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2018-2019

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  • Thumbnail for PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CATALYSTS OF INNOVATION:  AN ANALYSIS OF VENTURE CAPITAL AND SBIR INVESTMENT ON U.S. UTILITY PATENT APPLICATIONS
    PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CATALYSTS OF INNOVATION: AN ANALYSIS OF VENTURE CAPITAL AND SBIR INVESTMENT ON U.S. UTILITY PATENT APPLICATIONS by Pendleton, Edmund Harris

    This thesis focuses on the United States’ “National Innovation System” (NIS) and the role of private and public actors in this system. It is part of a broader literature seeking to identify the key catalysts of innovative activity, and hence economic growth. Although there are many elements that constitute the NIS, this study emphasizes one private institution, the venture capital industry, and one public institution, the Small Business Innovation Research program. The study uses state-level panel data aggregated over a fourteen-year period (2002-2015) and is operationalized by implementing an Ordinary Least Squares fixed-effects model that uses utility patent applications—a proxy for innovation—as the dependent variable. This thesis argues that public-private partnerships and symbiosis between the two sectors is critical to empowering technological innovation and sustainable long-run economic growth.

  • Thumbnail for Penalties and Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act
    Penalties and Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act by Jolly, Adam

    The Affordable Care Act was a monumental piece of health legislation, impacting welfare, insurance coverage rates, and medical expenditures. Previous economic studies have documented the exact magnitude of these effects. However, the behavioral mechanics that rendered these efficacious outcomes possible have gone by somewhat undocumented. This thesis addresses this concern, by proposing a theoretical framework derived from prospect theory that analyzes how the individual mandate provision impacted demand for health insurance. This framework is empirically tested on young adults (aged 20-25) with a difference-in-differences linear probability model. Findings are consistent with proposed behavioral theory, suggesting that penalties induce demand for insurance by editing reference points and heightening loss-aversion. Additionally, results imply that young adults have marginally more responsive loss-preferences when compared to control counterparts (aged 27-30). Conclusions drawn from this model provide an increased understanding of young adult decision-making processes with the usage of real evidence.

  • Thumbnail for Persistence in the Official World Golf Rankings
    Persistence in the Official World Golf Rankings by Bergh, Mason William

    This paper builds on decades of hot hand effect research. Belief in persistent success or failure is common in sports despite a lack of statistical evidence supporting the phenomenon. Using weekly ranking data for 60 professional golfers around the world, this study deploys an ordinary least squares regression to analyze if persistent rank movement exists in the Official World Golf Rankings. This study hypothesizes that persistence does not exist outside of chance because significant evidence is needed to support the existence of streaks in golf ranks. Like previous studies, the results suggest that streaks do occur, but true statistical evidence to reject the hypothesis was not present.

  • Thumbnail for Public Health in Africa and its Relation to Non-Traditional Health Variables
    Public Health in Africa and its Relation to Non-Traditional Health Variables by Lockefeer, Christian

    This research paper examined the enormous divide in terms of public health between Africa and the United States. Ten output countries were chosen from Africa and data was found on a number of public health measurements over the time period 1990-2016. The inputs of research and development and pertinent patents from the United States were also found over the same time period. Results showed that the only significant indicator of public health is the public health data from earlier years. The indirect spillover of R&D was proven to be insignificant.

  • Thumbnail for Quantifying the Impacts of Sustainable Groundwater Management: Modeling Financial Losses from Groundwater Reductions in the Lower Santa Clara River Valley
    Quantifying the Impacts of Sustainable Groundwater Management: Modeling Financial Losses from Groundwater Reductions in the Lower Santa Clara River Valley by Burns, Beau

    This paper presents results from an economic-groundwater model developed for the Oxnard, Las Posas, and Pleasant Valley groundwater subbasins. Located in Ventura County, California, these subbasins are experiencing issues relating to groundwater overdraft. Due to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), each subbasin must create strategies to address groundwater overdraft. This model informs potential strategies by simulating three scenarios: (1) a baseline scenario using current water allocations, (2) a scenario where groundwater allocations are restricted 20% and farmers have the ability to import surface water to replace their groundwater, and (3) a scenario where groundwater is restricted 20% and farmers cannot import water. This study finds that scenario 2 generates the least financial losses, although the difference between the scenarios 2 and 3 is unsubstantial. The total financial losses for agricultural producers under scenario two are: $9,450,269 (a 31% decrease) in Oxnard, $637,499 (a 29% decrease) in Pleasant Valley, and $19,932,643 (a 45% decrease) in Las Posas.

