Matching Items (198)

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The Effects of Recent Minimum Wage Increases on the Wage Distribution in the State of Arizona

Description

Minimum wage legislation has always been a controversial topic within the fields of politics and economics. There are those who support it under the belief that those affected will be

Minimum wage legislation has always been a controversial topic within the fields of politics and economics. There are those who support it under the belief that those affected will be better off, seeing increased wages, greater efficiency, and overall economic prosperity, whereas its opponents argue against it under the belief that it could lead to negative effects such as decreased employment, higher prices, and loss of productivity. This is something that has recently come up in Arizona after the enactment of Proposition 206 (Prop.206), a law which is set to raise the state minimum wage from $8.05 in 2016 to $12.00 by 2020. In this paper, rather than taking a political stance, however, we seek to find answers about the real effects that this minimum wage law has had on wage earners through the manner in which it has affected the state’s wage distribution, meaning the percentage of earners making a certain hourly rate, or between a certain wage range (i.e. $10.00 to $10.50). We begin this search by looking at May Wage Estimates offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From that data, we created wage distributions for the state of Arizona for the years 2011-2018. These showed us what percentage of workers in the state are making a certain hourly rate based on the total number of employees in Arizona. By summarizing this through tables and histograms, we can also visually see the way in which AZ wage distributions have changed over time. However, we also sought to visually compare the AZ wage distributions with that of nearby states, so we also used wage distribution data from Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. Finally, we also wanted to quantify the fixed effects of enacting the legislation in the state of AZ. To do so we ran a difference-in-differences analysis that gave us an actual value measuring how recent minimum wage increases have affected the percentage of total wage earning less than $11.40 per hour. We discovered that our results, although not extremely significant (due to available data), do strongly indicate that the recent minimum wage legislation in AZ has increased the percentage of workers earning more than that amount per hour. Following that, we also give recommendations that could improve the results found in this report.

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  • 2019-05

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Chinese Finance: Policy and Institutions

Description

This paper intends to examine topics related to Chinese financial policy and
institutions mainly in the early 21st century. China has gone through enormous changes in the late 20th

This paper intends to examine topics related to Chinese financial policy and
institutions mainly in the early 21st century. China has gone through enormous changes in the late 20th century and early 21st century, and financial policy reforms and adjustments have been at times instrumental to aiding that growth, and at other times have served as impediments to the country’s success. As China’s clout has grown both economically and politically in the wider world, it has become evermore important to understand the Chinese financial system, particularly as other authoritarian regimes may seek to emulate it in the perhaps recent future. The paper will examine the institutional elements of Chinese finance, including the broader structure of the party state apparatus and the role of legislative and executive authorities in determining financial policy. Next, the paper will go through both the legal-regulatory environment of the country and the structure of the preeminent Chinese banks. Finally, issues in Chinese monetary policy, particularly exchange rate system reforms, and the developing stock and bond markets will be addressed.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Arizona's Golf Industry Beats Par

Description

This thesis project provides a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the golf industry in Arizona. We begin by examining the economic, environmental, and social costs that the industry requires. One of

This thesis project provides a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the golf industry in Arizona. We begin by examining the economic, environmental, and social costs that the industry requires. One of the largest costs of the industry is water consumption. Golf courses in Arizona are currently finding ways to reduce water consumption through various methods, such as turf reduction and increasing the usage of drip irrigation. However, even at current levels of consumption, golf only consumes 1.9% of water in Arizona, compared to the 69% consumed by agriculture. Of the water consumed by the golf industry, 26.3% is wastewater, otherwise known as effluent water. Since the population in Arizona is projected to grow significantly over the next decade, the amount of effluent water produced will also increase. Due to this, we recommend that the golf industry move towards using as much effluent water as possible to conserve clean water sources. Additionally, we examine land allocation and agricultural tradeoffs to the state. Most golf courses are built in urban areas that would not be suitable for agriculture. The same land could be used to build a public park, but this would not provide as many economic benefits to the state. Many courses also act as floodplains which protect the communities surrounding them from flooding. These floodplains have proven to be crucial to protect from occasional flash floods by diverting the excess water away from homes. We also discuss golf's primary social cost in terms of its perception as being a sport played exclusively by privileged and wealthy people. This is proven to be false due to many non-profit organizations centered around the game, as well as municipal courses that provide affordable options for all citizens who want to play. We provide an in-depth analysis of the benefits that the industry provides to the state and its citizens primarily through business and tax revenue, employment, and property values. Including multiplier effects, the golf industry contributed 42,000 full- and part-time jobs, $3.9 billion in sales, $1.5 billion in labor income, and $2.1 billion value added in 2014. An estimated $72 million in state and local taxes were generated from golf facilities alone, without including taxes from indirectly impacted businesses. This tax revenue provides a great benefit to the public sector and increases Arizona's GDP. Also, much of this economic contribution is from the golf tourism industry, which brings new revenue into the state that would otherwise not exist. Golf courses also increase the surrounding real estate prices anywhere from 4.8% to 28%, providing a positive externality to community members in addition to scenic views. Finally, we provide a case study of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMO) to illustrate the impact of Arizona's single largest golf event each year. In 2017, the event brought an estimated $389 million into Arizona's economy in one week alone. Also, it regularly hosts massive crowds with a record-breaking 719,179 people attending the event in 2018. The WMO has also taken a "Zero Waste Challenge" to promote eco-friendly and sustainable practices by diverting all of the waste and materials produced by the tournament from landfills. The WMO has been dubbed both the "Greatest Show On Grass" and the "Greenest Show On Grass" due to the entertainment value provided as well as its effort to improve the environment.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Evaluating Whether the Benefits of Spinal Fusion Surgeries are Worth Their Increasing Costs

