Bagwell Center Undergraduate Fellowship Working Paper Series
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.
A Study of the Macro Economic Effects on the Cocaine Market in New York
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.
Measuring Economic Freedom – an Alternative Functional Specification and Subsequent Ranking
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.
A Time Series Analysis of Crypto Currency Price Data
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 Effcient Market Hypothesis in this relatively young financial market.