Browsing Department of Economics by Issue Date
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ItemA test of agglomeration using wage behavior.(2006-10-13T16:42:06Z) Staha, Melissa B.; North, Charles Mark, 1964-; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.The neoclassical economic model of wage behavior over time and place predicts that firms spread out and wages converge, given assumptions such as no transactions costs, homogenous products, and same access to resources and technology. However, there are rents called agglomeration economies that can be extracted in certain occupations and occupational groups simply by being located near other similar firms. In this case, the firms agglomerate and wages diverge. We use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to test if agglomeration is happening in certain occupational groups based on whether wages are converging or diverging over the short term. Although agglomeration happens more often in the higher-ordered occupational groups, overall, the evidence is mixed concerning the presence of agglomeration economies. ItemHispanic assimilation to American health insurance.(2006-10-26T19:00:44Z) Jamal, Sheri K.; Henderson, James W.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Policy makers, insurance companies, physicians, healthcare administrators, and especially patients have acknowledged the need for healthcare reform. Some economists speculate high healthcare costs arise from charging paying patients enough to cover patients whom are unable to pay, the majority of those being uninsured. Hispanics maintain the highest percentage of uninsured, thirty percent; therefore are the main focus of this study. I hypothesize that assimilation and race, compared to many common factors play a significant role in health insurance. Not only do the results show Hispanics to be significantly less likely to have health insurance than blacks or whites, but immigrants are less likely to be insured than the first generation resident or subsequent generations. Specifically, Hispanic immigrants are less likely to be insured than white immigrants from 1980-1990. This study concludes that assimilation is a significant determinant of the percentage of the United States population that is uninsured. ItemA shirking model of NBA players.(2007-01-11T21:54:27Z) Francis, Rashad J.; Kelly, Thomas M.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.As guaranteed National Basketball Association (NBA) contract salary amounts continuously increase there is a strong possibility of shirking due to difficulty in modeling contracts based upon future performance. Based on a 5-year panel of 121 NBA players this paper uses two stage least squares regression to test the possibility of player shirking by comparing performance in the final year of their contract versus other years. The analysis does not find evidence of shirking, although it does find evidence that player performance is significantly affected by individual characteristics, such as age, experience, and salary. The general conclusion of the study is that competitiveness in the market for NBA players is the primary determinant of player performance rather than attempts by players to consciously affect contract outcomes by selectively altering their performance. ItemCould sub-debts of banks be potential tools for supervision? Empirical study with data set 1999-2007.(2008-06-11T12:21:33Z) Zhang, Lin, 1983-; VanHoose, David D.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Most previous research has discussed how spreads of sub-debts could be tools to signal the risks of banks. However, studies have focused on data preceding 1999, when the Financial Modernization Act (FMA) has not yet been implemented. In this thesis, I will concentrate on evaluating if the spreads of sub-debts could still serve as signals for the risks of banks after the implementation of FMA. From the results of regression I find that the spreads of sub-debts could still signal risks of banks in the post-FMA period. Compared to previous studies, I got different results about the effects of market leverage and logarithm of total assets on sub-debts spreads. Profitability of banks, ROA and ROE, has opposite influences on the spreads, and capital ratios have insignificant effects. Further, sub-debt spreads achieve their highest values before the 2001 recession and decreased after that. The information content of sub-debt yield spreads changes in the non-preferred economic conditions, such as recessions. ItemMeasurement of total factor productivity growth in countries with high rates of structural change.(2008-06-11T18:03:55Z) Racsa, Patrick N.; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.In a neoclassical framework, high rates of economic growth can be sustained if the main source of this growth is improvements in technical efficiency, measured by Total Factor Productivity Growth (TFPG). This study argues that traditional aggregate growth accounting methods might not be a useful measure of technological gains when such gains are predominantly sector-specific. In rapidly industrializing countries, rates of structural change from changing of industries are high. This allows us to form the testable hypothesis: the observed change in the capital labor ratio in response to a change in the wage to capital cost ratio should be lower in economies with high rates of structural change than in economies with lower rates of structural change. We find robust empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis. ItemThe utility of the passing time and measurement of the purchasing power of currencies in the flexible-exchange-rate system.(2008-11-17T20:23:43Z) Seka, Gilles-Eric Kotchi.; Gardner, H. Stephen.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.In economics, it is not the quantity that matters the most; it is the amount of utility. The purchasing power of a currency is not merely the volume of goods the money can obtain, but the amount of utility it can command. Primarily, money exchanges for some units of time spent laboring. As such, the ratio of the utility of time to the money wage should measure the purchasing power of the currency. This marginal utility of the time is the first derivative of the utility production function, derived from the compound interest equation, with respect to time. It follows that the purchasing power of the currency is dependent on both the rate of interest and the wage rate. This measure of purchasing power allows computation of a purchasing-power-parity exchange rate that truly reflects the fundamentals of the economy. ItemAntidumping tariff : the case of certain frozen fish fillets from Vietnam.