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Economics [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 24
 

9:00am PDT

Indicators Of Value: The Effects Of A Home’s Features On Its Final Selling Price
Multivariable regression is used to analyze a dataset of properties compiled from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - a service used by realtors to list and find properties. The dataset includes information regarding each home’s features, such as number of bathrooms, bedrooms, square footage, acreage, exterior material, number of fireplaces, types of flooring, etc. My results demonstrate which of the observed features show statistical/practical significance in determining the final selling price of a home. The data is split into two equal halves and the same regression equation is run on both halves to internally replicate the study. The study is internally replicated to address the concern over p-hacking in the academic community and ensure the integrity of my findings. Previous research in this area shows that the inclusion of premium features - such as brick or stucco exteriors, decks, and hot tubs - positively influence a home’s selling price. This project contributes to this literature by establishing a curb appeal rubric and applying this rubric to the dataset. Curb appeal encompasses the attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street. The results of this project will demonstrate the potential impact of both a home’s curb appeal and features on its value. This topic could be of interest to many current/potential homeowners in the community and would be of particular interest to realtors/builders.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

9:20am PDT

Superheroes, Sales, And Piracy: A Multiple Regression Analysis Of Piracy’s Affect On Comic Book Sales
For years industry leaders and politicians debated over the impacts of copyright piracy, which is the unauthorized use and\or reproduction of copyrighted materials. Previous findings in media markets in reference to these impacts have been ambiguous. Some have found empirical evidence that piracy leads to a loss in sales, while some have found empirical evidence that piracy websites have no effect or a negative effect on sales. We should however not be surprised by these latter findings as there is some ambiguity in theoretical research regarding this topic. Some theoretical research proposes that piracy has a substation effect on sales, while other theoretical research proposes that illegal piracy has a sampling effect on sales which overpower the substation effect. This paper is the first to analyze the effects of piracy on the comic book industry, which was a $1.03 billion industry in the United States and Canada in 2016. This work is based on theoretical models developed in other media markets including film, TV, and music. Our empirical models used are based on both the theoretical model and conversations with a comic book store owner in the Asheville, North Carolina. Our multivariate regression analyses test the relationship between online piracy and the physical sales of comics in four ways: against well-known publishers, relatively-known publishers, lesser-known publishers, and all three types of publishers together to see if there is a significant relationship.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

9:40am PDT

Fixed Revenue Streams, Marginal Revenue Product, and Bargaining Power: An Econometric Analysis of NBA Players’ Salaries
In this study, I attempt to replicate the work of sports economists David Berri, Michael Leeds, and Peter von Allmen, using their two-step model to examine the determinants of NBA players’ salaries in the presence of fixed revenue streams. Prior to Berri et al.’s study, an athlete’s salary was compared to an estimate of their marginal revenue product (MRP). However, as Berri et al. point out, professional sports leagues have large fixed revenue streams that can be unrelated to the performance of current players, complicating the comparison of a player’s MRP to their salary. The two-step model proposed by Berri et al. instead posits that players are compensated for their labor’s addition to variable revenue (i.e. their MRP) as well as paid a portion of fixed revenue (i.e. league-wide shared national television contracts) over which they must bargain for with the team that is offering the contract. Through quantile and fixed effects regression analysis, Berri et al.’s paper explores how different factors such as player characteristics, team characteristics, the size of fixed revenue streams, and a player’s agent impact a player’s bargaining power. In my paper, I replicate this process to discover whether Berri et al.’s findings hold when applied to a different dataset. With the increased concern within the academic community over p-hacking and the replicability of results, studies such as this one offer an important contribution to the literature.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

10:15am PDT

Trumping The Election: An Econometric Analysis Of District Level Data And The 2016 Election
Many view the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as an unconventional election cycle. The rise of Donald J. Trump from real estate mogul and reality television star, to President of the United States was unprecedented in modern politics. Though he did not win the popular vote, President Trump won nearly 80% of counties and the majority of congressional districts in the United States. This paper uses data derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, and various state election agencies to test, controlling for various socioeconomic variables, the effect of median income levels on how individual districts in a series of key swing states voted in this election. This paper uses a logit model to determine whether a district in these swing states voted republican or not. Research suggests that there is a small impact by income on voting outcome, though this can be complicated by a variety of other variables.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:15am - 10:35am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

