Matching Items (127)
- All Subjects: Economics
- Creators: Barrett, The Honors College
- Status: Published
Over the past twenty years, the United States has experienced what Dr. Thomas Philippon calls "The Great Reversal," or a slow drift away from the free market competition which defined the American economy for the last century, towards an increasingly oligopolistic consolidation of market power. What does this mean? For the average American, prices have increased, wages remain stagnant, quality has declined, and the variety of goods has diminished. The reason? The growing political power of incumbent firms, who use their established economic power to influence the political process in their favor, towards high barriers to entry and decreased antitrust scrutiny, through lobbying and the financing of campaigns. Or have they? "The Great Reversal," and hypotheses like it, are far from a consensus... This Thesis is a meta study of the literature surrounding domestic competition in the United States and the impact that the lobbying activity of industry leaders has on said competition. Analyzing over 20 papers covering economics, political science, and political economy, this Thesis argues that domestic competition in the United States has indeed declined over the past two decades and that the growing political power of firms, rather than "unique" technological or structural changes in the economy, has caused this drift away from free markets. Using this analysis, this Thesis further suggests a few solutions to "The Great Reversal" and restoring competition in the American economy.
During a joint ASU-Prescott College visit to the Maasai Mara in Kenya in June-July 2018, it became obvious that many Maasai women produce beadwork sold locally to help support their families. The difficulties they face include inconsistent sales due to lack of customers, lulls in tourism, and unfair competition. During this visit, the idea of selling the crafts online via Etsy was suggested. It received overwhelming support from the community through MERC, the The Maasai Education, Research and Conservation Institute.
A growing body of research suggests that there is more to course assessment than homework scores and test performance. This paper contributes to the empirical literature in economics and education by evaluating the impact of racial and gender congruency on the performance of ASU students. Expanding on previous research which only covered elementary and high school, we are able to draw conclusions and policy recommendations to solve the racial achievement gap in the USA.
The current Solid-State Electrolyte (SSE) used in Li-ion batteries are limited by their current production methods (i.e., die-pressing; tape casting), planar geometries and random porosities. This constrains their use for mass production in manufacturing plants. 3D-printing of SSEs, however, is a new, highly-researched method that shows promise in expanding beyond the laboratory to more large-scale industrial production as rapid prototyping takes place. Indeed, laboratory studies to date suggest that SSE technology is safer than current production methods and provides a safe high energy solid-state battery. For SSE technology to become a reality though, it must be scalable and financially feasible. Therefore, this thesis aids to bridge the gap between laboratory studies and commercialization by examining the financial feasibility of adopting this technology for a hypothetical battery manufacturing plant. In doing this, I develop a model of the incremental net cash flows, and subsequently the Net Present Value (NPV), from such an enterprise. If the present value of future cash flows from the enterprise are anticipated to be greater than the investment costs, the NPV is positive and the investment in this new technology would be considered instantaneously value enhancing and thus financially feasible. However, future cash flows are highly uncertain, which brings into question financial feasibility in a risky environment. To address the riskiness of future cash flows, I model three risk factors: the cost of raw materials, the potential growth in battery sales, as well as the potential mark-up (profit margin) of the SSE enterprise. Using Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) I model the incremental cash flows considering these risk factors and derive probabilistic assessments of NPV. My analysis suggests that despite the uncertainty caused by the volatility of raw metal prices, assumptions on price mark-up, and uncertain market demand for Li-ion batteries, there is a high probability of an investment in SSE batteries being financially feasible. Future research should consider the value of real options (optionality embedded in tangible investments) as traditional NPV analysis may underestimate the potential value of an investment in the presence of uncertain cash flows, especially if management has the ability to respond to the uncertainty.
