Browsing Economics by Issue Date
Now showing 1 - 20 of 398
Results Per Page
- ItemDiscrimination in capital sentencing : an investigation of discretionary bias in the imposition of the death penalty in the United States(2002) Koehrsen, Eric M.; Ball, Richard J.This study examines the probability that an individual receives the death penalty for murder in the United States in 1998. The intention is to investigate the presence of arbitrariness and discrimination in capital sentencing subsequent to the supposed reforms of the pre-Furman capital statutes. The author hypothesizes that race, gender, education, and the location of the murder are relevant factors in determining the likelihood of receiving the death penalty. Specifically, non-blacks, men, and poorly educated people convicted of murder are expected to be more likely to receive a death sentence. A preliminary statistical overview suggests that these hypotheses are born out in the data. The findings from a more thorough regression analysis support these hypotheses and show that non-blacks are approximately 1.5 times more likely than blacks to incur the death penalty for murder. Additionally, a convicted murderer with a ninth grade education is 1.7 times more likely than a high school graduate to receive a death sentence. Therefore, this study suggests that discrimination is present in capital sentencing based upon a convicted murderer's race and level of education, among other factors.
- ItemDemise of the pay phone industry: assessing the welfare implications(2003) Stern, Abigail; Ball, Richard J.Many times technological developments add to and improve what we already have, thereby increasing the welfare of society. There are also examples, both historic and present, where technological developments imply negative welfare consequences for at least some part of society. The relative size of that part differs from case to case, as does the relative harm in each situation. This paper outlines some of the historic examples of decreased welfare due to technological improvements, and discusses the concept in relation to the case of the disappearing pay phone, or public telephone. Pay phones have been in use since the late nineteenth century (Oslin, 1992). Inevitably with the invention of cellular phones, the demand for pay phones decreased. In turn, profits decreased, leading phone companies to eradicate millions of pay phones throughout the United States. Many people prefer to use pay phones, but this is becoming increasingly inconvenient and impractical. The second half of this paper presents an economic model that may be useful in evaluating these welfare consequences.
- ItemDigital Downloads: The Effects of the Internet Marketplace on the Music Industry(2004) Begley, Matt
- ItemPhilly-for-profit : predicting the success of Edison Schools Inc. in Philadelphia(2004) Miller, Timothy W.; Preston, Anne ElizabethIn the never-ending search for a successful method of public school reform, the city of Philadelphia has recently implemented a privatization scheme of for-profit administration in many of its failing schools. Led by Edison Schools Inc., the largest and most controversial for-profit school administrator, Philadelphia's venture into privatization has been accompanied by public scrutiny and resentment and faces abandonment if for-profit schools are unable to produce successful results. Through examination of the public education sector and structure of for-profit public school administration, this study finds that these providers, such as Edison Schools Inc., maintain no clear advantage in terms of costs or student success in the typically non-profit sector. Moreover, using data on specific Edison schools, this study finds that Edison's schools in Philadelphia will perform, on average, significantly lower than other Edison schools across the country. Thus, findings here indicate that Edison Schools Inc. will not raise school achievement and efficiency, as intended, but may, in fact, jeopardize the entire Philadelphia public school reform agenda. This study concludes with recommendations that Edison Schools Inc. be removed from the Philadelphia educational reform plan immediately following the current school year in order to maximize the district's potential for positive growth .
- ItemHate the Game… Not the Player: A Statistical Analysis of the Characteristics of Pathological Gambling(2005) Stennis, Cartier; Bell, Linda A., 1959-The purpose of this thesis is to examine the determinants of pathological gambling, in particular, the relationship, if any, between gaming activities and gambling behavior. The significance of this topic derives from the rapid growth of the gaming industry and the assertion by Walker (1996) that poker, blackjack, and bridge players are the minorities within Gamblers Anonymous, because the games they play require a real element of skill. A better understanding, therefore, of the determinants of pathological gambling might help dictate how legislation can preserve gambling as a controlled form of entertainment and simultaneously limit or eliminate its negative social and economic effects.
