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2016-2017

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  • Thumbnail for Employee Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs: a CSR Study Including a CSR Construct & Work Orientation
    Employee Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs: a CSR Study Including a CSR Construct & Work Orientation by Ast, Jesica Elizabeth

    This research focused on employee preferences for CSR programs to understand if those preferences could lead to better CSR strategizing. Specifically, a CSR construct proposed by Rangan, Chase, and Sohel (2015) was analyzed though Exploratory Factor Analysis to understand if participants (employees in for-profit businesses) observed the CSR programs within the construct. Work orientation was the analyzed characteristic to see if this variable affected preferences toward CSR programs. Inconclusive results indicated that participants may not align with the proposed CSR construct, thus research could not proceed with the original hypotheses based on that construct. However, further analysis of data prompted a modification of the study to examine the importance placed on CSR programs based on Work Orientation. Results revealed that some Work Orientations were more statistically significant than others, but indicated that those with a Job orientation placed less importance on CSR programs compared to those with a Calling orientation.

  • Thumbnail for Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Economic Potential of Female Founders
    Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Economic Potential of Female Founders by Matuszewicz, Jekolia Camille

    Since women are half as likely to start a business as men, this study aimed to investigate the perceptions and gender-based obstacles female business owners encountered in the field of entrepreneurship. This topic was examined by interviewing 10 female and 10 male entrepreneurs about how they came up with the idea for their business, prior educational and industry experience, challenges, financing their venture, perceived traits of a successful entrepreneur, and how networks, mentors, and family influenced the process of starting a business. The findings of this study are that women tend to be small business owners and pursue female-oriented industries. In addition, the results show that access to outside funding is more difficult for women because of their own aversion to risk and disconnect between female founders and the potential investor pool. Interviews demonstrate the struggle and societal pressures women feel in balancing work and family. An unexpected discovery of the research is the importance of having a supportive spouse or partner for married entrepreneurs. This study shows the need for future research into the effects of gender and age in pitch competitions, divorce among entrepreneurs, and the relationship between gender and risk aversion.

  • Thumbnail for Explaining Election 2016
    Explaining Election 2016 by Nunez-Garcia, Emilio A.

    The 2016 presidential elections were a mess. Despite high confidence in the polling industry, as in years past, the polls failed to accurately predict the next president. As improving the accuracy of polling methodology is key to improving the accuracy of polling forecasts, this paper intends to examine the root causes for the polling miss. Specifically, this paper hypothesizes, and will examine, whether there was a statistically significant larger polling error in states in which higher proportions of the electorate are made up of uneducated white voters. In order to provide a more wholesome regression, this model includes of other possible variables that may have contributed to the polling miss. This study uses FiveThirtyEight’s database on polls conducted in 2016, the CEPR transcribed CPS ORG 2016 survey, and the 2016 Cook Political Report’s county election results. Demographic data from the CPS is regressed against a Trump margin of error that is calculated by subtracting average polling results from his election day results. Regressions of independent variables against this measure intend to identify demographic groups that may have been excluded or underrepresented from polling results due to some unforeseen bias. This study concludes that polls tended to underestimate Trump in states with high uneducated white voter populations, as well as those states that have experienced an increase in unemployment rate. The results from this study were statistically significantly. Although these findings can’t not pin down the exact bias that caused these discrepancies within the polls (given that they just measure which groups were missed and not why) they can be used to guide further research to determine exactly where pollsters encountered survey bias in 2016.

  • Thumbnail for FUELED BY FOOD: THE IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM ON COLORADO STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
    FUELED BY FOOD: THE IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM ON COLORADO STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE by Polese, Madeline

    Health and nutrition are gaining momentum as known indicators of academic success. Students, while at school, are exposed to many food choices, which may unknowingly affect their performance. In an attempt to explain the relationship between school- provided nutrition and academic performance, this study uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and the USDA’s FNS to see whether participation in the National School Lunch Program has an impact on state-administered tests, controlling for other factors affecting test scores. This study concludes that the model is not complete, therefore the findings are not definite; however, it is still found that the NSLP has a statistically significant impact on test scores. This study also provides a new way for public health initiatives to be evaluated, by using state-administered test results as the dependent variable. This study leaves much room for future studies to modify and improve upon its model using a more complete dataset. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of considering the entire school environment exposed to students when evaluating their performance.

