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Nuclear Power in the US; A Sustainability Investigation

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Is nuclear power sustainable when compared to other energy sources? A truly sustainable energy source provides an environmental benefit, minimizes costs to consumers both socially and economically, and continues to do so in both the short and the long term.

Is nuclear power sustainable when compared to other energy sources? A truly sustainable energy source provides an environmental benefit, minimizes costs to consumers both socially and economically, and continues to do so in both the short and the long term. Taking the zero-carbon nature of nuclear generation as its net environmental benefit, this paper the evaluates the economic and social costs of nuclear power to determine if nuclear power's reputation as "unsustainable" is warranted. The sustainability of nuclear power is evaluated in two main categories. The first part focuses on the economics of nuclear power. There are many preconceived notions regarding nuclear power and its associated industry. This section addresses those notions to determine their validity given recent data. The prevalent types of nuclear plants across the U.S., the economics of the stages of nuclear energy production, and its competitiveness relative to other energy sources are addressed, culminating in an evaluation of its modern economic attractiveness as well as its future economic viability. A sustainability assessment would not be complete without addressing the social costs of an energy source, as a sustainable source must be both economically and socially viable. If it can be established that nuclear power can provide energy at lower rates and at a lower cost in terms of externalities, then it would be considered truly sustainable. To investigate those externalities, the second part of the analysis focuses on the human costs associated with the various stages of nuclear energy production. Those costs are then compared to those of alternatives sources of power, and selected case studies are examined to illustrate the ultimate risks associated with nuclear power operations. By quantifying these aspects and comparing the results to alternatives in the field, a better understanding of nuclear energy technology and its potential is achieved. The reader can then ascertain whether nuclear power's reputation as being "unsustainable" is, or is not, a reputation it deserves.

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2018-05

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Assessing the Economic Prosperity of Persons with Disabilities in American Cities

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We seek a comprehensive measurement for the economic prosperity of persons with disabilities. We survey the current literature and identify the major economic indicators used to describe the socioeconomic standing of persons with disabilities. We then develop a methodology for

We seek a comprehensive measurement for the economic prosperity of persons with disabilities. We survey the current literature and identify the major economic indicators used to describe the socioeconomic standing of persons with disabilities. We then develop a methodology for constructing a statistically valid composite index of these indicators, and build this index using data from the 2014 American Community Survey. Finally, we provide context for further use and development of the index and describe an example application of the index in practice.

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2017-05

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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 parties in American politics. First, we will discuss briefly the

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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2017-05

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The Economics of Sovereign Debt Sustainability: Assessing the IMF's Market Access Country Debt Sustainability Framework Against the Greek Crisis

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The following paper consists of a review of sovereign debt sustainability economics and IMF debt sustainability frameworks, as well as a historical case study of Greece and a variable suggestion for the IMF to improve baseline assumptions. The purpose of

The following paper consists of a review of sovereign debt sustainability economics and IMF debt sustainability frameworks, as well as a historical case study of Greece and a variable suggestion for the IMF to improve baseline assumptions. The purpose of this paper is to review the current methodology of perceiving debt and improve upon it in the face of an increasingly indebted global economy. Thus, this paper suggests the IMF adopt the variable calculated in Reinhart and Rogoff (2009) as a new benchmark for determining debt sustainability of market access countries. Through an exploration of the most recent Greek crisis, as well as modern Greek financial and political history, the author of this paper contends the IMF should reduce the broadness of the MAC DSA, as it will make for better debt sustainability projections and assumptions in implementing debt program policy.

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2016-05

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The Future of Bitcoin

Description

Alternative currencies have a long and varied history, in which Bitcoin is the latest chapter. The pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin as an implementation of the concept of a cryptocurrency, or a decentralized currency based on the principles of cryptography.

Alternative currencies have a long and varied history, in which Bitcoin is the latest chapter. The pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin as an implementation of the concept of a cryptocurrency, or a decentralized currency based on the principles of cryptography. Since its creation in 2008, Bitcoin has had a fairly tumultuous existence that limited its adoption. Wide price fluctuations occurred as the appeal of free money by running a piece of computer software drove people to purchase expensive hardware, and high-profile scandals cast Bitcoin as an unstable currency well-suited primarily for purchasing illicit materials. Consumer confidence in the currency was extremely low, and businesses were extremely hesitant to accept a currency that could easily lose half (or more) of its value overnight. However, recent years have seen the currency begin to stabilize as businesses and mainstream investors have begun to accept and support it. Alternative cryptocurrencies, titled "altcoins," have also been created to fill market niches that Bitcoin was not addressing. Governmental intervention, a concern of many following the currency, has been surprisingly restrained and has actually contributed to its stability. The future of Bitcoin looks very bright as it carries the dream of the alternative currency forward into the 21st century.

