleges: A Case Study of Colorado College
    A Proposal for Simplification of Pricing at Private Colleges: A Case Study of Colorado College by Cary, Caroline Margaret

    In the current market of higher education, skyrocketing tuition prices and unproportionally small increases in income are contributing to overwhelming amount of debt for recent graduates. Because of this, many question whether the benefits of a postsecondary degree still exceed the costs. Economists and policy makers alike attribute this deterrence to the complicated financial aid system and have proposed many ideas for simplifying the process. Motivated by this effort, this study uses Colorado College as a case study by utilizing a matriculation model with two years worth of admitted applicant data in order to investigate the possibility of the school changing its tuition model to being a percent of a student’s reported Average Gross Income (AGI). We found the optimal percentage to be between 18% and 19% because the class size and relevant demographics at these values remain relatively the same as under the traditional model.

  • Thumbnail for AN ECONOMIC INVESTIGATION INTO THE CORRELATION BETWEEN STAR POWER AND BOX OFFICE REVENUES IN HOLLYWOOD
    AN ECONOMIC INVESTIGATION INTO THE CORRELATION BETWEEN STAR POWER AND BOX OFFICE REVENUES IN HOLLYWOOD by Wirth, Kathryn Elizabeth

    This paper examines the relationship between box office revenues and star power through two innovative measures of celebrity influence. By observing the number of visits to a star’s IMDB profile page, the STARmeter ranking system provides a continuous measure of celebrity popularity. In addition, by using E! Online to calculate the number of positive and negative article appearances of each celebrity, we obtain a measure of public image. This process is used for the top two celebrities of each film. The results suggest casting celebrities with a positive public image will in fact increase box office revenues. Furthermore they suggest that having a second superstar in a film may be the key to box office success.

  • Thumbnail for An Analysis of the Economic Factors Determining the SEC’s Ability to Discourage Corporate Bad Behavior
    An Analysis of the Economic Factors Determining the SEC’s Ability to Discourage Corporate Bad Behavior by Al-Amin-Dyer, Mansour

    The enforcement activity of the SEC is of great importance to a firms and investors for a number of reasons. I have chosen to investigate the economic and political factors that affect the frequency with which the SEC’s Enforcement division decides to act. My findings are the percentage change in the S&P 500 index, the political party of the President, and the Total Amount of Penalties ordered are all significant factors in the enforcement activity of the SEC.

  • Thumbnail for Analyzing Sexual Assault on College Campuses: The Role of Alcohol, Drugs, Sororities and Fraternities
    Analyzing Sexual Assault on College Campuses: The Role of Alcohol, Drugs, Sororities and Fraternities by Earl, Ruby Tempest

    Sexual violence is incredibly costly and devastating to both sexual assault victims and to society. Further, the issue of sexual assault has become increasingly prevalent on college campuses, with one in every five students being assaulted during their college careers. There are numerous factors contributing to the frequency and even existence of sexual assault, and it is the goal of this study to analyze a few of them. This study uses a censored regression model to analyze 18 different variables and their impact on reported sexual assault rates. Ultimately the study concludes that fraternity membership, athletics, and alcohol prevalence show a significant positive correlation with sexual assault rates, while sorority membership and percent female have a significantly negative correlation.

  • Thumbnail for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment as a Tool for Development
    Attracting Foreign Direct Investment as a Tool for Development by Keny-Guyer, Jordan

    With nearly 13% of the global population living in poverty, it is necessary for nations to develop new tools to promote development. This paper examines the ability for countries to attract foreign direct investment through regulatory quality, political stability and lack of conflict, and corruption perception, in order to promote development. Using data from the World DataBank, Transparency International, World Governance Indicators, and Human Development Reports from 2005 to 2014, this study utilizes a fixed effects panel model to measure the effects of focusing on attracting foreign direct investment as a tool for development, measured by the Human Development Index. This study can demonstrate the importance for host countries wishing to develop economically to invite foreign direct investment, and show them the best ways to do so.