- ItemThe Effect of the Increased Wage Gap on the Competitive Balance of Major League Baseball(2005) Zyman, Steve; Dixon, Vernon J., 1933-Even though the free agency clause was introduced in 1976, the distributions of average team salaries remained relatively compact up until around 1994. During this period of time, baseball team owners were found to be guilty of collusion in their restriction of free agents. This forced the salaries of the players to remain relatively low as compared to what their market value would have been in an open bidding market without restrictions. In 1994 and 1995 there were two work stoppages in which the players prevailed over the team owners in opening up the markets for free agents to be able to earn contracts that more accurately represented their true market value. It was at this time that disparity between teams payrolls began to differentiate at a rapid rate, which has led to a great controversy in modern day baseball. The question that concerns both the fans and Major League baseball itself is whether the growing disparity in wages has damaged the competitive balance of the sport. More specifically, do large market teams have an unfair advantage and increased likelihood of winning due to their ability to purchase higher priced talent? Ultimately, players will be profit maximizers unless that player has personal ties to a certain team or city. In the end a player’s salary will be determined by the team that offers him the most money. We must also assume that owners are profit maximizers, and that the marginal cost of a player’s salary will be equal to or less then the marginal product of that player. Each interested team will individually assess how much they believe the player would be worth to them, and will accordingly offer that player a contract of a particular value. The factors used in their analysis of any given player involve many complicated decisions based on: the player’s marginal revenue product, the positional needs of the team, the availability of substitutes for that player, the opportunity cost of the player, the knowledge of the market that the owner and player have, and the size/worth of the market that the team plays in. Theoretically, this means that the teams with the most resources available to them can buy the best available players, thereby giving them an unfair advantage over the teams that can not afford to pay the high priced contracts of these top quality players. This paper will analyze the trends of major league baseball between 1995 and 2004 to see if the competitive balance of the sport has been lost, or if the disparity in team wages is a fair part of the sport that arises from different variables that affect the different teams in a given year. This paper will proceed as follows: section II explores some of the relevant literature that has examined the competitive balance in baseball and the factors that go into producing a winning team. Section III contains the methodology and analyses of regressions run on winning percentage based on different measures of team performance, including team payrolls. Section IV takes a further look into the competitive balance of baseball and examines how it has changed over the last ten years. Finally, Section V will draw conclusions based on all the analysis of the trends in baseball from 1995 to 2004.
- ItemCan Women Have it All? : Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Career and Family for Top Corporate Executives(2005) Coslett, Caitlin G.; Bell, Linda A., 1959-The role of women in American society has shifted greatly over the past fifty years. Women today are much more likely to be employed outside the home than in past generations. Fortunately for these female workers, women now achieve more favorable employment outcomes than their predecessors. Women have attained higher levels of education in recent generations and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women doctors and lawyers since the 1970s. Women have made similar progress in corporate America. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 1972 and 1995 the percentage of managerial positions held by women increased from 17 to 42.7 percent. Women have also become increasingly likely to be top executives of major companies. Still, there is ample evidence of continued gender inequality in employment. In particular, women are far less likely than men to achieve career success at the highest levels of corporate America. In 2001, women held only 11 percent of the top executive positions of Fortune 100 companies. Additionally, women are especially under-represented at the most powerful executive ranks of CEO, Chair and President. Although the media and organizations such as Catalyst have reported at length about the careers of women, little is known about women executives at the highest levels who have achieved extremely successful careers in this overwhelmingly male environment. This paper presents the first systematic study of the family structures of women and men top executives of publicly owned companies. This study is important for several reasons. These executives are extremely influential and through their companies control enormous amounts of assets. Additionally, their attitudes regarding social and family issues may be expected to have important implications for the personnel policies that influence millions of workers and their families.
- ItemThe Economic Implications of Puerto Rican Statehood(2005) Badillo, Vanessa; Jilani, SalehaEver since Puerto Rico became a colony of the United States in 1898 following the Spanish-American War, there has been major debate on both the island and mainland, regarding the relationship between the two and the cultural, political and economic implications that it entails. Currently, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States; it has been since 1952, even though the actual term in Spanish is “Estado Libre Asociado”, which means Free Associated State. Many critics on the island and mainland argue that this arrangement is vague since, “In reality Puerto Rico’s status is neither that of an associated free state nor that of a state of the Union, but rather that of a territory.” Moreover, the relationship has caused serious debates in the international community because the United Nations and many Latin American and Caribbean countries have accused the U.S. of colonizing the island and not allowing the people of Puerto Rico their deserved right to self-determination that goes against the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514, which states that: Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed.