Description

This thesis seeks to evaluate whether the benefits of spinal fusion surgeries are worth their increasing costs. The paper examines the trends that contribute to these surgeries' increasing prices and

This thesis seeks to evaluate whether the benefits of spinal fusion surgeries are worth their increasing costs. The paper examines the trends that contribute to these surgeries' increasing prices and then evaluates the customer impact of these surgeries in order to make a conclusion on whether the surgeries are worth it. This paper discusses the main factors that contribute to the increase in prices of these surgeries and these include the aging population, the increase in diabetes rates, and the practice of purchasing physicians owned distributorships (PODs) devices in some hospitals. The paper concluded that there is a definite correlation between the increased rate of spinal surgeries performed as a result of an increase in diabetes rates in the US population. It was argued that diabetes can lead to multiple spinal diseases which increase the demand of spinal surgeries which in turn causes the prices of these surgeries to rise. The paper also argued that current technological advances have allowed us to live longer which in turn leads to an increase in spine surgeries simply due to old age and a deteriorating spine. Lastly, it was argued that the recent surge in the POD devices being used in spinal surgeries in some hospitals can be seen as a possible influence to the increase in the cost of these surgeries. This is because the hospitals that chose to purchase surgery devices from PODs are more likely to increase the cost to perform the surgery because they are paying a lot more for those devices. Looking at the customer impact, it was apparent that spinal fusion surgeries carry certain risks because they require decortication of bone and, often, placement of implants; along with extensive dissection and longer operative time. However, based on the research conducted, there was no conclusion to be made on whether spinal fusions carried more risks than all other spinal surgeries because the data used only compared the surgery to some that are arguably less complicated like discectomies.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Stability and Social Welfare in International Lending Networks

Description

This paper examines the behavior of international lending networks a currency crisis, specifically focusing on connectivity as a differentiating factor between financial networks. The model consists of economies that borrow

This paper examines the behavior of international lending networks a currency crisis, specifically focusing on connectivity as a differentiating factor between financial networks. The model consists of economies that borrow and lend capital in nominal units of the creditor's currency. A shock then leads to the depreciation of the currency of a single economy which causes exchange rate fluctuations throughout the financial network. This alters the nominal value of debts that economies are required to repay, potentially putting them at risk of default. The results show that the architecture of a financial network is an important factor in minimizing the number of defaults and maximizing total social welfare. An increase in connectivity among economies leads to both greater stability and greater total social welfare of a network, since diversification of liabilities decreases fluctuations in exchange rates.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Impact of R&D Expenditure on Pharmaceutical Drug Prices: A Cross-Country Comparison

Description

Over the past few decades, pharmaceutical spending has been increasing, due in large part to high prices of prescription drugs. In the United States, pharmaceutical manufacturers defend high prices by

Over the past few decades, pharmaceutical spending has been increasing, due in large part to high prices of prescription drugs. In the United States, pharmaceutical manufacturers defend high prices by citing the high costs of research and development, which they argue spurns innovation and makes up for the high prices paid by consumers. This study seeks to determine the validity of that claim and to fully understand the impact that R&D expenditures have on pharmaceutical drug prices. Employing a fixed effects regression, this study assesses the relationship between per capita R&D expenditure and per capita pharmaceutical spending (a stand-in variable for average drug price) for twelve OECD-member countries over a span of seven years. Holding country and year effects fixed, this regression shows a nearly one to one positive relationship between R&D expenditure and pharmaceutical spending, meaning a one-dollar increase in R&D expenditure increases pharmaceutical spending by around one-dollar as well. This impact, while statistically significant, is not that large, implying that R&D expenditures are not a strong driver of drug prices, contrary to what many pharmaceutical manufacturers argue.

