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Federal Reserve Interest Rate Management: Combatting Speculation of Market Volatility and Recessionary Sentiment

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Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on

Abstract: Handling the multiple functions of monetary policy that protect the U.S. economy not only on a short term, but also long-term scale is a complicated responsibility assigned to Federal Reserve, in which their actions present a profound impact on consumer confidence towards financial markets and global economies. Specifically, one of the most important goals of the Federal Reserve is to mitigate the risk of the United States to enter a recession, while maintaining a balanced approach when making those policy decisions. In this thesis, we focus on the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, particularly, their role in controlling interest rates to prevent recessionary sentiment in the current state of the economy. Since 2008, markets have been stronger and previous policies like Dodd-Frank have ensured that market collapses during the Great Recession do not repeat itself. Yet, fluctuations in the yield curve, polarizing investment views, and unsettled consumer confidence has pointed to another recession in the near future. In this case, we will look at the way the Fed has implemented short term policies to lower this risk in order to fight volatile markets, however, fluctuating interest rates has its consequences. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the various ways the Fed has managed interest rates in the past and present, and further, to offer a framework to serve as the most effective policy to combat volatility and recessionary sentiment in the U.S. economy.

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2020-05

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K-pop as a Soft Power

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This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its

This essay examines national leaders’ shaping of K-pop into a foreign export, specifically looking into how K-pop is used as a soft power for South Korea. I also examine how effective K-pop is as a soft power. Because of its growing global popularity and use of K-pop artists for international relations, such as Red Velvet performing for Kim Jong Un, we might expect K-pop to act as the gateway into South Korean culture, often being the first exposure that other countries have into this country’s way of life. Through a qualitative analysis of resources ranging from news articles, videos, and social media posts, we see that K-pop idols, a term for K-pop celebrities, are heavily groomed and shaped by their labels to promote the South Korean national brand. Combined with a well-made business model to appeal to different countries, they also create sentiment for South Korean culture throughout the world with the support of the government and a strong fanbase. This plan is extremely effective in generating revenue for a multitude of South Korean brands beyond K-pop and even fosters South Korean affection in North Korea.

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2020-05

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Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future

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This paper, titled “Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future” focuses on identifying historical factors that have impacted economic development and analyzing what changes may be important for the future. It uses studies done across the world in

This paper, titled “Factors of Economic Development and Implications for the Future” focuses on identifying historical factors that have impacted economic development and analyzing what changes may be important for the future. It uses studies done across the world in energy economics, economic development, economic policy, and more to identify important considerations for evaluating historical growth, as well as concerns for the future, particularly given the threat of climate change. Historically important papers, as well as newer insights both feature heavily. This literary review resulted in the finding that education, energy, trade, policy, institutions, endowments, and culture are all important factors for economic development. Endowments and institutions that arise from them are found to be the most important factor in explaining historical development. The paper also analyzes policy that the existing literature suggests could be beneficial for growth. Next, an analysis of factors that the literature identified as important for growth is carried out to assess which countries may have the highest potentials for future growth. The countries are ranked based upon a composite scoring system created from those factors. Countries in Central Asia feature heavily in the top ten entries, while many African countries narrowly miss out on the top ten but still rank relatively high. Together, the findings of both sections are used to discuss how economies have historically developed as well as possible policies to encourage future sustainable development. Both the literature and statistical findings suggest that for future growth promotion of strong institutions that promote property rights and economic growth will be important. They also suggest that coordinated energy policy to increase green technologies and decouple growth from emissions will be essential.