  • Thumbnail for Quantifying the Patent Paradox
    Quantifying the Patent Paradox by Miller, Jacob

    Recent studies covering innovation in the pharmaceutical industry suggest patent law incentivizes research and development (R&D) activity in areas where research periods are shorter, not where demand for treatment is greatest (Burdish, Roin, & Williams, 2015; Lietzan, 2017). Using drug-level data provided by Lietzan (2017), this thesis examines determinants of R&D and the share of private firms investing in R&D for drugs associated with approved New Drug Applications (NDAs) between 1990 and 2011. Demand for treatment does not have a significant effect on the level of R&D and the level of private investment in R&D. The empirical models suggest a one-year increase in the preclinical period increases the level of R&D by 1.23% on average. The effective patent life and length of the preclinical and clinical periods significantly and negatively affect the share of private firms investing in R&D. Lastly, a structural equation model (SEM) estimates equilibria in terms of demand for treatment and level of R&D. The findings imply roughly 2,700 fewer clinical trials were conducted over the time period observed as a result of commercialization lags. Implications for policy are discussed.

  • Thumbnail for RACING TO THE FINISH: AN ANALYSIS OF COMMON FACTORS AMONG TOP EARNINGS RACEHORSES
    RACING TO THE FINISH: AN ANALYSIS OF COMMON FACTORS AMONG TOP EARNINGS RACEHORSES by Kitchen, Christian

    This paper studies the commonalities among top performing racehorses. The horse racing industry has been growing steadily over the years, and there is potentially a great amount of money to be made. This study observes the effect of past earnings and fees of the horse, the jockey, and the trainer. I test to see the effect these factors have on a racehorse’s earnings by using a multiple OLS model. The results showed that prior horse earnings, the stud fee of the horse’s sire, and age have the most effect on a racehorse’s current earnings.

  • Thumbnail for Religion No More: Regression Analysis of the American Opioid Crisis
    Religion No More: Regression Analysis of the American Opioid Crisis by Key, Spencer Forrester

    The United States has seen a concerning escalation of opioid overdose death rates in the 21st century. With some states suffering more than others, it is crucial to determine state-level factors that contribute to the reduction of mortalities. Using a fixed-effects regression model, this thesis examines the determinants of opioid overdose death rates in the United States from 2013-2016 across all states and the District of Columbia. The major findings are that medical cannabis laws play a significant role in reducing deaths, while recreational cannabis laws and over-the-counter Naloxone do not. Additionally, the most effective form of PDMP is mandatory reporting of suspicious behavior.

  • Thumbnail for Role Models, Information, and the Economics of Educational Aspiration: Results from a Field Study in Lima, Peru
    Role Models, Information, and the Economics of Educational Aspiration: Results from a Field Study in Lima, Peru by Roman Lopez, Eyner Farid

    This paper studies the determinants of educational aspiration by exploring traditional and new variables covered in the economics, psychology, sociology of education literature. It uses Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models on two types of outcome variables, and it splits the sample according to gender and geographic entity differences. The results show that “significant others” (parents and friends) have a statistically significant positive link with aspiration levels. They also suggest strong positive relationships between role models’ educational attainment and female student’s aspirations, as well as information on higher education and the aspirations of students in rural areas.

  • Thumbnail for Rural Electrification and Poverty in India: Does electricity access significantly increase incomes?
    Rural Electrification and Poverty in India: Does electricity access significantly increase incomes? by Ford, Grace Hinds

    The economic benefits that electrification provides have long been a driver for increasing rural electricity rates in India. However, the correlation between the two has not been fully investigated. This paper examines whether household electrification increases the propensity for movement out of poverty in rural India. I find that having access to electricity is significantly correlated to poverty escape, an effect that remains statistically significant across varying specifications of the poverty level. These results corroborate previous smaller studies that found electrification to improve incomes, and hold important policy implications for India.

  • Thumbnail for SAVE-A-LATTE WITH SUSTAINABILITY: HOW DOES A CHANGE IN PRICING SCHEME IMPACT REUSABLE MUG USE AT COFFEE SHOPS?
    SAVE-A-LATTE WITH SUSTAINABILITY: HOW DOES A CHANGE IN PRICING SCHEME IMPACT REUSABLE MUG USE AT COFFEE SHOPS? by Bolton, Amy

    Many coffee shops encourage sustainability by offering small discounts to customers who bring reusable mugs, though many consumers do not take advantage of the discount. Would a change in price framing at coffee shops increase the use of reusable mugs? The neoclassical law of demand suggests a same-sized discount and fee would not change behavior. The behavioral economic principle of loss aversion suggests that a fee may be more behavior-changing than a discount. To test these competing theories, a 10-week experiment was run at Colorado College. Before the experiment, customers received a $0.25 drink discount if they brought their own mug. The experiment lowered all drink prices by $0.25 and, if customers needed a disposable cup, they were changed an additional $0.25. The prices in both scenarios are the same, but in the first a disposable cup is included in the price and the second frames buying a disposable cup as an additional cost. Results show the experiment did not impact total drinks sold, but reusable mug distribution and the price change increased reusable mug-bringing by 3.8 and 1.9 percentage points respectively.

