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.

2021-2022

  • The Impact of Socialism on Practicing Economics SystemsAuthor(s):
    Nathaneal Cook

    Abstract
    This paper will explore the effects of socialism on the Russian economy. It will contrast socialistic ideologies and practices with capitalistic ideologies and practices. The research will inform the reader of the origins of socialism and provide a case study into the economic impact of socialism on those that have chosen to adopt its’ customs and practices. The research will look to answer the question: “does history prove that socialism is an effective economic system?” The paper will exhort the reader to evaluate lessons from history in a manner that provokes thought and causes reflection. Ultimately, the reader will be able to clearly discern the lessons that history teaches about the effects of socialism on an economy.

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  • COVID-19’s Impact on the U.S. Economy and the Government’s Policy ResponseAuthor(s):
    Elijah James

    Abstract
    This research will examine how the United States has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic from a macroeconomic perspective and the government’s policy response undertaken to mitigate the damage. We will attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of some of the federal government and the Federal Reserve’s policy decisions. At the beginning of the pandemic, the economy shut down, having a daunting effect on Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition, unemployment skyrocketed as people left the workforce and delayed returning. Data for this research has been gathered from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), St. Louis and Dallas Federal Reserve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

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  • The Impact of Democracy vs. Autocracy on Environmental DegradationAuthor(s):
    Terrilynn Melton and Marcus Marktanner

    Abstract
    We examine the impact of democracy and autocracy on environmental degradation, hypothesizing that an authoritarian regime needs to be less responsive to citizens’ needs to internalize the social costs associated with the extraction of natural resources than democracies. If the government maximizes profits from natural resources extraction, meaning that it acts like a monopolist, then the following emerges. Authoritarian regimes will extract more resources and impose higher social costs on their citizens than democracies. Implicit to this result is that the level of natural resource extraction might be closer to the social optimum in an autocracy than in a democracy. We test our hypothesis using simple OLS regression. Our dependent variables are CO2 emissions, natural resource depletion, natural resource rents, air pollution, as well as the number of deaths related to air pollution. Our focus independent variable is a political regime indicator. We control for GDP per capita and population density, as well as regional fixed effects. Our findings lend strong support to our hypothesis that, all else equal, autocracies extract more resources and impose higher social costs on society than democracies who internalize more of the social cost resulting in the extraction of less resources.

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  • The Impact of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Market of Atlanta and Other Major CitiesAuthor(s):
    Parth Pisolkar

    Abstract
    Real Estate markets are one of the major indicators of how an economy (micro or macro) is performing. Nearly 5.8 million houses were sold in the US in May 2021 alone, which is a tremendous increase of over 44% from the previous year. Real Estate is considered one of the most stable markets in the US as it is one of the least liquifiable asset class. It is a fixed income asset class which provides reliable income for many investors which is why there is a sense of trust among people when purchasing real estate. This trust can depend on a lot of factors such as Government Policies (monetary and fiscal policy), Prospects of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), DII (Domestic Institutional Investment), etc. When people are willing to invest/buy real estate, it means there has been (or is going on) an increase in savings, earnings, and income of households in a particular geographical/political area.

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2020-2021

  • Marketing's Impact on the Music IndustryAuthor(s):
    Andrew Hughes

    Abstract
    In recent decades the complexity of modern popular music has consistently declined. This paper seeks to explain the economic impact marketing has had on music itself, as well as the industry it occupies. The increased ease with which artists can market themselves through social media platforms has led to a detriment in the quality of music being produced today. As a result, an artists’ success is now less dependent upon skill. Rather, prospects for success are increasingly about consistent output, and how the artist promotes themselves. Music streaming platforms have contributed to the degradation of musical originality in recent years, favoring artists who are consistently creating good work over those interested in creating great work that will stand the test of time.

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  • The Use of Markets as a Tool for Upward Mobility and Generational WealthAuthor(s):
    Amitai Ilan

    Abstract
    This paper will explore how financial markets and investment products can build generational wealth for members of society. The research will answer the question: “can anyone, regardless of initial income, use the financial markets to build and preserve generational wealth and, if so, how can they best utilize it to do so?” It will provide examples to fully show how workers of varying income levels and of different ages can build and preserve accumulated wealth in retirement. This will be done by looking at different case studies with various incomes, compounding interest, and back tested invested principles. It will also touch on what prevents people from doing this effectively, as well as flaws in our current system. The paper will also focus on preserving wealth in retirement, and other alternatives if not enough wealth was generated to do this, or peace of mind is a factor. While this topic is often touched on in other papers, the discussion rarely contains information on an indefinite time, the use of cash, or other various alternatives.

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  • Vaccine Companies and their Relations to the Market TrendsAuthor(s):
    Matthew Tesvich

    Abstract
    The goal of this study is to find trends amongst vaccination companies and their roles played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have collected over a year’s worth of data, September 2019 through December 2020, providing entries across the stocks: Moderna (MRNA), Pfizer (PZE), AstraZeneca (AZN), Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings (ARCT), BioNTech (BNTX). We are able to clearly see similar patterns across the stock charts while cross comparing the data. It is clear that there are certain indicators that are firing off that lead to spikes in the data charts. The spikes in the industry can also lead to spikes in other companies, leading us to further analyze why that may be happening. Furthermore, we are analyzing why the stock prices are reacting the way that they are. There are cases that one vaccination may take off or fall hard while the rest of the market holds steady. This could indicate flaws with the product, company, bad press, etc. By discovery of a pattern, we can identify market leaders and correlations for the future. Patterns also allow us to better understand indicators and why they fired off the way that they did. To sum up everything that has been stated thus far, data analysis allows us to see things that the naked eye cannot identify. Throughout this study, we are able to use data to see things that we could not see by merely looking at the charts. This creates the ability to dive deeper into the datasets and come to conclusions as to why something may be happening.

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2019-2020

  • Georgia's Journey to Full EmploymentAuthor(s):
    Ryan Wilson

    Abstract
    In many developing economies around the world, the problem of inclusive growth continues to elude economic developers and policymakers alike. A key issue within the inclusive growth model that seems to have lost momentum with policymakers is the concept of full employment as described in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 23, specifically states the following:

    1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

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  • 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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