QC Economics

Economics Senior Theses

These papers have been developed as part of the course ECON392W (Honors Seminar).

Some papers have clickable links. For the others, please contact the authors directly. If you are an author and want your paper updated, please write to professor Ortega.

2015

The Effects of Immigration on the U.S. Housing Market by Thura Kyaw Aung in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar
Paper

Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment: an Updated Meta-Analysis by Kevin Carpintero Bernal in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

The Short-run Economic Effects of Austerity Measures in Europe by Aitor Iriarte Gurrutxaga in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

The Impact of Free Trade Agreements on International Trade: the Case of Colombian Glass Exports by Juan Sebastian Nino-Aguirre in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Foreign Aid and Democratic Institutions: an Analysis of African States by Eli Stein in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Analysis of Bilateral Air Passenger Flows: Cuba the Forbidden Island by Bryan E. Vasquez in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Stock Returns and the Output Gap by Diana Wong in 2015 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

2016

Neighborhood Quality and Housing Values by Deena Goldman in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

The Contribution of Foreign-Born Workers to the U.S. Economy. State and Industry Evidence by Nasreen Khan in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Jobless Recoveries: A Panel Data Look at the State Level by Ikramullah Khan in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Price Dynamics in Hide and Leather Markets in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States by Michael Mosesson in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Income Disparity and Its Effect on Education by Hafsa Patel in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

Pay to Play: The Role of Money in Congressional Elections by Nathaniel Selevan in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

The Effects of Minimum Wage Policy by Donghwan Shin in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

The Effects of Health Care Coverage on Health Care Cost and Mortality by Sucaina Thyma in 2016 supervised by F. Ortega & S. Taspinar

2017

Automation and Inequality by Emilio Minichiello
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas

Abstract: Exploiting variation across states and time, we investigate the relationship between income inequality and automation in the United States from 1999 to 2013. We find that this relationship is statistically significant and positive. An increase of one percentage point in a state's automation would result in an approximately 0.2% increase in its income inequality. We also rule out that our findings are driven by alternative hypotheses frequently used to explain the increase in income inequality over this period.

Effect of Physical Inactivity on Diabetes Prevalence Across US Counties, 2005 to 2013 by Chris J.
Abstract: Using county-level panel data from 2005 to 2013, we analyze whether physical activity can prevent obesity and diabetes in the United States. Combining data from different sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, we find that a 1 percentage point increase in physical inactivity leads to a statistically significant 0.051 percentage point increase in diabetes prevalence. This result is robust to including controls for county socio-demographic composition, state-specific linear and quadratic time trends and county and time fixed.


The Effect of Immigration on Native German Unemployment by August Rim
Abstract: We examine the effect of immigration on native German unemployment levels using unbalanced panel data from 2003-2015 with state and time variation. We combine data from a variety of sources, such as the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, German Federal Employment Agency, and the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. We find no significant effect of immigration on native German unemployment levels. This result includes ethnic Germans and refugees as a robustness check to determine the effect of a government-run distribution of immigrants. We find that a 1-percentage point increase in the share of ethnic Germans leads to 63.43-percentage point decrease in native German unemployment levels while a 1-percentage point increase in the share of refugees leads to a 10.52-percentage point increase in native German unemployment levels.

2018

The Effect of Immigration on the Employment of Ecuador by Juan D. Astudillo
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: We examine the effect of immigration on the labor market of Ecuadorians using cross sectional pool data from 2008 - 2017 with time and province variation. We utilize data from ENEMDU, published quarterly. We found no significant effect on the employment after controlling for age, gender and education level. However, in our second model where we applied fixed effects, we found a 1 percentage point increase in the ratio of foreigners over natives leads to a 0.17 percent decrease in the probability of a native Ecuadorian being employed.

Sociopolitical Determinants of Residential Recycling Rates by Sholomo Klahr
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: What demographic factors influence urban recycling rates? This paper focuses on New York City, utilizing robust multilinear regressions and exploiting borough and time variation from 2005 to 2017 to investigate the relationships between various demographic variables and recycling rates. Our key variable of interest is the political leaning of each borough as measured by the percentage of residents that are registered Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. We find statistically significant results indicating that a 1 percentage point increase in the percentage of the population registered as Democrats is associated with a 7.3 percentage point increase in the Paper Capture Rate, while a 1 percentage point increase in registered Republicans is correlated with a 5.39 percentage point decline in the Metal, Glass, and Plastic Capture Rate (MGP). We also find a statistically significant negative relationship between median household income and all three of our recycling outcome variables.

