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  • Thumbnail for Innovation through recessionary times in the U.S. auto industry
    Innovation through recessionary times in the U.S. auto industry by Boccard, Travis Hale

    The United States automobile industry has been a staple in the economy for over a century. However, the auto industry has come upon hard times, two of the Big 3 required government aid within the last decade. The purpose of this thesis is to take an in depth look towards when innovation will take place in the industry, primarily looking towards whether or not recessionary times spur innovation. The hypothesis is that there will be a negative correlation between recessions and the amount of innovation within the industry. There were multiple problems with multicollinearity throughout the regression analyses that were run in this study. Ultimately there was one significant variable found in three regressions, this being the price of crude oil. The null hypothesis was neither proved nor disproved in this study.

  • Thumbnail for Drilling for innovation : applying induced innovation theory to the oil and gas industry
    Drilling for innovation : applying induced innovation theory to the oil and gas industry by Daniels, Bryce Delano

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Social capital as a determinant of innovation
    Social capital as a determinant of innovation by Alonso Arenas, Rafael

    This thesis explores the relationship between social capital and innovation across 40 regions in the United States. Data is drawn from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, compiled by the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Saguaro Seminar, and the MicroPatent CD-ROM Database from the USPTO. Innovative activity is modeled as a function of knowledge stocks, human capital, four aspects of social capital, and other control variables across six industries over 38 years. The results suggest that certain manifestations of social capital, such as levels of trust and cooperation, consistently have a positive impact on innovative activity. Furthermore, communities with greater levels of cooperation and better-established networks innovate even more in the presence of previous local knowledge.

  • Thumbnail for Addiction, consumer choice, and business strategies in innovative market niches related to leisure : the case of Geocaching.com
    Addiction, consumer choice, and business strategies in innovative market niches related to leisure : the case of Geocaching.com by Shoyleva, Kristina Hristova

    This paper analyses the behavior of users of the website Geocaching.com. The study provides an insight on how internet services can relate to hobbies, sports, and leisure. In particular, this research analyzes the consumers’ inclination to become addicted to the type of services offered by the webpage. With the assumptions made in this study, no patterns of addiction to the services offered by Geocaching.com are identified. This research also examines the characteristics of the new market niche created by Groundspeak with the introduction of the website. This innovative business model is now followed by an array of other companies. This work ends with suggestions of successful business strategies for companies entering or already positioned in the market niche.

  • Thumbnail for Do we need foreign high-skilled workers? The impact of high-skilled immigrants on U.S. innovation
    Do we need foreign high-skilled workers? The impact of high-skilled immigrants on U.S. innovation by Aguilar, M. Genevieve

    The fields of immigration and innovation have traditionally been thought of as two distinct areas of study. This paper will serve as a bridge as it examines this relationship through an empirical investigation of the impact of high-skilled immigration on U.S. innovation. A modified national ideas production function is used to estimate the relationship between high-skilled immigrants and patents. A second set of equations is used to isolate patenting activity in the metropolitan regions of the Bay Area, Des Moines, Seattle, and New York. The most significant discovery is that high-skilled immigration has a positive effect on innovation. These results present strong evidence that the United States should liberalize its immigration policies in order to more proactively foster innovation across the country.