10:35am PDT

A Policy Analysis Of British Columbia’s Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax
This paper provides a policy analysis of the British Columbia Revenue Neutral Tax Program, framed through the Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity model. Effectiveness is defined as how well the tax solves the environmental issue of carbon pollution and the associated negative effects; Efficiency is determined by whether or not the benefits of the tax program outweigh the costs; Equity will be accessed by examining the distribution of the program’s cost and benefits amongst the population of British Columbia. Implemented in 2008, the carbon tax has been praised for simultaneously cutting back the carbon emissions of the province without inhibiting economic growth. The tax is now being used as a model for a Pan-Canadian carbon reduction program, which was implemented in January of 2018. The goal of the analysis is to determine if the carbon tax program accomplishes its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst maintaining the social and economic welfare of the province it affects. The analysis is conducted through a thorough literature review of past environmental tax incentive programs and modern analyses of the British Columbia Revenue Neutral Program, with additional statistical support. The study finds that the carbon tax program is ultimately successful in its goal and provides an overall good example for programs of a similar nature, given that the economics of the region are taken into account.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:35am - 10:55am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

10:55am PDT

Is There Gender Wage Inequality Among Professional Staff At UNC Asheville?
According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, in 2017, women in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual gender wage gap of $10,470. Due to this wage differential, one might assume that there are wage inequalities across genders present at the University of North Carolina at Asheville; however, because UNC Asheville is a Public Liberal Arts Institution with values that promote equity and equality, my hypothesis is that there will not be wage inequalities across genders after controlling for other characteristics that impact wages. A study conducted in 2017 by a UNCA economics student tested wage inequalities among faculty members of UNC Asheville with an emphasis on the impact of gender. The study’s findings concur with my hypothesis about staff salaries by stating that gender was an insignificant factor influencing faculty salary differences at UNC Asheville. The research presented in this paper will build on the previous study’s results by using an econometric approach applying OLS multivariable regressions to examine whether wage disparities exist among staff members at UNC Asheville. The dataset used in the research is compiled from public information used in the previous study and information obtained through a survey. Regression analysis tests will allow me to observe the relationships between an individual’s salary and independent variables in the study with emphasis on gender. From these observations, I will be able to analyze how each characteristic affects the magnitude of the salary earned, specifically looking at whether gender influences salary among professional staff at UNC Asheville.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:55am - 11:15am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

11:15am PDT

Exploring The High-End Camera Industry: The Effect Of New Market Entrants Over The Last 10 Years
Each year there are new high-end cameras released that improve on the previous model. They do this through increased color depth, dynamic range, and low-light ISO performance through sensor technology improvements as well as improved design features. Have these innovations in the aforementioned categories been slowed down due to decreased revenue for camera manufacturers as a result of smartphones taking over the camera industry? The purpose of this paper is to gain an in-depth understanding on how the high-end camera industry has been affected by the growth of smartphone cameras and other cheaper cameras. In order to gain this insight, I ran a difference in differences model comparing high-end cameras released before the advent of smartphones with high quality cameras built in compared to high-end camera models released after smartphones with high-quality cameras had been popular with the average consumer. I controlled for initial price of each camera, manufacturer of each camera, type of camera, release date of each camera, color depth, low-light ISO performance, and an overall composite score that combines color depth, dynamic range, and low-light ISO performance into one value. From these variables, I determined if high-end camera sensor technology has declined in growth over time and what effect an increase in smartphone use with high quality cameras has had.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:15am - 11:35am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

11:35am PDT

The Ubuntu Index: An Indicator Of Prosperity Within The United States
This research intends to rethink the approach to economic indices and create a composite indicator according to a shared sense of prosperity. The Ubuntu Index strives to be an all-encompassing measure of human prosperity by combining traditional economic measurements of prosperity with crucial but often overlooked measures. The composite indicator is for the 50 states of the US based on data from 2014. Called the “Ubuntu Index” (Ubuntu: “humanity towards others”), the index combines income per capita with overlooked aspects of well-being. To do this, the Ubuntu Index includes five dimensions: income, income equality, health, happiness, and environment. The construction of the index is based on a strong ten-step methodological framework developed by the OECD. In this ten-step process, the index is discussed from theoretical framework all the way through the data analysis and results. The index is built and analyzed using transparent statistical methods, and these methods are compared to other indices to push discussion about the use of composite indicators to measure well-being in the future. The Ubuntu Index is preceded by other composite indices, such as the Human Development Index, that have combined individual indicators in an attempt to better portray growth and development.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:35am - 11:55am PDT
035 Karpen Hall