  • Thumbnail for THE CHANGES OF REGULATIONS AND DISBURMENT AMOUNTS OF SUBSIDIZED STAFFORD GOVERNMENT STUDENT LOANS: THE IMPACT ON HOMEOWNERSHIP RATES
    THE CHANGES OF REGULATIONS AND DISBURMENT AMOUNTS OF SUBSIDIZED STAFFORD GOVERNMENT STUDENT LOANS: THE IMPACT ON HOMEOWNERSHIP RATES by Forster, Cash Kencade

    The problem that is reviewed within this thesis is the exponential rate of growth in student loans that affect certain age groups ability to borrow in the future. The changes in regulations and disbursement amounts of unsubsidized Stafford government student loans is affecting home ownership rates through the lack of ability to take out a mortgage within certain age groups. The method which is used is the reviewing of various papers on similar educational topics, data used from government and public information sites and testing correlations through regression. Using data from the past 27 years to analyze national homeownership rates and specific areas of undergraduate grants and loans, this research done primarily explores and questions the correlation between homeownership rates and student loans. This paper depicts the exponential increase in unsubsidized Stafford student loans is having a negative effect on certain borrowers, therefore proving that the borrowing methods and lenders of current student loans are ineffective and inefficient in providing beneficial growth in human capital.

  • Thumbnail for THE DETERMINANTS THAT INFLUENCE THE PURCHASE INTENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC AND HYBRID VEHICLES
    THE DETERMINANTS THAT INFLUENCE THE PURCHASE INTENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC AND HYBRID VEHICLES by Lunghamer, Daniel Robert

    Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Energy from 2013 and 2018, I use an OLS and binary probit regression transformed with marginal effects, to determine what factors influence consumers to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles. The results of the regressions indicate that few people are purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles. The research and results look at driver commute times and high-occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) access for electric and hybrid vehicle drivers, to see if daily driving patterns make an impact in the decision-making process. States that give HOV access to electric and hybrid vehicle drivers positively influences consumers to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle, while longer commute times sway people away from electric or hybrid vehicles. Further research needs to be done to find exactly how people make the choice to purchase these vehicles.

  • Thumbnail for THE EFFECT OF CERAMIC ORNAMENTATION ON A POTTERS HOURLY WAGE
    THE EFFECT OF CERAMIC ORNAMENTATION ON A POTTERS HOURLY WAGE by Brown, Chase Harding

    Pottery is an art medium with innumerable factors that contributes to the price of a piece. The artist is faced with the conundrum of creating quality work with designs or a larger quantity of work without designs. This paper expands our knowledge on ceramics and how the ornamentation of a mug will affect a potter’s wage. In order to carry out this study, I created an online survey that focused on the price of mugs with varying qualities and the time associated with their construction, while controlling for different demographics. This study finds that the addition of designs, on average, increase the price of a mug, however, it decrease a potter’s hourly wage. Potter’s who receive a formal education and informal education receive a higher hourly wage. Lastly full-time potters receive a higher hourly wage than part-time potters. Although these conclusions are derived from statistical significance they do not appear to be economically significant.

  • Thumbnail for THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING PART: THE IMPACT OF BARRIERS TO ENTRY ON FEMALE PARTICIPATION AT THE SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
    THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING PART: THE IMPACT OF BARRIERS TO ENTRY ON FEMALE PARTICIPATION AT THE SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES by Mansson, Johannes

    Research on participation and medal winning at the Olympics has historically focused on economic indicators such as GDP or population size. The use socioeconomic indicators such gender equality to study female success at the Olympics is a recent development in the field of Olympic research. This paper expands on this research and looks at the effects of barriers to entry such as equipment costs and facility costs on the success of women of various nations at the Olympics. The paper tests the hypothesis that sports with the highest barriers to entry will have lower participation and medal-winning rates at the Olympics for women. The findings show that as barriers to entry increase the proportion of female athletes in a given sport, for a given country, in a given year, decreases. This can also be seen to a lesser extent in the proportion of medals won by female athletes. This indicates that female athletes are not getting the same training and competition opportunities as their male counterparts. The hope with this research is that it will provide a framework and direction for the IOC and other stakeholders in the years following the conclusion of the IOC’s flagship program – Agenda 2020. It also seeks to offer a more complete understanding of the inequalities that women face in sport with the hopes of increasing female participation in sports.