  • Thumbnail for British Like Beckham: What Effect Does Nationality Have On The Salary Of MLS Players?
    British Like Beckham: What Effect Does Nationality Have On The Salary Of MLS Players? by Ward, Philip Craig

    Favoring someone based on his or her nationality or race is wrong. It doesn’t matter whether it occurs in an office setting or in a sporting context. This paper looks at the effect that nationality has on the salary of MLS players in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 MLS seasons to examine nationality-based discrimination inside the MLS. The results indicate that European and African nationalities have a significant positive explanatory power in analyzing MLS wage, while Caribbean and South American nationalities were found to have a significantly negative explanatory power in analyzing MLS wage.

  • Thumbnail for CONTROVERSIAL AUSTERITY: DOES REDUCING THE DEFICIT ACTUALLY HELP GROWTH?
    CONTROVERSIAL AUSTERITY: DOES REDUCING THE DEFICIT ACTUALLY HELP GROWTH? by Pronove, Felix Ricardo

    There has been a significant examination of debt levels and their impact on economic growth. With the successful reduction of debt in Canada in the 1990s and Greece experiencing crippling debt levels in the 2010s, debt still plays a major role when nations enact financial policies. In this study, I examine the relationship between debt and economic growth by answering two questions; 1. Does high debt impact economic growth? 2. Does austerity really promote growth? By examining panel data from 34 OECD countries over 65 years, I find that high debt does, in fact, reduce economic growth. However, reducing the government deficit levels doesn’t result in larger growth. Overall, it seems that efforts to reduce debt levels will promote growth, but reducing deficit levels isn’t the best tool to do so.

  • Thumbnail for CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORTING IN KENYA: THE CASE OF SAFARICOM LIMITED
    CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORTING IN KENYA: THE CASE OF SAFARICOM LIMITED by Mburu, Georgina Wanyaga

    There is little doubt that corporate social responsibility is now a prominent feature in the global business agenda. However, regardless of the increasing body of literature on CSR in developing countries, there is scarce research on CSR implementation in Africa. Drawing from a multi-theoretical framework, this paper seeks to analyze how CSR is implemented in Kenya through the lens of Safaricom Limited. This article concludes that for CSR to be implemented in Kenya, firms must adopt a unique Kenyan approach to CSR with a balance of Western concepts and national factors.

  • Thumbnail for CSR as a Demand Determinant in the Outdoor Apparel Industry
    CSR as a Demand Determinant in the Outdoor Apparel Industry by Mulcahy, David

    Growing literature have used conjoint analysis to measure the importance corporate social responsibility (CSR) has in consumer purchasing decisions. Building on that field of research, this study analyzes outdoor apparel goods as an extension of and addition to that work. Outdoor education professionals were surveyed as they are a population who is highly knowledgeable about the industry and CSR to serve as a litmus test for a larger, more representative survey. Of the largely white, slightly majority male, young population, CSR was the most important attribute for the product sampled, slightly more important than customer rating and more than price. However, results suggest that consumers perceive a level of quality with different price levels as the lowest price offered generated the least amount of utility for consumers instead of the most. In terms of which CSR factors mattered the most, only the environmental domain was able to predict customer rating sensitive respondent’s relative importance for CSR and price.

  • Thumbnail for Cannabis Content Advertising: A Comparative Study
  • Thumbnail for Cannabis and Crime: The Effect of Medical and Retail Marijuana Laws on Crime
    Cannabis and Crime: The Effect of Medical and Retail Marijuana Laws on Crime by Shaw, Casey Lispcomb

    Few studies have investigated the effects of medical marijuana laws on crime and even fewer have investigated the effects of retail marijuana laws on crime. These studies have mostly employed state-level panel data (Alford, 2014; Morris, TenFyck, Barnes & Kovandzic, 2014; Gavrilova, Kamada & Zoutman, 2014). I aim to study the effects of both medical and retail marijuana laws using city-level panel data. In order to model crime, along with medical and retail marijuana indicator variables, I include socioeconomic and demographic time-varying factors that are known contributors to crime. By using a two-way fixed effects two stage least squares approach, I control for unobserved constant heterogeneity and endogeneity. The results indicate that medical marijuana laws have a decreasing effect on property crime and retail marijuana laws have an increasing effect on property crime. Additionally, they show that the physical dispensaries are the driving factors causing this relationship. However, the results should be interpreted cautiously because there may be unobserved time-varying characteristics that my model does not capture.

