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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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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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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

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No Worker Left Behind: An Analysis on a Universal Basic Income

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Many fear that the growth of automation and artificial intelligence will lead to massive unemployment since human labor would no longer be needed. Although automation does displace workers from their current jobs, it is unclear the total net effect on

Many fear that the growth of automation and artificial intelligence will lead to massive unemployment since human labor would no longer be needed. Although automation does displace workers from their current jobs, it is unclear the total net effect on jobs this period of advancement will have. One possible solution to help displaced workers is a Universal Basic Income. A Universal Basic Income(UBI) is a set payment paid to all members of society regardless of working status. Compared to current unemployment programs, a Universal Basic Income does not restrict participants in how to spend the money and is more inclusive. This paper examines the effects of a UBI on a person's motivation to work through a study on current college students. There is reason to believe that a Universal Basic Income will lead to fewer people working as people may become dependent on a base payment to meet their basic needs and not look for work. In addition, some people may drop out of their current jobs and rely on a UBI as their main form of income. The current literature does not offer a consensus opinion on this relationship and more studies are being completed with the threat of mass unemployment looming. This study shows the effects of a UBI on participants' willingness to work and then applies these results to the current economic model. With these results and new economic model, a decision about future policies surrounding a UBI can be made.

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2018-05

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The Thrill of Victory or the Agony of Defeat: Hosting a World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated, inspiring, and intense sporting events in the world. Soccer has integrated itself not only in sports circles, but also in politics, commerce, and society as a whole. The sport

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated, inspiring, and intense sporting events in the world. Soccer has integrated itself not only in sports circles, but also in politics, commerce, and society as a whole. The sport has about two hundred million active players and is still growing, especially in areas such as North America and Asia. As of mid-2007, FIFA’s membership included 208-member associations, making it not only one of the largest and most powerful sports governing bodies, but also one of the most popular in the world.

Since 1930—with the exception of the break for World War II—every four years, the world’s best national teams face off in a soccer tournament. The last two tournaments hosted by South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014 will be the emphasis of this paper. Each tournament featured the thirty-two countries and captured a television audience of over three billion people throughout the month-long tournament, one billion of which tuned in for the final. For comparison, the Super Bowl XLIX where the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28 to 24 was the most watched event in United States’ history with a viewership of 114.4 million people.

Countries spend years planning and preparing to win a bid to host one of these mega events. Bids are often times awarded eight to twelve years in advance. There has been a recent trend of developing countries hosting the FIFA World Cups and the future bids already awarded follow that trend. Many people ask the question of whether all the money spent on infrastructure, construction, and tourism to host this tournament and gain international exposure are really worth it? Simply put, the 2010 FIFA World Cup was valuable to South Africa while the 2014 FIFA World Cup was not worth the costs to Brazil.

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2018-05

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The Economics of a Dictatorship: Analysis of the Influence of the Chicago Boys in Chile during the Reign of Pinochet

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On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet became the leader of Chile after a violent coup d’état, which left the economy in shambles. The previous president and ruling party, Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity coalition respectively, were moving the country

On September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet became the leader of Chile after a violent coup d’état, which left the economy in shambles. The previous president and ruling party, Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity coalition respectively, were moving the country towards socialism and in doing so increased the government presence in the economy, nationalized copper and other industries, and redistributed agricultural land. Soon after nationalizing the copper industry, prices fell and the large expenditures being made by the government lead to a recession characterized by shrinking GDP, failing nationalized businesses, US economic sanctions, high inflation, and unfavorable exchange rates. Pinochet turned to the Chicago Boys, Chilean economists educated at the University of Chicago’s School of Economics by Milton Friedman, to formulate an economic plan that would reduce inflation as well as limiting government involvement in the economy. This paper will examine the neoliberal free market principals instituted by the Chicago Boys, the immediate and delayed effects in the Chilean government, and how these principals have been and can be utilized to provide stabilization and growth in other Latin American economies.

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2018-05