  • Thumbnail for THE INFLUENCE OF ACTIVITY LEVEL ON HEALTHCARE EXPENDITURE
    THE INFLUENCE OF ACTIVITY LEVEL ON HEALTHCARE EXPENDITURE by Roussos, Chris Devlin

    Using data from NHIS from the years 2017, 2015, and 2013, I use OLS regressions to investigate the relationship between activity frequency, duration, and type of exercise (moderate, vigorous, and strength activity). I find that when controlling for variables such as sex, age, smoking status, mental health status, and insurance coverage, activity level is not consistently correlated with annual healthcare cost. The effects of exercise are complex but have implications for individuals’ healthcare costs, government programs, and the insurance and fitness industries.

  • Thumbnail for THE PROXIES OF PROSPERITY: EXAMINING DETERMINANTS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH THE INTERSECTION OF IDEOLOGY AND HISTORY
    THE PROXIES OF PROSPERITY: EXAMINING DETERMINANTS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH THE INTERSECTION OF IDEOLOGY AND HISTORY by Tich, Peyton Blair

    In the last few centuries, the world has seen unprecedented stratification between economic growth of countries. This study takes a quantitative approach to the role that nationalism and colonial history may play in the economic growth rates of countries. It explains the factors that are linked to nationalism and colonial background and explores the intersection between the two. The effect of these variables on economic growth is measured using cross-sectional data from 74 former European colonies that gained independence after the Second World War, or the year 1945. Using an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression, it was found that region, form of government, and imports have significant effects on economic growth.

  • Thumbnail for The Effect of Coach Gender on Women's Volleyball Teams' Win-Loss Records
    The Effect of Coach Gender on Women's Volleyball Teams' Win-Loss Records by Lawton, Sarah

    Following the enactment of Title IX in 1972, the number of women’s teams coached by females began declining, reaching a low of 42.2% in 2006 and sparking concern about the availability of female mentors to young female athletes. Female coaches are more likely than their male counterparts to foster autonomy-supportive athletic environments in which female athletes flourish. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the presence of a female coach and women’s teams’ success rates, expecting a positive relationship. A basic OLS regression was used to model the production of wins based on data from the 2016-2017 Division I NCAA volleyball season. Results showed that multi-gendered and all-female staffs coach less successful teams. Additionally, female coaches produce more defensively adept teams while male coaches’ teams are stronger offensively. The study concludes athletic administrators should aim to hire well-rounded coaching staffs with a wide variety of backgrounds, specialties, and coaching philosophies; as these characteristics often fall along gender lines, administrators should construct multi-gender coaching staffs.

  • Thumbnail for The Effect of Off-Field Illicit Acts on Player Salaries in the National Football League
    The Effect of Off-Field Illicit Acts on Player Salaries in the National Football League by Gillis, Molly

    This paper examines the impact of crime on National Football League salaries. To evaluate the impact of crime, this paper uses on-field performance statistics from 2009-2018 seasons that was scraped from NFL.com and annual salary data from both USA Today NFL Salary Database and the Spotrac Salary Rankings Database. This study analyzes this data using an ordinary least squares regression model. It is important to note that the data for on-field statistics is not specific for each position used in this model and is limited due to the use of previously scraped data. In addition, it is important to note that there is an insignificant number of players who committed crimes in relation to the total number of players observed. Therefore, the regression results are insignificant. However, the results do suggest that if an NFL player commits a crime, it is likely that there will be no repercussions from the NFL regarding the player’s salary.

  • Thumbnail for The Evaluation of the Effective Determinants of Renewable Energy Generation in Developed Countries
    The Evaluation of the Effective Determinants of Renewable Energy Generation in Developed Countries by Ammons, John

    In the last two decades renewable energy (RE) generation has been an increased topic of discussion among legislators. The purpose of this thesis is to gain an understanding of how political, socioeconomic, country-specific factors and policies interact to drive a country to invest in RE generation. Using a panel dataset from 2001-2014 this paper looks at variables that fall in all four of these categories to determine which variables are the most important and effective and influencing RE output. This paper finds that CO2 emissions, land area and energy imports are all significant influencers of RE generation. This paper, interestingly, finds that quota policies actually impede RE production.

