Bagwell Center Undergraduate Fellowship Working Papers

The Bagwell Center’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship was established in 2017 and aims to engage students in the academic conversation about the impact of market institutions in regards to human welfare. In line with the Center’s mission, the Fellowship offers the opportunity to continue educating and engaging with the foundational principles of economics while also examining the related impact of government policy in a mixed economy.

The papers in the Undergraduate Fellowship Working Paper Series are eligible for submission to peer-reviewed academic journals for potential publication.

2019-2020

  • Click here to readAuthor(s):
    Antoine Jackson

    Abstract
    This paper will explore the intersection of technology and education on crime and employment. The research will inform policymakers about the costs and benefits of technology centers and research parks and reveal how promotion of education and technology affect the decision-making processes of crime and employment. This will be done by looking at crime and education around technology and research parks and their benefits, both locally and nationwide. A local perspective is important because many of these parks are in high population areas and are more likely to experience higher rates of crime. A national perspective is important because the parks provide incentives for people to migrate and gravitate towards them.

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  • Click here to readAuthor(s):
    Matthew McKenzie

    Abstract
    The Drum Corps International (DCI) is an organization for drum and bugle corps based out of Indiana. They are liable for developing rules and providing standardized adjudication at DCI sanctioned competitions all throughout the USA and Canada with the goal of crowning a world championship corps at the end of the season. We question whether some categories of scoring are more important than explicitly listed. Specifically, although there are three main scoring categories that account for 40, 30, and 30 points to add up to a possible 100 points total for each team, the two categories with lower point potentials display higher variations in the magnitude of score differential when judges in those categories do not agree with a team’s overall rank. This suggests that if judges do not agree with the rankings of teams by judges in other categories, they may skew the amount of points they award teams within their category to impact the final ranking.

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  • Click here to read paperAuthor(s):
    Morgan Pace

    Abstract
    The Clean Water Act originated within the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) amendments of 1972 (Bell et al). The impetus for the creation of the Clean Water Act was the Cuyahoga River which repeatedly caught fire as a result of the severe water pollution in the river (“Cuyahoga River Fire”). The initial goal of the Clean Water Act was to “eliminate all discharges of pollutants in the nation’s waterways by 1985” (Salzman & Thompson). The United States government has since spent over $1 trillion to contain and eliminate water pollution.

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  • Click here to read paperAuthor(s):
    Nicholas Fulton

    Abstract
    We provide evidence of a negative relationship between short-term market volatility and geopolitical summit meetings. More specifically, our results show a significant decrease in the VIX volatility index for days surrounding geopolitical events such as G7 or G20 meetings. Though the decrease in volatility is short-lived, this finding may be surprising given the nature of these events as well-known, publicized meetings that are primarily focused on long-term goals.

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  • Click here to read paperAuthor(s):
    Elle Baker

    Abstract:
    This paper compares player base salaries in the NBA and WNBA (the premier male and female U.S. professional basketball leagues respectively). Unsurprisingly, average salaries in the NBA ($8,264,922) and considerably higher than average salaries in the WNBA ($73,738). Thinking about intra-league salary inequality, Gini Coefficients are computed for both the NBA (0.5434) and WNBA (0.2462). Thus, while WNBA salaries are much lower than NBA salaries, WNBA salaries are distributed much more equally than are NBA salaries. Following these observations, there is a discussion as to what contributes to the difference in salary levels and distributions between the two leagues.

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2018-2019

  • Click here to read paperAuthor(s):
    Steven Rodriguez Martinez

    Abstract
    The text explores reasons why Ford and GM voluntarily increased their operations in China, and how policies of the Trump administration are affecting the U.S. automobile industry with its attempts to force Ford and GM to bring some of those investments back to the U.S. Policies enacted under President Trump have been successful in forcing Ford and GM to invest more in the U.S.; however, because of other hurtful government decisions and these companies’ (Ford and GM) previous actions of increasing their presence in China, Trump’s approach will lead to an increase in the companies’ costs and potentially make them vulnerable to future financial struggles.

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  • Click here to read paperAuthor(s):
    Carnell Tate

    Abstract
    This paper investigates how geographical variations affect energy costs throughout the United States by using a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) model. The objective was to deconstruct a nationwide LCOE model and investigate the assumptions that are made on a state level; in this case, Georgia was the chosen sample to exhibit how challenges in solar technology affect the cost of clean carbon energy.

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2017-2018

  •  A Study of the Macro Economic Effects on the Cocaine Market in New YorkAuthor(s):
    Robbie Skinner

    Abstract
    This paper examines the impact of macroeconomic variables and other factors that in uence the price of cocaine in New York using the Drug Enforcement Agency's System to Retrieve Information on Drug Evidence (STRIDE) dataset. Results suggest macroeconomic factors have varying effects on price and offer support for the "Expected Purity Hypothesis" proposed by past researchers.

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  • Measuring Economic Freedom an Alternative Functional Specification and Subsequent RankingAuthor(s):
    Sean Balliew and
    Timothy Mathews

    Abstract:
    The Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World” index provides an aggregate measure of economic freedom by taking a simple arithmetic mean of scores over five subdimensions: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business. By computing the aggregate score as a simple arithmetic mean, it is implicitly assumed that the different sub-dimensions are “perfect substitutes” for each other. As an alternative, we compute an aggregate economic freedom score, and resulting ordinal ranking, by taking a geometric mean of the five sub-dimensions. For this alternative specification, the marginal impact of each sub-dimension on the aggregate score is no longer independent of the other sub-dimension scores. Consequently, countries with inconsistent levels of economic freedom across subdimensions are “punished” to a greater degree than are countries with less variability across the sub-dimensions. For the ordinal ranking of countries which results from this alternate approach, 9 countries moved up 8 or more spots and 9 countries moved down 10 or more spots in the ranking. When ordered using a geometric mean instead of arithmetic mean, Qatar realizes the largest upward movement in the ranking (ranked 36th instead of 46th), while Sweden realizes the largest downward movement in the ranking (ranked 46th instead of 27th). Finally, we show that our alternative measure of economic freedom correlates with Per Capita GDP slightly more strongly than does the standard measure computed by the Frasier Institute.

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  • A Time Series Analysis of Crypto Currency Price Data*Author(s):
    Dave Hagemann

    Abstract
    Crypto currency markets have recently become more and more popular, but are clearly in their infancy relative to developed financial markets. Using prices series data gathered using web-scraping techniques on the more well-known coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as an "alt" coin called Monero, I first test these time series to determine whether or not they are stationary using the Augmented Dickey-Fuller test, and as is usual with price data, find that they are not. After detrending the data, then investigate whether there are any Granger causality relationships between the different price series, and comment on whether this suggests anything about the state of the Efficient Market Hypothesis in this relatively young financial market.

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