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

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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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Effect of a Local Labor Demand Shock on Postsecondary Education Enrollment

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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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Capitalism and Mental Illness: An Investigation of How Our Culture Makes Us Sick

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between mental illness and capitalist consumer society. Many Americans are suffering from mental illness and there has to be something causing it besides a chemical imbalance in the brain. A

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between mental illness and capitalist consumer society. Many Americans are suffering from mental illness and there has to be something causing it besides a chemical imbalance in the brain. A capitalist society creates a set of expectations that conflict with human desires. The thesis takes a historical, economical, and psychological approach to answering the following question: Does a capitalist society make its citizens mentally sick? A brief history of capitalism over the past century is discussed, as well as a more in depth look at capitalism and the creation of neoliberalism during the 1980s. The psychological effects capitalism has on human beings is discussed for the majority of the thesis and focuses on ideas from the 1950s as well as the early 2000s. To show the effect capitalism has on modern day society, an analysis of a psychopharmaceutical drug commercial is given. The concluding thoughts attempt to offer solutions to the problems of human unhappiness in a consumer culture.

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2014-05

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Monetization of E-Sports

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The current model of revenue generation for some free to play video games is preventing the companies controlling them from growing, but with a few changes in approach these issues could be alleviated. A new style of video games, called

The current model of revenue generation for some free to play video games is preventing the companies controlling them from growing, but with a few changes in approach these issues could be alleviated. A new style of video games, called a MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) has emerged in the past few years bringing with it a new style of generating wealth. Contrary to past gaming models, where users must either purchase the game outright, view advertisements, or purchase items to gain a competitive advantage, MOBAs require no payment of any kind. These are free to play computer games that provides users with all the tools necessary to compete with anyone free of charge; no advantages can be purchased in this game. This leaves the only way for users to provide money to the company through optional purchases of purely aesthetic items, only to be purchased if the buyer wishes to see their character in a different set of attire. The genre’s best in show—called League of Legends, or LOL—has spearheaded this method of revenue-generation. Fortunately for LOL, its level of popularity has reached levels never seen in video games: the world championships had more viewers than game 7 of the NBA Finals (Dorsey). The player base alone is enough to keep the company afloat currently, but the fact that they only convert 3.75% of the players into revenue is alarming. Each player brings the company an average of $1.32, or 30% of what some other free to play games earn per user (Comparing MMO). It is this low per player income that has caused Riot Games, the developer of LOL, to state that their e-sports division is not currently profitable. To resolve this issue, LOL must take on a more aggressive marketing plan. Advertisements for the NBA Finals cost $460,000 for 30 seconds, and LOL should aim for ads in this range (Lombardo). With an average of 3 million people logged on at any time, 90% of the players being male and 85% being between the ages of 16 and 30, advertising via this game would appeal to many companies, making a deal easy to strike (LOL infographic 2012). The idea also appeals to players: 81% of players surveyed said that an advertisement on the client that allows for the option to place an order would improve or not impact their experience. Moving forward with this, the gaming client would be updated to contain both an option to order pizza and an advertisement for Mountain Dew. This type of advertising was determined based on community responses through a sequence of survey questions. These small adjustments to the game would allow LOL to generate enough income for Riot Games to expand into other areas of the e-sports industry.

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2015-05

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MENDING A DETRIMENTAL CRISIS: PROPOSAL TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM THROUGH THE INCORPORATION OF COMPUTER SKILLS AND CODING IN PRISONS

Description

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no sufficient measures have been taken by the United States to reduce recidivism. Attempts have been made, but they ultimately failed. Recently, however, there has been an increase in experimentation with the concept of teaching inmates basic computer skills to reduce recidivism. As labor becomes increasingly digitized, it becomes more difficult for inmates who spent a certain period away from technology to adapt and find employment. At the bare minimum, anybody entering the workforce must know how to use a computer and other technological appliances, even in the lowest-paid positions. By incorporating basic computer skills and coding educational programs within prisons, this issue can be addressed, since inmates would be better equipped to take on a more technologically advanced labor market.<br/>Additionally, thoroughly preparing inmates for employment is a necessity because it has been proven to reduce recidivism. Prisons typically have some work programs; however, these programs are typically outdated and prepare inmates for fields that may represent a difficult employment market moving forward. On the other hand, preparing inmates for tech-related fields of work is proving to be successful in the early stages of experimentation. A reason for this success is the growing demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is noteworthy considering the national average for growth of all other jobs is only 4 percent. It also warrants the exploration of educating coders because software developers, in particular, have an expected growth rate of 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. <br/>Despite the security risks of giving inmates access to computers, the implementation of basic computer skills and coding in prisons should be explored further. Programs that give inmates access to a computing education already exist. The only issue with these programs is their scarcity. However, this is to no fault of their own, considering the complex nature and costs of running such a program. Accordingly, this leaves the opportunity for public universities to get involved. Public universities serve as perfect hosts because they are fully capable of leveraging the resources already available to them. Arizona State University, in particular, is a more than ideal candidate to spearhead such a program and serve as a model for other public universities to follow. Arizona State University (ASU) is already educating inmates in local Arizona prisons on subjects such as math and English through their PEP (Prison Education Programming) program.<br/>This thesis will focus on Arizona specifically and why this would benefit the state. It will also explain why Arizona State University is the perfect candidate to spearhead this kind of program. Additionally, it will also discuss why recidivism is detrimental and the reasons why formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. Furthermore, it will also explore the current measures being taken in Arizona and their limitations. Finally, it will provide evidence for why programs like these tend to succeed and serve as a proposal to Arizona State University to create its own program using the provided framework in this thesis.

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Date Created
2021-05

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

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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

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