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2020-05

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Where to From Here? A Comprehensive Analysis of Past and Future of The Republic of Cuba

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This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a

This paper analyzes modern day Cuba and draws conclusions about the most likely future political and economic events that will take place. Because of Cuba's troubled economy, leadership change and the world's continued shift towards democratization, Cuba is in a position where drastic changes in its government and economic structure may occur. This paper investigates Cuba's history, politics, economy, and the general quality of life of its citizens, which are used to help predict what may happen to the Cuban government in the near future. The paper also analyzes options for foreign nations' policy towards Cuba and summarizes what actions they may take to increase the likelihood of an economic and political transition. Cuba's economic structure needs drastic reform, the reluctant privatization only increases wealth disparity, trust in the government continues to get weaker as more information and its human rights violations are causes of huge concern. There are four possible outcomes for Cuba's future: stagnation, adopting the mixed economic model, a peaceful transition to a democratic model, and rebellion. There is evidence that Cuba will not make drastic policy changes in favor of liberalization in the immediate future, however, if the economic conditions are not improved and an economic crisis ensues, this paper asserts that another revolution or coup will likely occur. The resulting government may be a new autocratic leader that fills the vacuum of leadership, or a democratic regime depending on the nature of the rebellion. The exact future of Cuba is uncertain, but one thing is clear, change is on the horizon.

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2018-05

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Networking Pricing Analysis

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This thesis examines the impact of price changes of select microprocessors on the market share and 5-year gross profit net present values of Company X in the networking market through a multi-step analysis. The networking market includes segments including media

This thesis examines the impact of price changes of select microprocessors on the market share and 5-year gross profit net present values of Company X in the networking market through a multi-step analysis. The networking market includes segments including media processing, cloud services, security, routers & switches, and access points. For this thesis our team focused on the routers & switches, as well as the security segments. Company X wants to capitalize on the expected growth of the networking market as it transitions to its fifth generation (henceforth referred to as 5G) by positioning itself favorably in its customers eyes through high quality products offered at competitive prices. Our team performed a quantitative analysis of benchmark data to measure the performances of Company X's products against those of its competitors. We collected this data from third party computer reviewers, as well as the published reports of Company X and its competitors. Through the use of a preference matrix, we then normalized this performance data to adjust for different scales. In order to provide a well-rounded analysis, we adjusted these normalized performances for power consumption (using thermal design power as a proxy) as well as price. We believe these adjusted performances are more valuable than raw benchmark data, as they appeal to the demands of price-sensitive customers. Based on these comparisons, our team was able to assess price changes for their market and discounted financial impact on Company X. Our findings challenge the current pricing of one of the two products being analyzed and suggests a 9% decrease in the price of said product. This recommendation most effectively positions Company X for the development of 5G by offering the best balance of market share and NPV.

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2018-05

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

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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

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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Banking Regulation: An Analysis of Dodd-Frank

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Dodd-Frank should be celebrated for its success in stabilizing the financial sector following the last financial crisis. Some of its measures have not only contained financial disaster but contributed to economic growth. These elements of Dodd-Frank have been identified as

Dodd-Frank should be celebrated for its success in stabilizing the financial sector following the last financial crisis. Some of its measures have not only contained financial disaster but contributed to economic growth. These elements of Dodd-Frank have been identified as "clear wins" and include the increase of financial institutions' capital requirements, the single-point-of-entry approach to regulating financial firms, and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The single-point-of-entry strategy (SPOE), specifically, has done much to bring an end to the age of "too big to fail" institutions. By identifying firms that could expect to be aided in case of financial crisis, the SPOE approach reduces uncertainty among financial institutions. Moreover, SPOE eliminates the significant source of risk by establishing clear protocols for resolving failed financial firms. Dodd-Frank has also taken measures to better protect consumers with the creation of the CFPB. Some of the CFPB's stabilizing actions have included the removal of deceptive financial products, setting guidelines for qualified mortgages, and other regulatory safeguards on money transfers. Despite the CFPB's many triumphs, however, there is room for improvement, especially in the agency's ability to reduce regulatory redundancies in supervision and collaboration with other financial sector controllers. The significant strengths of Dodd-Frank are evident in its elements that have secured financial stability. However, it is important to also consider any potential to stifle healthy economic growth. There are several areas for legislative amendments and reforms in order to improve the performance of Dodd-Frank given its sweeping regulatory impact. Several governing redundancies now exist with the creation of new regulatory authorities. Special efforts to increase the authority of the Financial Sector Oversight Council (FSOC) and preserving the impartiality of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) are specific examples of reforms still needed to elevate the effectiveness of Dodd-Frank. In addition, Dodd-Frank could do more to clarify the Volcker Rule in order to ease banks' burden to comply with excessive oversight. Going forward, policymakers must be willing to adjust parts of Dodd-Frank that encroach too far on the private sector's ability to foster efficiency or development. In addition, identifying and monitoring areas of the legislation deemed "too soon to tell" will provide insight on the accuracy and benefit of some Dodd-Frank measures.