(2010-06-23T12:32:28Z) Hoang, Tram N.; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.In 2003, certain catfish fillets from Vietnam were claimed as having been dumped into the United States market, causing material injuries to domestic producers, and were assessed antidumping duties in the range of 37 to 64 percent. This study analyzes the effect of antidumping duties on imports of catfish from Vietnam in terms of volume, value and price at country and firm level. Data is compiled from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States International Trade Commission. Difference-in-Difference estimation is employed and made robust to different group/time variances. The result of estimation is statistically significant in largely decreasing prices of Vietnamese catfish and volume/value of exports at firm level, but not statistically significant at country level. ItemThe trade balancing act : reconciling domestic and foreign politics.(2010-10-08T16:11:27Z) Abbott, Patricia A. (Patricia Anne), 1987-; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.This paper examines the motives for policymakers in their use of antidumping tariffs. In a scenario where a country is facing domestic political economy influences and foreign political economy influences, I find evidence that countries are not in a repeated "prisoner's dilemma" game, but they are in a game of "chicken." In the repeated tariff-setting game, countries take turns in setting antidumping tariffs to appease domestic producers and minimize injury to relationships with important trading partners. I also find that, when examining the US antidumping tariff decisions specifically, the International Trade Association sets tariffs significantly lower against the most important trading partners, a result shown through OLS and instrumental variables regressions. ItemExport sophistication and catching up.(2010-10-08T16:31:16Z) Vogelgesang, James W.; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.The catching up model predicts that countries who continue to increase technology through economic policies will experience sustained growth and success in closing the gap between themselves and the current technology leader. Countries that adopt these policies are expected to grow at faster and more sustainable rates than the technology leader. Those changes will allow them to improve their development level and overall quality of life. The results of the analysis indicate that the countries that open their borders and create strong infrastructure will be able to sustain economic growth through improvement of the sophistication of their exports and generate a higher standard of living. Through case studies on Viet Nam, India, Brazil and China and an empirical analysis shows that countries can experience rapid growth through technology transfer and that change helps develop their economy both socially and financially. ItemValuing the environment : a comparison of Western Europe, the US, and Canada.(2011-01-05T19:40:02Z) Jordan, Rebecca A.; Emerson, Tisha Lin Nakao.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Using the World Values Survey, we evaluate the differences in environmental preferences between the United States and two other global leaders, Western Europe and Canada, in order to discover whether there is evidence, at the citizen level, to support the international criticism that the majority of Americans are not concerned for the environment and are a hindrance to its protection. In addition, we study what individual characteristics are correlated with pro-environmental preferences. We do not find evidence that supports the criticism that the majority of Americans are less environmentally conscious than Western Europe and Canada in several indicators of environmental concern. In addition, we find that individual-level characteristics such as gender, age, size of the town of residence, employment status, education, and income are significant predictors of environmental preferences. ItemDeterminants of faculty salaries at elite liberal arts colleges.(2011-01-05T19:40:17Z) Konsor, Kellie J.; Green, Steven L.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.In this paper we focus on the determinants of faculty salary levels at elite liberal arts colleges for specific years over the past decade. We address the role regional personal income per capita and endowment play in average salary determination. Other variables we consider include ranking, enrollment, tuition, discipline concentration, the professor to student ratio, the concentration of female professors among faculty and the ratio of research to instructional expenses. We find that regional personal income and endowment have a positive effect on average salaries, while ranking has a negative effect. Research has a positive effect on salaries in the later years, and tuition is not a consistent determinant of salary. Results also seem to be stable over time for most years and professor rankings. ItemUnintended consequences : how agricultural subsidies are fueling the drug trade.(2011-12-19) Johnson, Austin Phillip.; Green, Steven L.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.The United States has historically subsidized its farmers directly and indirectly through a variety of different methods. In recent years, there has been evidence that OECD agricultural subsidies are leading farmers in certain nations to begin growing illegal plants that contain alkaloids for the production of narcotics. In this paper, I use narcotic seizure data from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as a proxy for narcotics supply levels. Regression results strongly suggest a link between U.S. subsides and drug production, but no link between U.S. subsidies and methamphetamine or marijuana production. ItemWhat did you say? The effect of language distance on international service trade.(2012-08-08) Hulyk, Cristin K.; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Service trade is more heavily dependent on communication than commodity trade because its production and consumption occur simultaneously. "Linguistic distance," a measure of how closely the majority languages of two nations are related, is negatively correlated with the quality of communication between countries. I show that linguistic distance has a significant nonlinear effect on the level of service trade. For example, a change from communication between majority languages Russian and Danish to Russian and Czech, a decrease in linguistic distance, corresponds to a 17.1% increase in service exports. Additionally, the linguistic distance to English has a significant effect on service trade and points to the use of English as a vehicle language for trade. The data show that linguistic distance has a larger effect on service trade while physical distance has a larger effect on commodity trade. ItemThe determinants of Chinese housing price inflation.