  • Thumbnail for First Mover Advantage in Sequential Bertrand Markets: an Experimental Approach
    First Mover Advantage in Sequential Bertrand Markets: an Experimental Approach by Fitz, Perry

    Literature and applied experimental evidence has established the consensus that firms competing with price competition in sequential markets have a second mover advantage. A high proportion of literature assumes firms have symmetric costs, while in real markets firms tend to have asymmetrical costs. In this paper, I use current literature to define various profit assumptions that yields a theoretical first mover advantage for a low-cost firm in a differentiated-product Bertrand-duopoly. I report on the findings of an experimental 30 round sequential game, where firms have varying levels of cost. The results show that a low-cost firm will not necessarily always have a first mover advantage against a high-cost competitor.

  • Thumbnail for Generational Differences in the Workplace: Actual VS. Perceived
    Generational Differences in the Workplace: Actual VS. Perceived by Rajasingh, James

    Generational interactions have been discussed in both popular literature and previous research; yet they predominantly focus on differences that arise between different generations. This paper focuses on generational interactions in the workplace by assessing the presence of actual differences and differences based off of incorrect perceptions. The study finds that while actual differences exist, they are outnumbered by incorrect perception-based differences. Of the ten tested workplace characteristics, the study finds actual differences in teamwork and collaboration, challenging assignments, and involvement in decision making, while differences within perception are present in work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, challenging assignments, teamwork and collaboration, and a financially rewarding job. The implications of these findings show that incorrect perceptions are present within the workplace across generations.

  • Thumbnail for IMPACT OF FINES ON PRISON RECIDIVISM
    IMPACT OF FINES ON PRISON RECIDIVISM by Prasai, Anubrat

    Defendants and offenders are charged for many government services that were once free, including those that are constitutionally required. Research establishes that court costs, fees, and fines exacerbate poverty for individuals in the adult criminal justice system and their families. However, I hypothesize that there is a more direct effect of fines on recidivism and test it on the ex-prisoner cohort from Maricopa County, Arizona. While the research concludes that “Tarrif fine” does have some positive and significant effect on recidivism, I do not find conclusive evidence on the impact of fines on recidivism.

  • Thumbnail for IMPACT OF HUD SUBSIDIES ON HOUSING PRICES
  • Thumbnail for IMPACT OF HUD SUBSIDIES ON HOUSING PRICES
  • Thumbnail for IMPACT OF HUD SUBSIDIES ON HOUSING PRICES
  • Thumbnail for IMPACT OF HUD SUBSIDIES ON HOUSING PRICES
  • Thumbnail for Impact of HUD subsidies on housing prices
  • Thumbnail for Is it Economics, or the Bad Luck of a Conflict-Ridden DNA: A Study of the Causes of Civil War in the Middle East and North Africa
    Is it Economics, or the Bad Luck of a Conflict-Ridden DNA: A Study of the Causes of Civil War in the Middle East and North Africa by Al Alami, Mayss Rajab

    The Middle Eastern Exceptionalism theory characterizes the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with an inevitable, conflict-ridden nature that cannot be resolved. Such a theory, when adopted by policy makers and scholars, leads to misconceptions about the region. Amongst these misconceptions is blaming factors such as the dominance of the religion of Islam and social fractionalisation for the conflict in the region. More fundamental factors, such as poor economic conditions are then seen as mere results of such social characteristics. This study contends the theory of Middle Eastern Exceptionalism, and compares the factors that increase the likelihood of civil war globally to those in the MENA region. This study concludes that three economic factors have the greatest influence on increasing the likelihood of civil war, and these are: low income per capita, low economic growth, and large population size. It also finds that foreign intervention and religious fractionalisation increase the likelihood of civil war onset. Most importantly, however, the study presents strong results that there are no factors unique to the MENA region that increase its likelihood of civil conflict. This conclusion encourages policy makers to eliminate the theory of Middle Eastern Exceptionalism, and to instead adopt more tactical and proactive approaches in the region to treat the prevalent grievances that cause civil war.