Public Housing and Test Scores by Eliana Alper
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: Exploiting variation across time and states, we examine the relationship between public housing and NAEP Math and Reading test scores of students in Grades 4 and 8, in the United States from 2005 to 2015. We find a statistically significant, negative relationship between the amount of households with children who receive public housing assistance per capita, and 8th Grade NAEP Reading test scores. All other results produced relationships that are not statistically significant, thereby indicating that at the state level there appears to be no impact of the amount of public housing in an area on Math and Reading test scores in Grade 4 and on Math test scores in Grade 8.

Racial and Gender Perceived Discrimination in U.S. Healthcare Quality 2004 - 2014 by Kavita Sawh
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: Holding sociodemographic factors constant and controlling for invariant state and year fixed effects, this study sees how the interaction of race, gender, and healthcare access influences an individual's perception of U.S. healthcare. It finds that African Americans and those of other races, excluding Hispanics, perceive worse experiences when seeking healthcare. This effect worsens for males in both groups when they do not have health insurance. This study also finds that African American women perceive being more discriminated than non-white women. These findings support the need for the Affordable Care Act and more equity policies in U.S. healthcare.

Music and the Market by Greg Maghakian
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: We use a balanced panel of 46 countries over 90 weeks to observe if changes in the stock market effect changes in music choice, proxied by the emotion of music, or valence. A volatility index was created to observe volatile returns that were both positive and negative -1.5 standard deviations out from the mean return. We find no statistical significance in volatile positive returns effecting music choice. Our results also show that volatile negative returns increase valence by 3%, and the effect is statistically significant at the 5% level. Therefore, our findings provide empirical evidence for the conjecture that negative stock market shocks motivate people to listen to happier music.

The Effects of School Quality on Housing Prices in New York City by Lin Yang
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of school quality on housing market in N.Y.C. over the period 2006 - 2013. Using a hedonic price model, I estimate the effect of school quality on housing price. I find that if the scores rating of school quality increases by 10 point, the predict house price is to increase by about 0.4% and the effect is statistically significant at 1% level.

The Age of Cryptocurrency: Analysis and Price Prediction Modelling of Bitcoin by Sheridan Kamal
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Using Deep Learning to forecast Bitcoin's price, we will determine if this model is a better forecasting method than the Naive forecasting model, the Simple Average forecasting model, the Moving Average forecasting model, the Simple Exponential Smoothing forecasting model, the Holt's Linear Trend Method forecasting model, the Holt-Winters Method forecasting model, and the Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) forecasting model. We find that the 2-layer LSTM model is the optimal model to use to forecast Bitcoin's price because it had the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and the Symmetric Mean Absolute Percent Error (SMAPE) values of the eight forecasting model with values at 78.47 and 4.52% respectively.

Parents' Religiousness, Children's Outcomes, and Gender by Sarah E. Fuchs
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: Using the National Longitudinal Study of Youth in 1997, we analyze whether parents' religiousness affects their children's education, religious beliefs, marital status, fertility and income in 1997, 2002, 2008, and 2015. We focus on parents who self-identify as Christian, Jewish or Muslims and classify them as religious if at least one parent reported obeying the Bible, Torah, or Koran. We find that parents who observe their religious book had children who reported being more religious and who married younger than children of parents who did not observe their book. However, there are no differences in educational attainment, fertility, and income across the two groups. Interestingly, while there were no gender differences in outcomes between boys and girls whose parents followed the books, among our population of Christians, Jews and Muslims, women are more likely to be married, have more children, have a bachelor's degree, and report being more religious than men by 2015.

Impact of Environmental Gentrification on School Quality by Karen Lopez
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: We investigate the relationship between Environmental Gentrification and School Quality in New York City using a panel model involving 869 DBN, 33 districts, and 30 sub-boroughs from 2009-2017. We generate an intoResidential variable reflecting the rezoning change from July in the previous year to July in the present year, to serve as a proxy for environmental gentrification. We regress intoResidential on school quality which is defined as the percentage of students who earned passing test scores of three and above on the New York State Exams. When using district fixed effects, year fixed effects, sub-borough trends and clustered standard errors at the DBN level, we find that the relationship between intoResidential and test scores are statistically and economically significant. Therefore, our findings provide empirical evidence that Environmental Gentrification has a positive impact on school quality.

