In this study I examine the effectiveness of the Medicare Modernization Act’s inclusion of preventive cholesterol screenings with no copay or deductible to Medicare Part B beneficiaries. The screenings were included in the MMA to increase usage of cholesterol screenings among Medicare beneficiaries. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, I employ a difference-in-differences model to isolate the change in screening rate among Medicare beneficiaries. Using individuals not covered by Medicare as a baseline, I find that in three age restricted samples the rate of screening among Medicare beneficiaries either decrease or keep a constant screening rate, relative to the control group. Overall, the MMA’s cholesterol screening policies are not effective in increasing the rate of cholesterol screenings utilized.
The home video game industry has become one of the largest industries in the United States; until recently it has seen steady growth. With the introduction and rapid growth of smartphone and tablet gaming there has been a drop off in sales for the industry. This paper defines the industry as it was and creates theoretical framework that attempts to explain the ways that tablet and smartphone games could be affecting the home video game console industry. The model uses a finite horizon sequential game model to capture the effects of competition within the industry and heterogeneity of consumer console preferences as well as effects of smartphone/ tablet computer ownership on consumer preferences.
Using a multinomial logit regression, this thesis shows that there is a significant portion of homeowners that are willing and able to improve their home energy efficiency by improving their windows or insulation without receiving a monetary incentive from a utility or government. Accordingly, utilities are unable to claim energy savings from projects completed by these homeowners. Thus, some homeowners and utilities alike would be better off using a third-party private business to foster energy efficiency.
This study attempts to quantify whether the economic impact of the World Cup is significant on the host country. The study uses panel data analysis to test the hypotheses that the World Cup has no effect on GDP growth rates and unemployment. The data represents 15 countries over a 51 year time span that includes 11 World Cup Games. The results indicate that population growth has a significant positive effect on GDP growth rates and a negative effect on unemployment for nations that host the World Cup. The findings contribute to the World Cup literature using panel data analysis and provide decision makers a multidimensional understanding of the perceived economic benefits of hosting a World Cup.
Unheard of even a few years ago, online coupons, or daily deals, are changing consumer habits. Founded in 2008, industry leader Groupon is a multi-billion dollar company that offers consumers discounted goods and services through their mobile application, website, and e-mail marketing campaigns. Yelp is the most popular crowd-sourced online business review application. Previous research suggests that Yelp reviews by customers who used a Groupon deal were lower than when a Groupon deal was not used. This study examines what this phenomenon means for businesses’ reputations over time, specifically how Groupon affects Yelp ratings differently depending on sector. Using Tobit regression models, the results of this study suggest that while most sectors eventually recover from an immediate decrease in ratings following the use of a Groupon deal, health and beauty businesses experience higher ratings in the short term, which decrease over time.
In recent years, state appropriations to higher education decreased. In response, universities of all sizes, both public and private, are forced to shift many of the associated burdens to their students in the form of increasing tuition rates and decreasing institutional quality to cut costs. As such, increasing alumni giving rates is essential to all institutions of higher education as they seek to maintain high academic standards, attract the best prospects, and foster future growth and financial stability. There is a large body of research seeking to address these pressing issues in higher education, many focusing on athletics as a stimulus for alumni giving. This paper builds upon the existing literature and ultimately answers the question: how does athletic success affect alumni giving? A fifteen-year panel data set comprised of 65 Division I universities is examined and the results show an insignificant relationship between athletic success and alumni giving. However, the analysis informs the influence of the macroeconomy and parameters for institutional quality. While athletics do not provide any substantial predictive power in this paper, the significance of other explanatory variables justifies this re-examination of athletics and alumni giving and explicitly highlights further avenues for research.
This paper examines the exchange of recovered paper in the context of determining the main forces that drive countries to import recovered paper. The theories tested to determine the relevant forces are comparative advantage, new trade theory, and pollution haven effects. Data is collected for 59 countries, and five different regressions are preformed to test model on complete dataset and portions segmented by income and geographic region. It is determined that the import of recovered paper is based upon new trade theory as well as comparative advantage, with little differences between the five regressions. Additionally, no pollution haven effects are observed.
For some, the Chinese collective mentality has proved an insurmountable barrier for foreign direct investment in China, while others have ridden it to success. Engrained in the culture, this decidedly eastern perspective has become somewhat imperative knowledge for any business that looks for success in the Middle Kingdom. Through annual reports and letters to shareholders we can understand corporate intent, while analysis of advertisements can shed light on companies localization strategies. Successful companies incorporated localization strategies of nationalism, collectivism, and heightened sensitivity to local tastes. These advertising tendencies along with joint venture opportunities and effective brand management have been key components to bring Western strategies to the East.