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2018-05

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The Monetary and Non-Monetary Value of a Real Estate License

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My Honors Thesis is about answering a central question regarding the business of real estate: "What is the return on investment of obtaining a real estate license?" I focused my research on the monetary, time, and other value factors that

My Honors Thesis is about answering a central question regarding the business of real estate: "What is the return on investment of obtaining a real estate license?" I focused my research on the monetary, time, and other value factors that affect the initial cost of securing a real estate salesperson license in the State of Arizona (costs) and the amount of money a licensed salesperson makes as a result of having a salesperson license (income). Licensees make this trade-off: the cost in terms of real dollars to obtain a license, as well as the opportunity costs associated with the time to secure, start using, and begin to earn money by way of a salesperson license. To answer the central question I conducted a survey of active licensees in order to determine the value ascribed to holding a real estate salesperson license. Through my research, I concluded that there is not a single number that can be assigned to a real estate license that indicates its value, but the data collected reveals that the return on investment has the potential to be great. Upfront costs and fees necessary to obtain a license are insignificant when the commission a licensee can then make from a single transaction is enough to cover those expenses. Therefore, based on the survey results and research into the initial costs associated with obtaining a real estate license, there appears to be sufficient data to support a positive return on investment and warrant obtaining a real estate license.

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2018-05

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The Emergence and Evolution of Gendered Products in America

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Gendered products are prevalent in the modern consumer products market. This paper provides historical context for the change in the consumer products market which started as a genderless product market and shifted to a female consumer-centric market reflecting the economic

Gendered products are prevalent in the modern consumer products market. This paper provides historical context for the change in the consumer products market which started as a genderless product market and shifted to a female consumer-centric market reflecting the economic needs of the United States through World War I and II. This female consumer-centric market results from the rise of consumer research and many household products are created to satisfy female consumer preferences. But as the consumer demographics change with more women entering the labor force, the types of products being sold change to appeal to the increasing number of male consumers who begin shopping for themselves. This increase in male products is what leads to the booming men's personal care products market that we see today. With an increase in gendered products, there has also been an increase in the number of backlash companies face for creating specific gendered products. This paper outlines the history of gendered products and the potential future of products in the United States.

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2018-05

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An Analysis of Consumer Demand for Digital Songs

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In this paper I seek to understand how consumers value music today by investigating what consumers are willing to pay for digitally downloaded songs (such as the ones available on the iTunes or Amazon music stores) and the variety of

In this paper I seek to understand how consumers value music today by investigating what consumers are willing to pay for digitally downloaded songs (such as the ones available on the iTunes or Amazon music stores) and the variety of factors that influence their willingness to pay. I conducted a survey and received over 500 responses regarding willingness to pay for single-song downloads, consumer sentiment on whether music should be free, streaming service use, and other information pertaining to music consumption behavior. Through this research I found that paid-streamers are willing to pay more for songs than those who do not pay to stream, all else being equal. Further, Free-streamers are not willing to pay significantly more or less than non-streamers. This finding is additional information to other research that suggests streaming acts as a substitute for sales. I also found that most consumers are in the middle when it comes to the debate for whether music should always be free or always be purchased. Where someone aligns on the spectrum is a statistically significant contributing factor to what that person is willing to pay for a song. My findings also suggest that consumer preferences distinguish between benefit derived from music ownership and benefit derived from the ability to listen to music. This information sheds more light on the reason behind the declining digital download market.

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2018-05