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2016-05

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Let Them Eat Cake: Marginal Effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on Intra-State Conflict

Description

There is growing public concern about the implications of climate change for natural processes, such as the melting of ice at the poles, but less clear are the implications for food production. Famine and conflict have a long and complicated

There is growing public concern about the implications of climate change for natural processes, such as the melting of ice at the poles, but less clear are the implications for food production. Famine and conflict have a long and complicated history, made increasingly complicated by the intricate global food system. In this paper, I explore the effect of increasingly severe El Niño Southern Oscillation cycles on conflict in an effort to determine how abnormal climate patterns affect food security and, indirectly, conflict. I use a non-linear probit model to analyze the relationship between several binary conflict variables and food supply.

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2016-12

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An Analysis of Bias in Competitive Academic Debate

Description

Through collection of survey data on the characteristics of college debaters, disparities in participation and success for women and racial and ethnic minorities are measured. This study then uses econometric tools to assess whether there is an in-group judging bias

Through collection of survey data on the characteristics of college debaters, disparities in participation and success for women and racial and ethnic minorities are measured. This study then uses econometric tools to assess whether there is an in-group judging bias in college debate that systematically disadvantages female and minority participants. Debate is used as a testing ground for competing economic theories of taste-based and statistical discrimination, applied to a higher education context. The study finds persistent disparities in participation and success for female participants. Judges are more likely to vote for debaters who share their gender. There is also a significant disparity in the participation of racial and ethnic minority debaters and judges, as well as female judges.

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Date Created
2014-12

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Effect of a Local Labor Demand Shock on Postsecondary Education Enrollment

Description

A growing number of jobs in the US require a college degree or technical education, and the wage difference between jobs requiring a high school diploma and a college education has increased to over $17,000 per year. Enrollment levels in

A growing number of jobs in the US require a college degree or technical education, and the wage difference between jobs requiring a high school diploma and a college education has increased to over $17,000 per year. Enrollment levels in postsecondary education have been rising for at least the past decade, and this paper attempts to tease out how much of the increasing enrollment is due to changes in the demand by companies for workers. A Bartik Instrument, which is a measure of local area labor demand, for each county in the US was constructed from 2007 to 2014, and using multivariate linear regression the effect of changing labor demand on local postsecondary education enrollment rates was examined. A small positive effect was found, but the effect size in relation to the total change in enrollment levels was diminutive. From the start to the end of the recession (2007 to 2010), Bartik Instrument calculated unemployment increased from 5.3% nationally to 8.2%. This level of labor demand contraction would lead to a 0.42% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2011. The true enrollment increase over this period was 7.6%, so the model calculated 5.5% of the enrollment increase was based on the changes in labor demand.

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2016-05

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Writing at the Margin: Economics and the Victorian Sensation Novel

Description

This paper explores how marginalist economics defines and inevitably constrains Victorian sensation fiction's content and composition. I argue that economic intuition implies that sensationalist heroes and antagonists, writers and readers all pursued a fundamental, "rational" aim: the attainment of pleasure.

This paper explores how marginalist economics defines and inevitably constrains Victorian sensation fiction's content and composition. I argue that economic intuition implies that sensationalist heroes and antagonists, writers and readers all pursued a fundamental, "rational" aim: the attainment of pleasure. So although "sensationalism" took on connotations of moral impropriety in the Victorian age, sensation fiction primarily involves experiences of pain on the page that excite the reader's pleasure. As such, sensationalism as a whole can be seen as a conformist product, one which mirrors the effects of all commodities on the market, rather than as a rebellious one. Indeed, contrary to modern and contemporary critics' assumptions, sensation fiction may not be as scandalous as it seems.

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2014-12

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An Analysis of Sovereign Debt Restructurings: The Paths to Economic Sustainability

Description

This paper explores the history of sovereign debt default in developing economies and attempts to highlight the mistakes and accomplishments toward achieving debt sustainability. In the past century, developing economies have received considerable investment due to higher returns and a

This paper explores the history of sovereign debt default in developing economies and attempts to highlight the mistakes and accomplishments toward achieving debt sustainability. In the past century, developing economies have received considerable investment due to higher returns and a degree of disregard for the risks accompanying these investments. As the former Citibank chairman, Walter Wriston articulated, "Countries don't go bust" (This Time is Different, 51). Still, unexpected negative externalities have shattered this idea as the majority of developing economies follow a cyclical pattern of default. As coined by Reinhart and Rogoff, sovereign governments that fall into this continuous cycle have become known as serial defaulters. Most developed markets have not defaulted since World War II, thus escaping this persistent trap. Still, there have been developing economies that have been able to transition out of serial defaulting. These economies are able to leverage debt to compound growth without incurring the protracted consequences of a default. Although the cases are few, we argue that developing markets such as Chile, Mexico, Russia, and Uruguay have been able to escape this vicious cycle. Thus, our research indicates that collaborative debt restructurings coupled with long term economic policies are imperative to transitioning out of debt intolerance and into a sustainable debt position. Successful economies are able to leverage debt to create strong foundational growth rather than gambling with debt in the hopes of achieving rapid catch- up growth.

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2015-12