In this paper, I cover the background and economic history of green buildings, including four case studies. Based on this exploration, I find that green roofs and walls are best suited to dense, highly paved cities with little capacity to expand their sewer systems. Green infrastructure is best suited for stormwater management to avoid combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution and managing urban heat island (UHI) effects, while at the same time providing many positive externalities for people and the environment. Green buildings take those benefits and fit them into a smaller area (on roofs and walls), which is most applicable where tearing up pavement to provide more ground-level green space and expanding the sewer systems would be too costly.
Climate change is impacting fisheries through ecological shifts altering the geographical distribution and quantity of fish species. About 60% of United States fish caught by volume is caught in the Alaska region, with Alaska's economy dependent on fisheries. Additionally, fisheries are an important source of employment for many Alaskan communities. Therefore, it is important to have policies and strategies in place to prepare for ongoing climate impacts. One step to support better tailoring policy to support those most likely to be negatively impacted is to identify the fishing communities most vulnerable to climate change. This study uses data on vulnerable fish species and fishery catch by species and community to identify what communities are most vulnerable to changing climate conditions. I identify 26 communities that are fishing climate vulnerable species. I then use vulnerable fish species revenue data to identify communities most at risk either because they generate a substantial amount of revenue from these species or a substantial proportion of their total revenue is derived from these species. Using species-specific revenue, I show that Sablefish contribute the most to this vulnerability.
This paper analyses key papers in audience cost literature and proposes a direction forward in audience cost literature by examining how an audience gets influenced and or how the audience's preferences are created. The paper posits that by looking at how audiences are influenced a leader's decision structure can be further clarified. The paper places an emphasis on how information and agenda-setting are crucial to developing a framework for the task of elucidating audience costs.
This paper uses March CPS data to decompose the Gini coefficient by source of income. The sources of income, divided by labor income, capital income, and public transfer income, include earnings; interest, dividends, and net rentals; public assistance and welfare; retirement funds; self-employment; farm or non incorporated self-employment; nonfarm self-employment; Social Security or railroad retirement; supplemental security; wages and salaries; and unearned sources. The decomposition yields the share of a source in total income, the source Gini corresponding to the distribution of income from a source, the Gini correlation of income from a source with the distribution of total income, and the impact of a marginal change in a source on overall income inequality. Labor income had the largest negative impact on income inequality (resulting from wages and salaries mostly), while capital income did worsen it but on a much smaller scale. Public transfers that favor bottom income groups helped to alleviate income inequality for both individuals and households.
This research explores the use of transformative urban scenarios and timelines as a planning tool for addressing future sustainability challenges in urban environments. The analysis comes from a set of scenarios that were explored through workshops conducted in 2019 in which Phoenix stakeholders developed timelines toward their visions of Phoenix 60 years into the future. To evaluate the pathways created in these timelines, we employed process tracing methodology to understand which causal mechanisms lead to certain phenomena. Or in other words, it helps us understand how changes happen. We converted the timelines into process tracing diagrams that categorized the relationship between actions, actors, and observable manifestations (OM’s) of change over time. To understand the relationship between these components, we then used a combination of inductive and deductive coding to categorize types of activities, actors, OM’s and sustainability topics and organized them into themes. This helped us to understand how city decision-makers and community leaders think sustainability and resilience transformation can and should occur. This thesis takes a closer look at one particular scenario, Some Like it Hot, which explores resilience to extreme heat. Through coding and analysis, we found trends, correlations, and missing pieces in the participants’ timeline. There are numerous overarching causal mechanisms throughout the scenario timeline. These trends offer insight into which activities and stakeholders are seen as significant drivers of sustainable transformation according to the workshop participants. The file attached is a pdf version of an ArcGIS Story Map completed for this honors thesis. To view the full, interactive thesis deliverable, visit https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/14d1e52a9448498e87f20e7566651a13
Using panel data for 28 countries, all within the European Union from the period spanning 2012 to 2019, this paper empirically investigates the following question: do the savings or investment rates have an impact on the overall trade balance of each country? If so, how? With three econometric models, it estimates impacts and variations between all European Union countries, euro countries, and non-euro countries, and evaluates results in the context in which they are measured.