  • Thumbnail for Corporate Influence on Monetary Government Outcomes
    Corporate Influence on Monetary Government Outcomes by Newby, Seth

    The goal of this paper is to analyze the impact of corporate political contributions on the allocation of U.S subsides. This is achieved by correlating how much money a corporation spends on political investments in the form of Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions and lobbying, and how much money they receive back in the form of government monetary subsides. Using regression analysis, this study finds that for every one dollar a corporation spends on PAC contributions, there is an expected return of $4.37 dollars from the government in some form of subsidy. For every one dollar spent on lobbying, this study finds an expected return of $0.44 dollars from the government. The size and industry of the firm and the type of industry are statistically significant determinants of subsidy allocation. An ethical analysis is also performed in this thesis, and the results suggest ethically questionable practices involving corporate political action with need for reform.

  • Thumbnail for DETERMINANTS OF E-COMMERCE TRANSACTIONS: An Econometric Analysis of Behavioral Differences Between Device Types
    DETERMINANTS OF E-COMMERCE TRANSACTIONS: An Econometric Analysis of Behavioral Differences Between Device Types by Medema, Andrew

    Using data from an Internet retailer, this paper analyzes the impact of device type on purchase probability. An OLS model regression was applied. The results showed that device type does indeed affect a consumer’s probability to purchase and, in addition, variables around traffic source and user type proved to be statistically significant.

  • Thumbnail for ECONOMIC FREEDOM, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND GROWTH: EVIDENCE FROM 34 OECD COUNTRIES
    ECONOMIC FREEDOM, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND GROWTH: EVIDENCE FROM 34 OECD COUNTRIES by Ong, Chuin Chieh

    Developmental economists have made strides in contributing substantial theoretical support towards understanding the manifold benefits of FDI. According to the 2015 World Investment Report, upwards of more than 40% of external development assistance is now composed of FDI flows. This significance is an indication to policymakers that the endogenous growth benefits associated with FDI’s efficiency-value creating activities should not be undermined when considering efforts of actualizing higher economic growth prospects. Among recent extensive literature, the debate over determinants and spillover effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the economic growth of host countries has improved our understanding of the absorptive capacity hypothesis and market size hypothesis underlying the link between FDI and economic growth. This paper explores the intricate conjunctional relationship between economic freedom, foreign direct investment (FDI) and economic growth employing panel data for a sample of 34 OECD countries from 1995-2014. This paper builds on the insights from previous empirical results and postulates the following question: Do foreign direct investment inflows respond to variations of economic freedom among host countries? And does FDI significantly exert a positive growth effect on annual GDP per capita?

  • Thumbnail for EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY ON PERCEPTIONS OF DISTRIBUTIVE FAIRNESS IN LATIN AMERICA
    EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY ON PERCEPTIONS OF DISTRIBUTIVE FAIRNESS IN LATIN AMERICA by Castro Duque, Francisco Esteban

    Research on income inequality has demonstrated that it can have tangible effects on economic incentives. In this context scholars in the social sciences have pursued a strand of research that studies the factors that shape perceptions of income inequality. The literature shows that individual perceptions of inequality fail to accurately reflect trends of income inequality in OECD countries, but we know less about how these variables co-vary in Latin America. Literature demonstrates that in addition to objective measures of inequality, subjective factors also interact to shape perceptions of distributive fairness. Using panel data for 18 Latin American countries and a country-specific fixed effect model, this paper looks to answer: to what degree do both (1) objective measures of inequality and (2) political messages about inequality shape perceptions of distributive fairness in Latin America? We hypothesize that despite the plethora of factors that shape peoples’ beliefs, objective measures as well as government efforts to change perceptions explain variations in perceptions in Latin America to some extent. We find that Gini coefficients explain a portion of the variance in perceptions of distributive fairness. Additionally, we find that citizens’ perceptions do not react with a lag, suggesting that they sense changes during the same period that they happen rather than with a delay. Finally, though our proxy of choice for government efforts to change perceptions of distributive fairness is imperfect, we find that there is some statistically significant association between perceptions of distributive fairness and government efforts to manipulate them.