  • Thumbnail for LOCATION MATTERS: THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON FERTILITY IN BRAZIL
    LOCATION MATTERS: THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA ON FERTILITY IN BRAZIL by Hanson, Annika

    Total fertility rates in Brazil experienced a sharp decrease in the second half of the 20th century—from 6.3 children per woman in 1950 to 2.3 children per woman in 2000. Attempting to explain this phenomenon, current literature explores the correlation between fertility and media. However, few studies include a variable for geographical location in their models and even fewer include location as a variable of interest. This study intends to fill the gap in literature and provides a more comprehensive explanation of the effect of geographical location and mass media on a woman’s fertility. This study concludes that mass media has a greater impact on the fertility of women living in more remote places of residence. Additionally, women living in the North region have significantly more children than women living in other regions, and women living in capital cities have less variation in their responses than women living in other places of residence. These conclusions provide insight for improvement and possible future studies. Further, the increasing influence of media across places of residence presents an encouraging result; mass media can impact fertility in regions that are hard to reach, and it can be used as a means to educate people living in remote locations.

  • Thumbnail for MAPPING SENTIMENT: A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS ON 10-K DOCUMENTS USING AN ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK
    MAPPING SENTIMENT: A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS ON 10-K DOCUMENTS USING AN ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK by Sin, Ryan

    Using nearly 8000 10-K documents published in 2016 and 2017, we generate contextual vectors through artificial neural networks and test whether the language of 10-K documents, without any detailed numeric indicators of financial performance, correlate with earnings per share and other financials of the S&P 500. We find significant correlation between earnings per share and contextual vectors, concluding that semantic analysis is a valuable tool that has great potential in financial analysis.

  • Thumbnail for MARKETING TO PROMOTE A RESPONSIBLE DRINKING CULTURE: THE CRAFT BREWING INDUSTRY AND DUIS IN COLORADO
    MARKETING TO PROMOTE A RESPONSIBLE DRINKING CULTURE: THE CRAFT BREWING INDUSTRY AND DUIS IN COLORADO by Kauffman, Catherine

    Alcohol-related accidents in 2015 consisted of 29% of total traffic fatalities in the United States (NHTSA 2015). Meanwhile, the craft brewing industry has been on the rise in the past decade, especially in the state of Colorado. An increase in alcohol availability is most commonly associated with an increase in DUIs. However, this study hypothesizes that there will be a negative correlation between the opening of craft breweries and the rate of DUI arrests in Colorado. Panel data were collected for the 64 counties in Colorado from 2009-2014 on the rate of DUI arrests, gathered from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, and on the amount of craft breweries opening, gathered from the national Brewer’s Association. Demographic and economic variables were included to provide controls and more realistic results. Fixed effects regression techniques were used to control for unobserved potential heterogeneity between counties. After econometric analysis of the panel data set, an increase in craft breweries opening is not significantly associated with DUI rates in Colorado.

  • Thumbnail for Mapping Sentiment: a Textual Analysis on 10-K Documents Using an Artificial Neural Network
    Mapping Sentiment: a Textual Analysis on 10-K Documents Using an Artificial Neural Network by Sin, Ryan

    Using nearly 8000 10-K documents published in 2016 and 2017, we generate contextual vectors through artificial neural networks and test whether the language of 10-K documents, without any detailed numeric indicators of financial performance, correlate with earnings per share and other financials of the S&P 500. We find significant correlation between earnings per share and contextual vectors, concluding that semantic analysis is a valuable tool that has great potential in financial analysis.

  • Thumbnail for Productive, Physical, and Social Attributes in Determining a NBA Player's Salary
    Productive, Physical, and Social Attributes in Determining a NBA Player's Salary by Bell, Derek

    The National Basketball Association is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Franchise owners want the best players on their team to build an increasing fan base, win championships, and generate revenue. Therefore, players displaying key qualities are more likely to receive more money from owners. This paper investigates what productive, physical, and social attributes along with league regulations are most important in predicting a player’s annual salary. The data shows that social attributes have no effect on determining individual salary, but player productivity, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and physical capabilities are significant determinants of salary.

  • Thumbnail for Public Perceptions and Willingness to Pay for Alternative Water Sources
    Public Perceptions and Willingness to Pay for Alternative Water Sources by Sheehan, Che Espenoza

    One way to help address the growing demand for water globally is through the development of alternative water sources, however, one of the biggest obstacles in using these sources is overcoming a strong negative public perception. This paper uses the contingent valuation method to survey what an average American is willing to pay (WTP) for alternative water sources through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (N = 696). Results show that disgust and prior knowledge of an alternative water source are important determinants of WTP for those water sources.