Although they can be difficult to implement, employee-friendly workplaces, with generous compensation, schedule flexibility, and perks, foster more satisfied and productive employees than traditional work environments. Transforming a work environment from conventional to more liberal, and likely more satisfying, takes a certain type of leader. This study seeks to understand in what ways the “100 Best Companies to Work For” CEOs differ from traditionally successful, Fortune 500 CEOs. Using political affiliation as a proxy for openness to change, we test our hypothesis that Best Company CEOs are more open to change, and therefore, more left-leaning than Fortune 500 CEOs. We use campaign contributions of CEOs from the top 100 Fortune 500 companies and the “100 Best Companies to Work For” to discern whether executive receptiveness to change differs between these two groups. Our OLS probit model provides strong evidence that companies in Republican industries (i.e. aerospace, defense, petroleum, etc.) and companies with right-leaning CEOs are unlikely to be Best Companies. We also find that being identified as a Best Company in the short-term is best achieved through inexpensive perks, while being identified as a Best Company in the long-term requires strong compensation, sabbatical options, and vacation time.
The main focus of this study is to take an economic approach to cheating in collegiate football. The literature on the economic structure of the NCAA and the literature on cheating in competition occupy two distinct knowledge bases. This paper seeks to combine these two literatures through a game theory approach to cheating in NCAA football. A cheating game is defined and a best response function is derived. A simplified game is then used to solve for a close form solution to the best response function. This closed form solution supports the fact that the structure of the NCAA encourages teams to cheat. A empirical model will is used to verify the nature of the NCAA’s enforcement strategies. This model implies that the NCAA indirectly monitors its member institutions.
Child labor is an on-going phenomenon in developing countries. In the world, International Labour Organization (2002) estimates 250 million children to be a part of child workforce. There have been many studies done at the microeconomic level to explain why child labor occurs and what can be done to end it. There are also a growing number of country-specific studies such as one on Vietnam by Erik Edmonds and another on Tanzania by Kathleen Beegle. The country I will study for this thesis is Nepal. In Nepal, there are child labor laws that restrict child labor to children 14 years old and older and are restricted from hazardous work. However in occasional interviews and surveys, they have found that children are still being employed for work. Another important aspect of child labor is the lack of education. In Nepal, the government has been forward thinking enough to provide free primary education and free textbooks for eligible students, but other costs of attendance are a heavy burden on the poor families. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the determinants of child labor in Nepal and to address how the current law in Nepal is affecting the children’s education, child labor, and ultimately the overall quality of life in the country. Idealistically, to find possible steps that could make a difference on child labor and a course of action that could eventually eliminate or minimalize the extent of child labor.
This thesis investigates the factors and cost of a winning NHL franchise. The objective is to learn areas of the team statistics which to improve upon to have a successful team which makes playoffs. The study found that shots on goal and payroll were two variables that a general manager could increase and would results in more wins per season and in some cases taking a team who misses playoffs to a playoff team.
Inflows of foreign direct investment spur growth in the receiving country and cause positive spillovers of technology and skill throughout the entire economy. FDI comes from source countries that can be broadly classified as traditional and nontraditional investors. Traditional refers to wealthy and developed economies, while nontraditional refers to emerging economies in the process of developing. The overarching hypothesis is that nontraditional source countries are less risk-averse than their wealthier counterparts. This is believed to be the case because multinational enterprises located in these regions are familiar with political and economic uncertainties at home; therefore, less than satisfactory investment conditions in the host economy abroad do not deter their interest. If FDI is originating in a more diverse set of source countries, does this mean receiving nations have more opportunities to attract FDI and subsequently experience positive growth? We test how the two source country types respond to different elements of risk using a random effects generalized least squares regression. Our main empirical findings support that political instability indeed does not deter FDI flows originating in nontraditional source countries, however quality of transport and trade-related infrastructure within the receiving economy does determine FDI flows from both source country types. Overall, we strongly emphasize that a blanket generalization concerning investment behavior between different types of source countries cannot be made, and encourage more research to be done in this relatively new field of study.
This paper delves into the way movies age and questions whether the decisions behind Netflix user ratings can be explained by characteristics of the movies themselves and the influence of popular opinion. Using a data set of just under 8 million user ratings on Netflix that apply to 300 movies, the hypothesis that time, movie characteristics, and measures of commercial success are statistically significant explanatory variables of the valence of individual Netflix ratings and lagged averages is tested through a 2SLS framework. All included variables are found to be significant, and the results suggest that time is a positive indicator for both dependent variables. Averages are found to be explained much more adequately by these factors than individual ratings. Popular opinion carries a sizeable amount of sway as well, and the results indicate that movies on Netflix do in fact age like a fine bottle of wine.
In this study I apply the theory that changing energy prices induce innovation to producers of energy, specifically the oil and gas industry. Using pricing, production and patent data from 1980 – 2011, I model the share of total patents that are applicable to oil and gas as a function of expected future commodity prices, production of each commodity and previous stock of knowledge. In the building of the model, I develop knowledge stock variables and expected future prices specific to the industry. I find a significant, positive and highly elastic correlation between expected commodity prices and innovation, that is in line with previous work and the induced innovation theory.