(2013-05-15) Lin, Fangshi, 1988-; Gardner, H. Stephen.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Housing prices in major Chinese cities have been soaring since 2003. Some economists believe that this represents a dangerous speculative bubble while others argue that Chinese housing price inflation is a normal consequence of supply and demand adjustments in a rapidly-developing economy. This study attempts to explain the movement of housing prices in 35 large and medium-sized Chinese cities between 2002 and 2010. Here, we review many of the causal relationships that have been explored in previous research, but we uncover some interesting evidence on the financial side of the Chinese housing market that has received little attention in previous studies. We find, for example, a reciprocal relationship between local housing prices and the revenues of local governments. A strong housing market provides rising revenues for a local government, and rising revenues, along with personal saving, seem to feed back into the financial base of the local housing market. ItemImpact of childhood exposure to family problem gambling on adult gambling pathology.(2014-06-11) Roberts, Albert, 1979-; Grinols, Earl L., 1951-; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Does the apple fall far from the tree? Proverbs 22:6 says: "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." One theory from the social sciences termed Social Learning Theory would seem to be godly wisdom - that is - when children see what their family does, they are likely to do the same. Many studies have examined the apparent causes of pathological gambling. This study finds that childhood exposure to problem gambling in the family is significantly associated with adult outcomes of pathological gambling. Additionally for those who are not substance abusers nor mentally ill, childhood exposure to non-problem gambling is significantly associated with pathological gambling. This conclusion suggests that all social cost of gambling measures suffer from underestimation bias. ItemA baseline admissions prediction model with textual analysis and confidence interval estimations.(2014-09-05) Beckham, Stephen Ryan.; Pham, Van Hoang.; Economics.; Baylor University. Dept. of Economics.Essays submitted out individuals applying to Baylor University may contain hidden information that would assist the admissions department in their decision to accept the appicant. Through textual analysis, this paper attempted to reveal signals of a student's intent to attend Baylor if accepted as well as offering an additional platform to judge a student's ability. Both results are independent of other information gathered from the application process. The models created were found not to be strong enough to act as a stand-alone decision rule. However, the new variables created can be used in Baylor's admission model to increase its effectiveness. The groups of words in commitment, Baylor and admissions groups all prove to be influential, which can be used in other parts of the enrollment process, such as phone interviews. This paper also simulates a confidence range around yield estimates generated from the current model being used at Baylor. ItemDollarization and growth : a synthetic control approach to Ecuador and El Salvador’s cases.(2016-04-21) Yepes, Juan P., 1991-; Cunningham, Scott, 1975-This thesis examines the impact of full dollarization on economic growth in Ecuador and El Salvador by employing the synthetic control method. We find that, relative to the counterfactual built, these currency substitutions had no effect on real income per capita. We use placebo exercises to explore the statistical significance of our results. We intend to determine the validity of the method to monetary substitution questions. The paper concludes that there is no causal relationship between dollarization and economic growth, but that better insight into a country’s growth parameters can result in more robust findings. ItemReligion and economic growth : an analysis at the city level.(2016-05-02) Duan, Ran, 1990-; Paz, Lourenço.This paper looks at the effect of religious beliefs on economic growth using a Brazilian city-level survey data as opposed to the more popular country-level data, thus separating the effect from different social and historical context. The hypothesis is that certain religious beliefs stimulate people's positive behaviors and hence increase productivity. We also find that religious pluralism is positively correlated with economic growth. ItemAn assessment of methods in "Assessing the impact of the size and scope of government on human well-being."(2016-07-01) Barnes, Alyssa M., 1994-; West, James E., 1965-This thesis applies statistical methods used by economists to a recent paper in the political science literature. As a basis for suggesting more robust methods to be employed in future research, I will replicate and extend the analysis of Assessing the Impact of the Size and Scope of Government on Human Well-Being, which tests the impact of four measures of government intervention on citizen life satisfaction (Flavin et al, 2014). Despite my suggested method changes, my results do not differ substantially from those in Size of Government on Well-Being in sign and significance, with the exception that I no longer find a relationship between welfare spending and satisfaction. I conclude that further research should be done on the effect of more specific government policies on satisfaction, with the use of the more robust methods described in this paper. ItemSocial network analysis in college choice.(2017-04-05) Ren, Meiqing, 1993-; Pham, Van Hoang.This research paper employs Social Network Analysis to examine the effect of peer groups on the college application process, taking Baylor University as a case study. Degree centrality and eigenvector centrality are two centrality measures used as interested independent variables. Findings reveal that peer groups have significant effects on college choice in terms of high school and home neighborhood networks. Specifically, a one standard deviation increase in degree centrality implies about a 1.5% rise in application rates, which means highly connected students with a higher degree centrality are more likely to apply to Baylor University. This paper indicates that Baylor University has attracted applicants who are clustered by ZIP Codes, showing that if a student lives or studies in an area where lots of peers are also identified by Baylor University as potential recruits, he or she will be more likely to apply to Baylor. Thus, our study helps to broaden strategies for college recruitment by exploring the important role of social networks.