  • Thumbnail for ENERGY FUNDING FOR A RENEWABLE FUTURE: THE EFFECTS OF THE EERE BUDGET ON RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
    ENERGY FUNDING FOR A RENEWABLE FUTURE: THE EFFECTS OF THE EERE BUDGET ON RENEWABLE ENERGY CONSUMPTION by King, Michael

    Energy has become the focus of many political, social, and economic debates due to recent research which has expanded our understanding of climate change. As the world searches for ways to combat climate change, renewable energy is seen as one of the most promising solutions. This paper contributes to the current renewable energy literature by addressing the effects of the United States Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s (EERE) budget on renewable energy consumption. A fixed effects regression analysis including renewable energy consumption, the EERE’s budget, GDP growth rate, and the average delivered price of coal to electric utilities is used. The results show that the EERE budget and the price of coal both have positive, statistically significant effects on the consumption of renewable energy at the 90% confidence interval.

  • Thumbnail for ENSO Forecasts and Their Effect on Commodity Market Efficiency
    ENSO Forecasts and Their Effect on Commodity Market Efficiency by McGregor, Sean

    ENSO is a global weather phenomenon that greatly affects the spot and futures prices of agricultural commodities. Forecasts are produced monthly for ENSO events and provide significant information for agricultural commodity markets. In this paper we wish to study whether commodity markets react to ENSO forecasts in a way consistent with the Efficient Market Hypothesis. Additionally, we will look at if ENSO forecasts are at all predictive of future commodity prices.

  • Thumbnail for Expanded Economic Analysis of Different Geoengineering Methods
    Expanded Economic Analysis of Different Geoengineering Methods by Prior, Robert Thomas

    As current mitigation practices fall below the established successful levels of emission reductions, technological interventions are becoming a highly debated response to climate change. To understand geoengineering, mass intervention must not be viewed as one response to climate change, but instead the many potential methods must be seen as singular concepts. This study attempts to analyze four of the most popular GE methods, weighing their respective risks, costs and effectiveness.

  • Thumbnail for Hedge Fund Activism and Corporate Malfeasance: Can the Former Predict the Latter?
  • Thumbnail for How strategy affects performance
    How strategy affects performance

    This study examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance, but more specifically, the effects of CSR engagement strategy on cost of equity. The Sample is a panel dataset of 30 firms in the apparel, retail, and textile industry from 2007-2013. Using Fixed-effects, random-effects, and ordinary least squares models, the study finds no significant effect of CSR or CSR engagement strategy on cost of equity. These findings are in line with the majority of existing literature, such that the results indicate no clear relationship between CSR and financial performance exits.

  • Thumbnail for IMPACTS OF SOCIAL INTEGRATION ON THE ECONOMIC SUCCESS OF IMMIGRANTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES LABOR MARKET
    IMPACTS OF SOCIAL INTEGRATION ON THE ECONOMIC SUCCESS OF IMMIGRANTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES LABOR MARKET by Kissel, Helen

    The United States economy is heavily dependent upon the contributions of immigrants for maintaining consumer spending, scientific innovation, and small business growth. However, within the United States labor market immigrants earn significantly lower wages than comparable native-born workers. In order achieve further wage parity it is first necessary to understand the complex factors that drive economic assimilation among immigrants. While much research has explored the intricacies of the wage gap between foreign born and native workers, this paper explores how social interactions and community involvement influence economic success, as measured by yearly income. An initial model is used to examine the impacts of social integration on English language acquisition. A second model is then used to analyze the impacts of these same variables on the yearly income of immigrants. The hypothesis is that increased social assimilation leads to higher English language ability, which in turn contributes to increased earnings. The data used to test this hypothesis is a set of survey responses from the New Immigrant Survey administered in 2003 to immigrants who recently received legal permanent residency in the U.S. The results of the models determine that immigrants with higher levels of social interactions with Americans, as measured by various proxy variables, do in fact have higher levels of English proficiency. Furthermore, a majority of these social integration variables were also shown to be significant predictors of income among immigrants. A key finding is that English class attendance and U.S. schooling are important for language skill but, in the context of these models, do not have any statistically significant impact on income. An important implication of this is that in order to promote economic success among immigrants emphasis should be placed on fostering social inclusion, rather than relying solely on formal modes of language instruction.