  • Thumbnail for Qualitative Research Of Reverse Mortgages: Followed By Quantitative Analysis of Virginia's HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) Reverse Mortgage Market
    Qualitative Research Of Reverse Mortgages: Followed By Quantitative Analysis of Virginia's HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) Reverse Mortgage Market by Grossman, William

    Home Equity Release Products, commonly referred to as reverse mortgages, allow people 62 and older to sell equity or future appreciation in a home they own in return for liquid currency. The consumer of the product enters a contract that allows them to reside in the home and not pay back the loan until the primary borrower dies, moves out, or sells their home. The attraction of this special type of mortgage is that it allows people to smooth income at an older age. This is very important considering it increases financial safety to our aging population. After reading this thesis, I hope you have a better understanding of the reverse mortgage products offered in the United States, and understand why they are important in this day and age. After reading this you should also have an understanding of the regression models and can see how different independent variables can affect the length of a reverse mortgage contract. We live in a country where the population is aging and people are living longer, thus understanding how these reverse mortgage products work will increase financial safety to our elderly, taking burden off of younger generations.

  • Thumbnail for Reshaping Rio: Competitive Balance and its Influence on the Summer Olympic Games
  • Thumbnail for Retail Marijuana Stores, Crime, and Traffic Fatalities
    Retail Marijuana Stores, Crime, and Traffic Fatalities by Oldendorf, Daniel

    As of April 2017, 8 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, but studies on the effects of legalization are limited. This study focuses on the effects of the regulation of marijuana sale on public health in Colorado’s counties. Certain counties in Colorado allow businesses to sell marijuana, while others do not. If alcohol and marijuana are economic substitutes, violent crime and traffic fatalities should be reduced. I find that the counties that allow retail marijuana dispensaries see a significant decrease in violent crime and unemployment for the first two years of legalization. My results also suggest these counties see a reduction in alcohol related traffic fatalities, but these results are not statistically significant by conventional methods.

  • Thumbnail for Russians in the NHL (National Hockey League): Are They Getting Paid a Premium?
    Russians in the NHL (National Hockey League): Are They Getting Paid a Premium? by Gerdes, Lucas

    This paper examines if the Russians already in the NHL (National Hockey League) are being paid a premium due to the competition for their services from the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). This paper assesses the determinants of player salaries in the NHL. Data was collected over the 2011-2012 season to the 2015-2016 season in the NHL. I find that player production and Russian nationality are significant determinants of NHL player salaries.

  • Thumbnail for SOLAR POWER TO THE PEOPLE: AN ANALYSIS OF RESIDENTIAL PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM FINANCING
    SOLAR POWER TO THE PEOPLE: AN ANALYSIS OF RESIDENTIAL PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM FINANCING by Stepien, Isabelle Rogers

    Residential photovoltaic systems can provide a household clean electricity at a lower rate than traditional, utility electricity. Solar systems’ high installation price can prevent many middle-income households from adopting solar, however. This paper examines six ways of purchasing a residential photovoltaic system: a cash purchase, home equity loan, cash out mortgage refinancing, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan, solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and solar leases. Qualitative and quantitative factors are analyzed to determine the affordability of each purchase option and accessibility of solar financing mechanisms to middle-income Californian households. The 20-year cost of electricity to an average household is modeled with a solar system, purchased six different ways. Total cost considers system purchase, financing costs, maintenance and operation, tax rebates and credits, and Net Energy Metering. This model calculates a 37%-57% savings of 20-year electricity costs when a household adopts solar, compared to using traditional, utility electricity.

  • Thumbnail for Stocks, United States, Statistics
    Stocks, United States, Statistics by Izquierdo, Emilio

    This paper explores the relationship between levels of short selling and stock prices in the U.S. securities market. The calculations are based on a dataset that contains company information from the three major domestic exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) and spans a two-year period from January 2015 to January 2017. If short sellers are the informed traders they are said to be, short interest should be a negative predictor of stock price. For the NYSE, an increase in short interest is negatively correlated with share price in the following month, but this finding does not hold at the aggregate level. Firms with increased short interest and low institutional ownership are more likely to have negative price movements in the subsequent month.