An Analysis of Intergenerational Income Mobility by Jacob Linder
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: Exploiting variation across schools and time over the period 2000-2011, we investigate whether a school's average receipt of the New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is associated with the intergenerational income mobility of its students. While there is an association between a NY school's receipt of TAP and its students' intergenerational mobility, we find that 2/3 of this variation is explained by time-invariant school characteristics, 1/6 is explained by the quality of the entering cohort measured by the admission rate and the average SAT scores for that year, and 1/6 is accounted by parental income at the time of admission. Hence, TAP has no effect on students' intergenerational mobility in the state of NY.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Financial Performance by Byungzoon Kang
Supervised by Professor Rodriguez-Planas and Professor Taspinar

Abstract: Exploiting variation across company and time, we investigate the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance in the United States from 2008 to 2018. We find that this relationship is statistically significant and positive. A one percent increase in a company's Bloomberg ESG Disclosure Score would result in an approximately 0.13% increase in its revenue. Additionally, we conclude that companies tend to disclose more information during a positive economic climate, which can signal competitive strength over less profitable companies.

2019

The Effect of Corporate Debt on Employment: The Case of NASDAQ companies by Anibal Diaz Pineda
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

Abstract: In this paper we investigate the effect of current debt on employment at the firm level. How does the employment of a specific company react to the increasing current debt account? Assuming, that long term debt is a growth indicator of a company, we consider that it will be transformed to current debt after several years. Therefore, we found a positive effect on employment that occurs because of the company's growth in the long run. This assumption is made considering NASDAQ companies, the tech sector.

The Impact of China Entry in Global Wine Market by Jane Tsai
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

In the past three decades, China has been the most competitive market in the world for many products, and has dramatically changed the global wine market. China is increasingly important in the world wine market, and wine export prices continue to grow steadily. This article uses data from the University of Adelaide to explore the impact of China's production and consumption on other international wine prices. The regression with control for USA make the result more clear and match outcome with the chart in figures in both consumption and production ones.

A Crack in The "Glass Ceiling": A Study of CEO Compensation by Merle Dweck
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

The increasing number of women reaching the executive level motivates interest in examining possible gender differences in CEO compensation. Recently, there have been reports released saying, contrary to all previous studies and beliefs, there is a significant gender gap favoring females in the executive position. Since then, there has been little research on the topic. With the goal of contributing to the development of knowledge in this area, I seek to re-examine the wage gap. In this paper, I explore factors that have not yet been considered in recent years: do female CEO's make more than their male counterparts in all components of compensation? My findings are consistent with recent media reports in that CEO compensation favors females. I find that females, 4.8% of my overall sample, make around 10% more than their male counterparts and are more sensitive to a change in firm performance. I conclude that the gender gap over the past 9 years is no longer in favor of men and women are, in fact, breaking the "glass ceiling."

Does Vaccination Reduce Outbreaks? by Sadia Ruhi
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

Vaccination prevents the spread of deadly and contagious diseases by reducing outbreaks. To test this hypothesis, we use data from the Centers for Disease Control from period 2009 to 2018. A regression model was used to estimate the effect of vaccination rates of measles, pertussis, and hepatitis at the state level on the size and likelihood of an outbreak. Although our estimates are not very precisely estimated, the results suggest that increasing vaccination rates by 10%, will decrease the number of measles, hepatitis, and pertussis related cases by 0.95%, 3.75%, and 8.45%, respectively. It will also decrease the likelihood of an outbreak by 1.07% for measles, 0.17% for hepatitis B, and 0.39% for pertussis. This suggests that vaccination plays an important role in reducing the number of cases associated with them.

The Impact of International Conflict on Trade Flows by Sabah Javaid
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

Using country-level panel data from 1950 to 2004, we analyze the impact of conflict on trade flows. We combine data from a variety of sources, such as the Correlates of War and CEPII. The Correlates of War provides data on conflicts throughout history while CEPII provides data on bilateral trade flows and its usual determinants like GDP, population, distance, common language, and contiguity. We find a significant effect of conflict on bilateral trade flows. Based on our analysis, in the presence of (military) conflict, it is expected that trade will decrease by 42% and the reduction in trade will persist for 10 years.

Do police reduce crime? by Anvar Ashurov
Supervised by Professor Ortega and Professor Penaranda

Considering the social and economic burden of crime on the society and the lack of substantial research that has been performed at a precinct level in New York City, our paper aims to estimate the effect of police presence on Misdemeanor, Major, and Minor related offenses throughout 76 precincts of New York City. Our paper not only performs a general analysis at the main categories of crimes but also it breaks them down into sub-categories to analyze the effect of police presence on individual crimes. We found that Major offenses and specifically Felony and Possession of Illegal Weapons decreased by 1, 2, and 1 crime units, respectively, per 1000 police stops.