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  • Thumbnail for The effects of foreign aid on public services in Sub-Saharan Africa
    The effects of foreign aid on public services in Sub-Saharan Africa by Davis, Dru Amelia

    The efficacy of foreign aid has been the topic of a long-standing debate between those who view aid as necessary for growth and development in less developed countries and those who view it, at best, as a waste and, at worst, as harmful to development. In theory, foreign aid should provide what its moniker implies: aid. But determining the precedent conditions under which aid should be provided to make aid successful and effective are blurred. This paper aims to find the specific prescription needed so that aid produces its intended outcome in sub-Saharan Africa: to improve the public service sector thereby leading to overall growth and a reduction of those in poverty in the recipient country. Life expectancy and the primary completion rate in school are used as proxies for examining the improvements, or lack thereof, that are realized in the key sectors of public services, which are public health and education. But OLS regression results show that increasing monetary aid alone does little to realize the goal of improving life expectancy, nor does aid alone increase primary completion rates in a manner that is statistically significant. Instead, aid must be accompanied by predicate circumstances. Individual country characteristics such as financial depth, surplus as a percentage of GDP, and percentage of paved roads are the key components to improving the health and education sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Thumbnail for Consumer confidence as a leading indicator for gross domestic product growth
    Consumer confidence as a leading indicator for gross domestic product growth by Melito, Jacob P.

    The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index consistently fluctuates with GDP growth. While many believe that this correlation is caused by consumer’s reactions to economic changes, this paper argues that economic changes are reacting to consumer’s attitudes in the form of GDP growth. By using both The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index and The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, this study is able to compare and distinguish which index has better forecasting capabilities. Granger-causality regressions on a 4 year time-series showed statistical evidence that The Consumer Confidence Index was capable of determining GDP growth one and two years in advance while GDP growth does not appear to influence consumer confidence. In accordance with previous research, The Index of Consumer Sentiment does not appear to possess any forecasting power for GDP growth.

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

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

  • Thumbnail for The effects of foreign aid on African economies
    The effects of foreign aid on African economies by Rasmussen, Alexander Scott

    A major global issue that our world faces is the dilemma of world poverty that millions of people around the world suffer with. Primarily the highest concentration of global poverty resides within the African continent. Many wealthier nations take it upon themselves to donate funds that attempt to combat this dilemma millions of people are faced with. The major issue with this outside funding is that the funds fail to achieve the goal of relieving the burden of poverty. This study will investigate the effectiveness of foreign aid and how changes in certain economic indicators affect African nations’ overall economies.

  • Thumbnail for  The economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games
    The economic impact of hosting the Olympic Games by Collett, Jeffrey J.

    The Olympic Games garner worldwide attention. This mega sporting event requires examination in terms of economic impact. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of hosting the Olympic Games through GDP, employment, and tourism. To assess the economic impact, host nations will not only be analyzed in and of itself, but will also be compared to runner-up nations in the bidding process. Though runner-up nations tend to economically benefit more often than the host nation per Olympiad, host nations are found to benefit intrinsically.