- ItemReforming Social Security: The Effects of Personal Accounts on the Beneficiaries of Social Security(2005) Wetherille, Patrick; Jilani, SalehaIt should be stressed that the kind of benefit calculator used to model these benefit outputs arouse out of academic infancy. In beginning this research, there existed no model off which to work, as Social Security Administration (SSA) had none that could be dissectible to individuals not fluent in C++ programming. The ‘black box’ calculator available to average folks could not be used to inform this work in any meaningful way. However, I was able to put together a current law benefit calculator based on information available at SSA that would become the basis for a current law benefit calculator and three subsequent models. It has come to my attention that two other calculators have been put together, one by the Heritage Foundation and another by the office of Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid. The bickering that has occurred over the validity of those calculators only begins to highlight the variability of Social Security benefit calculators. The reliance on assumptions for a multitude of variables gives rise to stark variation in models. My own benefit calculator was forged in deliberation of what assumptions I should make for a model that projects so far into the future. Ultimately, I took the position of putting more burdens on the personal accounts side of the ledger. The conclusion of the paper discusses this decision in more detail, but the reader should be aware that this work is in some sense, a trial by fire evaluation of personal accounts. Placing greater burden on accounts ultimately paints a less rosy picture of the impact accounts have on individuals in the system, but this work is meant to harshly evaluate the virtues of personal accounts in the Social Security debate. I have 1 SSA, “AnyPIA Calculator.” sought to give a tough and honest account of reform models that include personal accounts. This toughness and honesty seeks only to strengthen the standing of accounts in comparison to current law “pay-as-you-go” models that have traditionally enjoyed more respect from the academic community. Think of this work as part of the national dialogue on Social Security reform and an effort to better understand, not whether one system is better than the other, but how one approach can be seen as better for some and how a different approach can be seen as better for others. I hope that the answer to the Social Security crisis will lie in an outcome that maximizes utility for all.
- ItemIndustrial Organization Case Study of the Indian Information Technology Industry(2005) Raju, Josemon; Jilani, SalehaThis is an industrial organization study of the Indian IT industry. It specifically examines the software and IT services sectors. There will be limited focus on the domestic IT industry and on the hardware sector. This is because the industry is export focused, and also because the hardware sector revenues are minor relative to the revenues from the “software and services” sector. The Indian IT industry is an attractive area of study for a few reasons: To begin with, it is an emerging industry. This offers excellent opportunities to study an industry as it matures. Secondly, the Indian IT industry is growing at a swift pace, estimated to be between 20-40% a year. Additionally, the IT industry growth has functioned as a catalyst for political and economic changes in India. Any study of an emerging industry must offer the following caveat: There is generally a paucity of accurate data. Therefore, as new information becomes available, our understanding of the industry may change. This is especially true of the Indian IT industry because government records, regulations, and laws have yet to catch up with its immense growth. Furthermore, most firms tightly guard sales figures, as proprietary information. As corporate governance becomes more transparent, and government records are organized, much more accurate information should be available in the future. Finally, this paper is written with the hope that it inspires others to take a closer look at an industry that this author feels is simply aweinspiring in its potential, and in its ability to bring humanity closer to one another.
- ItemShow me the Money! An Investigation of Collegiate Athletics and Its Influence on Tuition(2005) Antkowiak, Glenn; Dixon, Vernon J., 1933-Each year, schools are spending millions of dollars to finance their athletic programs. There are a growing number of people who believe that college athletic programs are in direct opposition to the fundamental missions of these institutions. When a non-profit organization like a major university is having financial difficulty, other programs have to pay these bills. Funds are being diverted from the school and academic programs to athletics, something that offers minimal educational value. These athletic budgets are growing at a very high rate, higher than spending on academic endeavors. Coinciding with this trend of larger athletic budgets is an increase in tuition to attend these universities and colleges. Collegiate athletic programs are supposed to be self supporting. They are nearly autonomous from the institution it represents, but these programs still call for the institution to support its financial short comings. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate how the supply and demand functions have changed in higher education. Investigating the relationship between the tuition of schools in the NCAA Division I and their athletic budgets should reveal whether or not college sports are costly to students in the form of higher tuitions.