This study investigates whether socially responsible (CSR) firms behave responsibly in their financial reporting, specifically by constraining earnings management. This study first clarifies what a CSR firm is and identifies socially responsible firms through the KLD database. Three methods are used to detect earnings management—abnormal discretionary accruals, abnormal cash flows from operations and abnormal cash flows to net income ratios. This study concludes that CSR firms are less likely than their industry counterparts to participate in sales manipulations, are more likely to have higher cash flows from operations, and are more likely to have higher quality of earnings.
The treatment of education as a production function has become a relevant way to numerically assess the state of schools and districts at a local, state, and federal level. This study examines the relationship between accreditation scores, a more holistic assessment of district quality and achievement, and the three main inputs of the education system –student, teachers, and expenditures—by using an OLS regression of Colorado Department of Education data for the 2010 – 2011 school year. Significant negative correlations between specific operating costs and pupil-teacher ratio were found with accreditation scores. These, paired with social demographic variables, were to have the largest impact on accreditation scores and thus, district quality and achievement.
The objective of this paper is to test how the local economic structure (local sectoral specialization and diversity, competition, average firms size and total employment density) affects the 2004-2006 local employment growth in 379 administrative regions of Poland. In particular, we estimate a reduced form equation as in Combes (2000) for four different sectors of economy (agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing, industry and construction, market services, non-market services). We find evidence for both MAR and Jacobs externalities in the services sectors. Industrial sectors tend to be influenced only by MAR externalities. Furthermore, we examine and find the issue of spatial correlation in our data. Hence, spatially lagged and error models are used with no major change in the overall effects. Moreover, we learn that even for very short periods of time, dynamic externalities tend to be helpful in terms of explaining changes in local employment growth. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of this kind to analyze both industrial and services sector of Eastern European economy.
During the current financial crisis there is a large amount of scrutiny surrounding executive compensation packages. The purpose of this thesis is finding an understanding of executive compensation based around the makeup of the board of directors. We examine firms from the S&P 100 investigating the relationship between CEO compensation and the makeup of the board of directors. For this end, we examine different pieces of CEO compensation packages: salary, options awards and stock awards, in relation to salary and as standalone pieces. We use OLS regressions to see if the make-up of the board demonstrates a significant relationship with CEO compensation. The purpose of this examination is to determine what effect, if any, the makeup of the board of directors has on deciding executive compensation.
International trade has allowed the Chinese economy to boom and “Made in China” tags to dominate the world market. However, a number of studies have argued that the rapidly growing Chinese economy has placed great amount of pressure on its natural environment. The emphasis on export-led growth may bring in its wake, pollution to China. This thesis gives empirical evidence to the question that whether exports in China have caused environmental issues, especially air pollution. I use data from 31 provinces in mainland China over the period from 2002 to 2012. The results show that there is no strong relationship between air pollution in China and its exports, but the economic growth in general has hazardous impacts onto the environment.
Major League Soccer is a growing league within the United States. Although soccer is not an American sport, it is growing increasingly more popular. Using a simple OLS regression this thesis provides insight into factors that drive attendance in Major League Soccer. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the factors that increase attendance to help the struggling franchises grow their fan base.
The worldwide excitement generated by the Olympic Games needs to be examined in terms of economic impact. The Olympic Games is defined in economic terms by the Pre Olympic Period, the Olympic Year, and the Olympic Legacy Period. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of hosting the Olympics on a nation’s employment rates. The hypothesis is that hosting the Olympics improves employment in the Pre Olympic Period and Olympic Year Period but likely has minimal effect during the Olympic Legacy Period. Contrary to the hypothesis the results suggest that hosting the Olympics has no significant effect on employment as a percentage of the population in an Olympic host nation. However, the trend in all three Olympic Periods was favorable for improved national employment.
Mergers and acquisitions create situations where target CEOs may not act in the best interest of the shareholders. Further, the type of financing used in these acquisitions skew incentives in differing ways and may depend on market conditions. Using quantitative analysis this paper explores the relationship between managerial horizons of target firms and acquisition payment methods. Specifically, it is anticipated that more stock use coincides with shorter managerial decision-making horizons of target firms.
Previous studies have attempted to draw conclusions on the impact athletic success has on annual giving. There has yet to be conclusive data on this topic. This study will attempt to build on previous research by including more athletic success variables in the model. This study includes data for football, men’s and women’s basketball at Division I and Division III institutions. A separate ordinary least squares regression model was used for each form of annual giving, which included alumni giving, board giving and athletic giving, to identify the determinants of each. The results found for each variable differs depending on the form of giving. Women’s athletic success had an influence on annual donations whereas men’s sports did not and this was the only consistent result across all models. Overall, the results indicate that athletic success does not seem to have a significant impact on annual donations.
Sport betting markets, much like financial markets, contain mixed beliefs on whether or not they are efficient. The purpose of this thesis is to test market efficiency in the National Football League point spread market. In addition, this study explores the theoretical implications of a sports wager on a bettor’s expected profit. The relationship between the efficient market winning percentage and the break-even winning percentage is constant with any given probability of a push. Data from the 2008-2009 through the 2012-2013 NFL regular seasons show that market inefficiencies exist; and as a result, promote long-term strategies where a profit is expected.