  • Thumbnail for INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND AIDS: AN EXAMINATION OF FACTORS THAT LIMIT ACCESS TO ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUGS IN LOW AND UPPER MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES
    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND AIDS: AN EXAMINATION OF FACTORS THAT LIMIT ACCESS TO ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUGS IN LOW AND UPPER MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES by Wake, Cory Daniel

    Developed in 1996, antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) revolutionized the treatment of HIV/AIDS by transitioning the disease from a death sentence to a treatable chronic condition. The percentage of HIV positive people with access to antiretroviral treatment was considerably low until 2005, when it began to steadily increase. Despite this growth, only 36% of people living with HIV underwent ARV therapy treatment in 2009. There is widespread disagreement over the role that intellectual property rights play in restricting access to ARVs, with some arguing that it plays a primary role and some arguing that it’s inconsequential. This study aims to reconcile these differences of opinion by considering the influence of intellectual property rights, lack of infrastructure, and government corruption on ARV therapy coverage in low and upper-middle income countries. The results suggest that countries with stronger intellectual property rights have improved ARV accessibility, and that intellectual property rights are highly correlated with infrastructure.

  • Thumbnail for INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON MICROBREWERIES IN COLORADO SPRINGS
    INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON MICROBREWERIES IN COLORADO SPRINGS by Sturm, Justin

    The past several decades have seen a surge in popularity for microbreweries for several reasons, most notably a shift in consumer preference towards socially responsible and local consumption habits. Microbreweries often adopt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) based initiative to enhance the image of themselves as active integral parts of the community in an effort to take advantage of this preference for the local. Often these initiatives take the form of a financial donation to a local organization based on an event’s revenue intake. However, existing research is unclear on the financial effect that holding these CSR events has on the participating firms. This study examines the short term (daily) impact on revenue of holding a CSR based charity event in comparison to holding other types of promotional events. Using a fixed effects model and examining the interaction effects between different types of promotional events and days of the week, we find that CSR based promotional events do increase revenue on the day that they are held and are most effective when held on a traditionally less busy night.

  • Thumbnail for IT PAYS TO BE DIFFERENT: A DIFFERENCE-IN-DIFFERENCES ANALYSIS OF NEOLIBERAL EDUCATION POLICIES IN CHILE
    IT PAYS TO BE DIFFERENT: A DIFFERENCE-IN-DIFFERENCES ANALYSIS OF NEOLIBERAL EDUCATION POLICIES IN CHILE by McLagan, Abigale

    In 2006, high school students throughout Chile broke out in protest for educational equality. The series of protests, nicknamed The Penguin Revolution for the black and white uniforms sported by the students, were against neoliberal education policies set in place by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. In their opinion, these policies promoted a system defined by inequalities. This paper investigates if these neoliberal and unequitable policies had a negative effect on mean income for students subjected to their reforms. The implementation of a neoliberal education system in Chile occurred through two policy interventions. Initial neoliberal reforms were introduced in the Constitution of 1980 and were officially ratified into the Constitution by the creation of the The Organic Constitutional Law of Education (La Ley Orgánica Constitucional de Enseñanza or the LOCE) in 1990. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) model and data from the 2006 CASEN survey addressing the socio-economic status of Chilean citizens, this paper tests for effects on mean income for those who graduated high school under the policy intervention in 1985 (Constitution of 1980) and the subsequent policy intervention in 1995 (LOCE) compared to those who did not. The DID estimator examines these policies by looking at the province of Santiago, an area affected by the policy, as a treatment group and by looking at the province of Bio Bío, an area not affected by the policy, as a control group. Final regression results suggest that respondents who graduated after the implementation of the Constitution of 1980 had no statistically significant change in their mean income and respondents who graduated from high school after the implementation of the LOCE experienced a decrease in mean income compared to respondents not affected by the policy. The coefficients of the covariates in both regressions support the arguments of skill-biased technical change and the importance of education on mean income.