1:00pm PDT

Which Craft To Choose? A Brand Loyalty Study Of Craft Beer Consumers
Craft brewing in the United States has seen unprecedented growth over the past two decades. New and established breweries must uncover sales practices and marketing techniques that will allow them to compete in an increasingly crowded market. Asheville, North Carolina provides an exceptional opportunity to study consumer preferences for craft beer and brewery brand loyalty. With over 20 craft breweries in the city and over 60 in the region, Asheville, named Beer City USA four times, has both an extremely competitive environment for breweries and a savvy group of beer consumers who have developed distinct preferences. This research tests brand loyalty (whether or not one has switched brands over the past six months) as a function of several characteristics including consumer demographics, involvement in the industry, satisfaction with brewery products and experiences, convenience, price, concern for the environment, and other factors. In this study, Asheville beer consumers are surveyed to document their preferences for craft breweries and identify whether they successfully identify brand messaging of individual breweries. Frequency of purchases, beer consumption type and variance, other behavioral and expenditure characteristics, and factors that may influence consumers’ loyalty to a particular brewery are identified by this study. The results demonstrate both the depth of consumer awareness about the local craft beer scene and the factors that influence craft brewery brand loyalty. Individual craft breweries and brewer's associations can use these results to enhance their understanding of craft beer consumers, improve the efficacy of brewery and beer tourism marketing efforts, and refine business strategy in an increasingly competitive market.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:00pm - 1:20pm PDT
035 Karpen Hall

1:20pm PDT

A Travel Cost Analysis Of A Kids In Parks TRACK Trail
There are a plethora of hiking trails spread throughout the nation with unique features, however, TRACK Trails are unique. TRACK Trails specially enhanced trail which offers an easy difficulty level with a family friendly approach and self-guided materials designed to make the experience more enriching and educational. These trails came about after the creation of the Kids in Parks program in 2008 and are a direct result of their efforts to improve the health of children and the health of our nation’s parks. TRACK Trails are unique in that there has not been a large number of studies conducted on them compared to other public trails. This research estimates the recreational value associated with a TRACK Trail, as well as the potential economic impact consumers of a trail may have on a region. In order to determine the value of a TRACK Trail, revealed preference theory and the travel cost method will be used to determine a consumer’s desire for the trail by treating their travel costs as an entrance fee. TRACK Trails have construction costs as well as a small yearly fee associated with their maintenance and this research will determine whether or not the value of a trail exceeds its initial cost. This information would be important for areas considering whether or not installing one of these specially enhanced trails is beneficial to their community.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm PDT
035 Karpen Hall

1:40pm PDT

Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption: Effects on Wages in the Food and Beverage Service industry of Asheville, North Carolina 
Wages in the service industry vary widely based on position and portion of income that is tip-reliant. Beyond this, wages are based on personal characteristics, such as work ethic, habits, and communication skills, especially within the pool of tipped workers. This study provides insights into the question of the influence that alcohol and tobacco have on the average hourly wages in the service industry. A hedonic wage study uses survey research to uncover bias and endogenize habitual consumption of tobacco and alcohol. More specifically, a regression is used to measure the impact of tobacco and alcohol on the average hourly wages (including tips) in the Food and Beverage sector of the service industry in Asheville, North Carolina. In order to perform an analysis a wage function of variables that involve the following key characteristics of employees in the food and beverage service industry is used: tobacco usage (including smokeless tobacco), average number of drinks per week, average tip percentage (if a tipped wage), average hours worked weekly, average hours of sleep per night, perceived job satisfaction, and continuing education or not. The data has been collected from a survey distributed to a sample population via social media, asking questions targeting the key variables along with other endogenous vectors that are included to avoid bias. Results support significant correlations between tobacco and alcohol consumption and income. Tobacco has shown to have a negative influence on wages, while alcohol proves to positively influence income. Implications of this study’s findings may influence the actions of tipped individuals in regards to their actions and usage of tobacco and alcohol both inside and outside of the workplace.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm PDT
035 Karpen Hall

2:00pm PDT

OPEC's Response To Individual Member Country Production Shocks
Many recognize the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a cartel for its behavior in manipulating oil prices through production. Cartel theory states that members of the cartel do not change their production levels if a member experiences a production shock, or a sharp decrease in production caused by an outside event. This paper examines evidence that suggests that OPEC is a cartel based on those shocks and their production data. The analysis focuses on the Iranian Revolution, the Persian Gulf War, and the Venezuelan Oil Strike which caused a sharp decrease in OPEC’s oil production, specifically in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Venezuela. When one of the member countries experiences a shock, then there is a significant change in production by OPEC, however the magnitude is small in comparison to the total amount of oil produced.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm PDT
035 Karpen Hall