Department of Economics
The University of Akron

Senior Projects 2014

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The Senior Project is typically completed during the capstone course in the student's senior year.
To see the Projects presented during a particular year choose from the list to the left or you can search the projects here.

Julian Avale SES and Health: Income the Weapon Against CHD” May, 2014

I test if higher income has a negative effect on the probability of being diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), in adults aged 18 to 64 in the United States. I use a probit model to describe the association between income and CHD. The results indicate a weak negative association of income with CHD. Higher income leads to better health but the effect is small. Because the model suffers from reverse causality, I run a 2 Stage Least Square (2SLS) which corrects for endogeneity. Reverse causality happens because income has an impact on CHD, and CHD has an effect on income. To run this model I use an Instrumental Variable (IV) which affects income and CHD through income but not CHD but not through other channels. The result (-0.036) indicates that income has a negative impact on CHD, but the impact is weak.

Ryan Bayonnet The Consequence of Institution Category on Post-Graduation Job Market Outcome”  May, 2014

This study analyzes the effect on employment outcomes of attending a private university in comparison to a public university. Using a high school student’s college choice, which looks at a student’s probability of attending a private institution based on personal characteristics. The study is able to estimate selectivity-­?corrected labor market outcome probabilities.  The data I am using for this study comes from two sources.  The first from a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics and is titled “The High School and Beyond: Sophomore and Senior Cohort.”.  The second data source was also conducted by National Center for Education Statistics and is titled “The National Education Longitudinal Study: Base Year through Fourth Follow-­Up.”  After adjusting for the effects from college selection, the study outcome suggests an increase in employment opportunities that results from attending a private educational institution.

Andrew Kuntz Economic Growth and the Arab Spring”  May, 2014

In this study I examine the economic links of civil conflict in 21 Arab World countries over a five year period. The results show that there is evidence to show that GDP growth negatively affects civil conflict. However when primary commodities as a percent greater than 25 is examined, growth is insignificant and commodity dependence is positively related in an LPM. Probit analysis shows that the risk for the mean country in the dataset is about 0.01%.

Brandon Palmer Immigration in European Nations” May, 2014

This study looks at factors of migration in Europe. This paper specifically looks into the role freedom has on a person’s willingness to migrate to another country. There are many measures of freedom. Financial, business, and monetary freedom are the ones chosen in this analysis. An issue in looking at freedom measures is that one measure will tend to correlate with another. The reason for looking at migration factors in Europe is due to the increasing population age. Another reason for looking at this is to see what Europe can do to increase migration flows as that was a goal of the European Union. These migration factors, or push pull factors, can be looked at to see what a country must do to increase immigrant flow.

Hayley Roppel English as a Lingua Franca in a Preferential Trading Bloc” May, 2014

The language barrier between countries has been recognized as an important transaction cost in the role of international trade.  A common spoken language between two countries increases the volume of trade flows between them. Expanded on such research, Ku & Zussman (2010), Fidrmuc & Fidrmuc (2009), Hutchinson (2002), and Lee (2012) have found the English language to be trade facilitating.  Previous research has lacked focus on the economic returns to a country’s ability to speak English within a preferential trading bloc.  While English may help to facilitate trade on a global scale, this paper finds that these findings also hold true for facilitating trade within an isolated/localized region.  Within the Association of South-East Asian nations (ASEAN), a country’s English language proficiency has a positive and significant effect on bilateral trade flows.

Richard Schramm Surging Innovation through Emerging Immigration” May, 2014

This paper estimates the effect of skilled immigrants on innovation measured by patent activity in European countries. I use a sample of 22 OECD countries with observations from 2000 and 2005. The OLS estimate shows that a 1 percentage point increase in the level of tertiary education of immigrants will increase patents per million inhabitants by .927%. But, tertiary education parameter for immigrants (zkf) is not significant with a P-Value of 0.654. This is largely due to the data limitation of skill level of immigrants to two years (2000 & 2005). Using the Fixed-Effect model, the significance only improves slightly and reveals that the countries itself are highly correlated with the patent activity. Overall, better availability of education data for immigrants should boost the significance of the parameter estimates. To further enhance the results of this work a Two-Stage Least Square approach is needed to control for the endogenous variables skill level and GDP growth.

Martin Storad  “Blowing Down Prices: An Analysis of Wind Generation and the ATSI Generation Hub Price” May, 2014

This paper estimates the effect of wind generation on pricing in the American Transmission Systems Incorporated Generation Hub of the PJM regional transmission organization. Using a sample of 8759 hourly observations for the year 2013.Following a stationary AR(1) process, with |p| < 1,  I find there to be a $.08/MWH decrease in Locational Marginal Pricing for every 100 megawatt hours of wind generation, all else held constant.

Mitchell Upp “The Relationship between Tariffs, Corruption, and Growth in Developing Countries” May, 2014

This paper looks at the relationship between tariffs and the growth rate of developing countries. In addition, the interaction between corruption and tariffs is examined to determine whether tariffs become more helpful or harmful if corruption is also present. Using pooled OLS regression, results are inconclusive. However, using a fixed effects model returns much clearer
results. Tariffs are found to increase growth, but the increase becomes smaller as corruption falls.

Clifton Young “Deficit Reduction Act’s Effect on the Working Poor” May, 2014

The working poor is considered the working population of society whose total income falls below a certain poverty level. This indigent population who choose to receive welfare benefits are allotted a monthly benefit guarantee if they comply with welfare program standards (i.e. work requirements). These welfare recipients face labor supply decisions that affect their eligibility for the program. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), was an attempt to get welfare recipients to increase their labor supply. The theory of labor supply for welfare recipient’s states an increase in earned income exemption level in a welfare program, will result
in increases in labor supply for its recipients. This paper uses an Ordinary Least Square and difference-in-difference estimator to study the effect that the Deficit Reduction Act had on the labor supply of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. We will see the policy change positively altering the work behavior of TANF recipients.