- ItemUnderstanding misperceptions about HIV and AIDS(2006) Cullen, ChristineThe world is currently in crisis. Extreme measures are being proposed to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in countries with astronomically high numbers of residents thought to be infected. Activists and policy makers, such as former President Clinton, have become more inclined to support drastic policies such as mandatory HIV testing in nations with high HIV/AIDS prevalence in order to combat the spread of this disease. Unfortunately, many Americans now think of the AIDS epidemic as an issue that only affects Third World nations and are unaware of its increasing severity in their own country. In 2003, approximately 14,000 individuals died of AIDS related causes and an estimated 950,000 people are current living with AIDS in America.
- ItemJim Cramer’s Mad Money : Effects on Stock Returns(2006) Shapiro, Adam; Preston, Anne ElizabethThis paper examines the abnormal stock returns generated by the primary stock recommendations of Jim Cramer on his television show Mad Money between the dates of July 8, 2005 and February 2, 2006. Mad Money is broadcast on CNBC, and is currently its highest rated programming, drawing over 380,000 nightly viewers. The average overnight abnormal stock return generated by a Cramer recommendation is 7.624%. Market capitalization, and short interest as a percent of float, prove to have a negative statistically significant relationship on the magnitude of the effect Cramer causes. The average increase in volume on the trading day following the previous night’s recommendation is 643.79%. Finally, Cramer often cautions viewers NOT to buy the securities he mentions into the overnight euphoria, but rather to wait and let the stock settle before buying. This paper also examines the average return of the stocks Cramer recommends over different combinations of months and buying criteria. Over the medium to long run, Cramer’s recommendations do outperform the major indices on average.
- ItemMajor League Baseball general managers : their turn for the public microscope (1995-2005)(2006) Black, J. Douglas; Preston, Anne ElizabethThis is an investigation into and analysis of Major League Baseball General Managers from 1995-2005. Its aim is to evaluate General Managers based on the performance of the teams they create. It is also meant to put General Managers under the public microscope, a place which has previously been reserved for players, managers, and owners. The hypotheses include that there is a strong positive correlation between dollars spent per team win and the likelihood of being fired. Probit regression analysis demonstrated that many variables have significant effects on the probability of a General Manager being fired. This thesis concludes that team increases in team wins and making the playoffs all decrease the likelihood of firings. It also concludes that increases in dollars spent per team, GM Tenure, and GM Experience increase the likelihood of a General Manager being fired.
- ItemComparing the Revenue and Profit Effects of Winning and Having a Star Player for a Major League Baseball Team(2006) Kelman, Jon; Preston, Anne ElizabethThis thesis studies the revenue and profit effects of winning and having a star player for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams over the period of 2000-2004. Regression analysis is used to determine the revenue and expenditure effects of having a star player and winning; the two are then compared to gauge profits. The analysis also attempts to find the value of stars and winning for teams from different sized cities, as well as the marginal revenue product of star players as the number of stars on a team increases. The findings are used to determine the best financial strategies for MLB teams.
- ItemThe Nixon in China Effect: Are Veterans in Congress More Pacifist than Non-Veterans?(2006) Williams, Jonathan; Ball, Richard J.This paper examines the impact of veterans in congress during the 108th congress. Popular perceptions and some scholars argue that veterans vote differently and create different policies than non-veterans. The analysis tests this hypothesis during the 2003-2005 session of congress and finds that veterans generally vote differently than nonveterans but that on specific votes there is not a statistically significant difference.
- ItemBiases in the Imposition of the Death Penalty : An investigation into discrimination in the sentencing of Capital Crimes in the United States, 1983-2001(2006) Morgan, Michael; Preston, Anne ElizabethThis is an investigation into biases in the capital sentencing process in the United States between the years 1983 to 2001. Its aim is to determine if biases exist due to race, gender, or education level in the sentencing of capital crimes, and if they do, whether they differ by geographic region or change over time. The hypothesis is that these biases do exist, and are strongest in the south but are growing weaker over time. Regression analysis demonstrated that several biases do exist in capital sentencing. Biases exist such that white and male offenders are significantly more likely to receive the death penalty than are non-whites and females. Offenders sentenced in the south and southwest were found to be more likely to be sentenced to death than those sentenced in the west and midwest. Lastly, racial biases were found to be decreasing with the passage of time. Therefore, this study suggests that the sentencing of capital crimes is biased, and these biases differ by region and are decreasing over time.