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  • 2018-05

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Expanding the Implicit Social Safety Net: Estimations of Labor Supply Responses to State-Level Earned Income Tax Credit Reform

Description

According to the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will provide 26 million households with 60 billion

According to the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) will provide 26 million households with 60 billion dollars of reduced taxes and refunds in 2015 \u2014 resources that serve to lift millions of families above the federal poverty line. Responding to the popularity of EITC programs and recent discussion of its expansion for childless adults, I select three comparative case studies of state-level EITC reform from 2005 to 2013. Each state represents a different kind of policy reform: the creation of a supplemental credit in Connecticut, credit reduction in New Jersey, and finally credit expansion for childless adults in Maryland. For each case study, I use Current Population Survey panel data from the March Supplement to complete a differences-in-differences (DD) analysis of EITC policy changes. Specifically, I analyze effects of policy reform on total earned income, employment and usual hours worked. For comparison groups, I construct unique counterfactual populations of northeastern U.S. states, using people of color with less than a college degree as my treatment group for their increased sensitivity to EITC policy reform. I find no statistically significant effects of policy creation in Connecticut, significant decreases in employment and hours worked in New Jersey, and finally, significant increases in earnings and hours worked in Maryland. My work supports the findings of other empirical work, suggesting that awareness of new supplemental EITC programs is critical to their effectiveness while demonstrating that these types of programs can affect the labor supply and outcomes of eligible groups.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Disarmament and Peace: Dr. Oscar Arias on Sustainability and Globalization

Description

Former two-time Costa Rican president Dr. Oscar Arias advocates for arms control between nations and, in some cases, complete disarmament as the first step in solving grave issues of international

Former two-time Costa Rican president Dr. Oscar Arias advocates for arms control between nations and, in some cases, complete disarmament as the first step in solving grave issues of international sustainability. The three spheres of sustainability—society, economy, and environment—are explained and the ultimate goal of the compromise between all three aspects is defined as the means to achieving sustainability. A brief history of the politics and culture of Costa Rica provides a glimpse into the values and society of this Central American country, including a consistent commitment to the appreciation and protection of its natural environment. Dr. Arias is credited as one of the founding fathers of the sustainable development movement, as evidenced by his political career and policies both with Costa Rica and with other international communities. A selection of Dr. Arias’ speeches and conversations of the past four decades illuminates the need for disarmament and peaceful political interactions as the catalyst for human progress and sustainable development.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Capping the Competition: An Analysis of the NBA's Player Salary Cap

Description

The NBA operates under a unique system with both forms of the salary cap. The league has a team salary cap that sets a limit that teams can spend on

The NBA operates under a unique system with both forms of the salary cap. The league has a team salary cap that sets a limit that teams can spend on their entire roster. The NBA has a soft cap and a luxury tax system, meaning if teams spend over a determined amount, they are taxed for the salaries in excess. The league also has a player salary cap. The 1999 NBA collective bargaining agreement first introduced the individual player salary cap in the league. This cap sets a limit on what the best players can earn, otherwise known as the maximum contract. In an economic system with a soft team cap, the introduction of the player salary cap has important implications. The stated outcome of such a salary cap is to improve competitive balance and better distribute star players throughout the league. This study evaluated the 1990-2015 regular seasons to measure the impact of the player salary cap on competitive balance, the distribution of team payrolls, and the dispersion of star players. In accordance with the Rottenberg's invariance hypothesis, the player salary cap has hurt the players and benefited the owners by redistributing income from one party to the other, without impacting the distribution of talent in the league. The rule change has not affected competitive balance, while team payrolls have converged and star players have become more dispersed throughout the league. These changes hurt the league overall, preventing the maximization of revenues. Despite this inefficiency, the chance of the league moving to eliminate the player salary cap is low.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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An Analysis of the Motivations Behind Third Party Voting

Description

In this work we analyze just what makes the topic of third party voting so intriguing to voters and why it is different than voting for one of the major

In this work we analyze just what makes the topic of third party voting so intriguing to voters and why it is different than voting for one of the major parties in American politics. First, we will discuss briefly the history of politics in America and what makes it exciting. Next, we will outline some of the works by other political and economic professionals such as Hotelling, Lichtman and Rietz. Finally, using the framework described beforehand this paper will analyze the different stances that voters, candidates, and others involved in the political process of voting have regarding the topic of third party voting.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05