  • Thumbnail for UNINTENDED TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS? AN EVALUATION OF ENERGY USAGE ON HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUSES WITH CARBON NEUTRALITY GOALS
    UNINTENDED TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS? AN EVALUATION OF ENERGY USAGE ON HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUSES WITH CARBON NEUTRALITY GOALS by Abbott, Emily Yule

    Climate change is a feedback loop of inequality – both a cause and effect on a global scale. The impacts of which such as rising sea levels, increased incidents of natural disasters, and altered weather patterns disproportionately impact developing countries and vulnerable populations. Climate change is fundamentally caused by consumption – resource-intense lifestyles in rich Western countries. Higher education embraced its role as a leader in the response to climate change through sustainability declarations, such as the Climate Commitment and its carbon neutrality goal. But with a history of failed sustainability declarations, how do we know the Climate Commitment is effective and reduces energy consumption behavior? Using data from 119 higher education institutions in the US, this study builds on behavioral economic energy modelling to predict the likelihood an institution signs onto the Climate Commitment, and how energy usage per capita changes afterward. While the study finds that energy consumption decreases on Climate Commitment campuses between the baseline and performance years, the widespread distribution warrants further investigation into the matter.

  • Thumbnail for Valuation of History: An Econometric Analysis of Ancient Art Prices
    Valuation of History: An Econometric Analysis of Ancient Art Prices by Franks, Amanda Noelle

    In 2018, global sales in the art market increased 6% compared to 2017 (McAndrew, 2019). Without oversight, this art market leaves room for price corruption and unethical transactions. Antiquities and ancient art are then cultural property increasingly vulnerable to illicit trade. While cultural economics seeks to integrate art into working economic theory, little can be said of the price valuation for antiquities. What determines the price of ancient art and antiquities? Valuation of ancient art may be expressed intrinsically based on qualities commonly discussed by art professionals. Econometric methods are used to test the extent of the influence of origin, provenance, material, and literature on price. Empirical results examined present 87% of price variation by these qualities.

  • Thumbnail for WHAT ARE THE ODDS: EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF HEALTH, SOCIAL, AND PERCEPTION FACTORS ON DEPRESSION RECOVERY
    WHAT ARE THE ODDS: EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF HEALTH, SOCIAL, AND PERCEPTION FACTORS ON DEPRESSION RECOVERY by ,

    Depression is a serious mental health issue. Much research has been devoted to understanding and treating it. Despite this, we still have limited understanding of how certain factors—such as socioeconomic status, social support, and childhood abuse—affect the likelihood of recovery. Using survey data from the Midlife in the United States series, we develop logistic and tobit models to evaluate the impact of health, social, and perception-based factors on depression severity and the odds of recovering. We stratify our sample by both initial depression severity and partnership status. Our results suggest both depression severity and partnership status influence which factors are significant—and insignificant—in determining who recovers from depression.

  • Thumbnail for Whether the Bike-sharing industry in Shanghai is sustainable or Not
    Whether the Bike-sharing industry in Shanghai is sustainable or Not by Wang, Yiting

    Aiming at the problem of “last mile” of urban public transport, the shared bicycle — a personal transportation tool has been put into operation in Shanghai since 2016. This paper analyzes the current situation of bike sharing industry to determine whether it optimizes existing travel pattern including other major means of transportation in Shanghai. Data was collected from shared bike stands in Shanghai during January of 2019 to prove the dependence between the number of bikes and time period during a weekday. Through discussing the “last mile” problem, current earnings performance and allocation vs. usage pattern, this paper believes that this industry is of sustainable development if improvements can be made on profit and allocation.

  • Thumbnail for ‘SUPERSTAR’ INFLUENCE IN THE NBA: DO THE ACCOLADES MEAN AS MUCH AS PEOPLE BELIEVE?
    ‘SUPERSTAR’ INFLUENCE IN THE NBA: DO THE ACCOLADES MEAN AS MUCH AS PEOPLE BELIEVE? by Christensen, Ty

    This study looks to explore ‘superstar’ influences within the National Basketball Association. ‘Superstars’ are players awarded accolades by sportscasters and sport writers through their exceptional play. Through looking at variables integral to determining the outcome of basketball games, the addition of ‘superstar’ variables should explain the exact influence that recognized players have. I apply a lag to the ‘superstar’ influences on account of player’s reputations for success before they are awarded, controlling for a constant value.