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Obesity and its Impact on Job Quality

By Kelly Lessard

This study explores the relationship between body mass and job quality in the United States labor force using five variables to represent job quality: hourly wage, training in the past year, desire for training, expectations for success, and job satisfaction. I use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data from 1994 to calculate BMI and assess the job quality indicators. Like past research, I find BMI is negatively associated with wages for the obese population, most significantly for women. Women also suffer a greater body mass penalty for job training and demonstrate lower job satisfaction at a higher BMI.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Tracy Falba |  JEL Codes: J7, J31, J71 | Tagged: BMI, Job Quality, Labor Productivity, Obesity

Gender Equality as a Result of Offering Employee Benefit Policies

By Meghan Mcaneny

In this study, I investigate the relationship between the percentage of women in leadership in a company and its employee benefits. This papeuses data on individual firms’ benefits such as paid parental leave, familial support, and flexibility arrangements. Using OLS, I conclude that benefits that shift familial burdens from women to men, specifically paid paternity leave, result in more women in leadershipThis creates an even playing field for women to be promoted as the company environment does not penalize women for using benefits. I also find a negative relationship between reimbursement for fertility procedures and women in leadership.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Marjorie McElroy | JEL Codes: J22, J32, M51, M52 | Tagged: Employee Benefits, Women in Business Leadership, Work-Life Balance

BIDDING FOR PARKING: The Impact of University Affiliation on Predicting Bid Values in Dutch Auctions of On-Campus Parking Permits

By Grant Kelly

Parking is often underpriced and expanding its capacity is expensive; universities need a better way of reducing congestion outside of building costly parking garages. Demand based pricing mechanisms, such as auctions, offer a possible solution to the problem by promising to reduce parking at peak times. However, faculty, students, and staff at universities have systematically different parking needs, leading to different parking valuations. In this study, I determine the impact university affiliation has on predicting bid values cast in three Dutch Auctions of on-campus parking permits sold at Chapman University in Fall 2010. Using clustering techniques crosschecked with university demographic information to detect affiliation groups, I ran a log-linear regression, finding that university affiliation had a larger effect on bid amount than on lot location and fraction of auction duration. Generally, faculty were predicted to have higher bids whereas students were predicted to have lower bids.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Allan Collard-Wexler, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: C38, C57, D44, R4, R49 | Tagged: Auctions, Parking, University Parking, Bidder Affiliation, Dutch Auction, Clustering

The Effects of Global Oil Price on Government Investment the Nigerian Agricultural Sector

By Chuka Obiofuma

Nigeria’s heavy dependence on oil makes it a prime target for the resource curse. The occurance of this phenomenon in Nigeria could mean that there is capital flight from the agricultural sectors of the economy when the oil sector increases in profitability. This would disproportionately hurt the poor of Nigeria who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. This work investigates whether or not the Nigerian government, the largest investor into the Agricultural sector, tends to increase or decrease its investment in the agricultural sector as global oil prices rise. Using data from the years 1978-2014, the results of this paper show that as oil prices increase so too does the Nigerian government’s investment in its agricultural sector.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Gale Boyd | JEL Codes: I28, O13, Q43 | Tagged:  Agriculture, Energy, Government Policy

The Effect of Social, Cultural, and Political Values on Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Venture Creation: A Global Investigation

By Repton Salisbury

The effect of entrepreneurial activity on economic development has been researched thoroughly. New firm creation spurs economic growth by creating employment opportunities, cultivating innovation, and encouraging competition. Globally, there are countless areas that could benefit from a livelier entrepreneurial ecosystem. So how does a government or population first spur entrepreneurial activity? An entrepreneur’s perceptions are among the most powerful factors that impact the life or death of a new venture, but the determinants that influence how these perceptions first form are still largely unknown. Using survey data collected by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2010 across the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Israel, United Kingdom, Peru, Russia, Iran, and China, I conduct binary logistic regressions of individual level characteristics, social ideals, cultural norms, human development, and other environmental attributes on the most important perceptions of entrepreneurs. These perceptions have been identified by previous research as an entrepreneur’s perception of local opportunities, internal skills, and fear of failure in creating a new venture. I find that several social, cultural, and political values have a significant effect on the psychological behavior of nascent entrepreneurs.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Grace Kim | JEL Codes: L2, L26, O17 | Tagged: Culture, Entrepreneurship, Perceptions, Venture Creation

How Consumers Make Impulse Purchases and the Influence of Peers and a Market-Based Setting

By Arjan Saraon

Many organizations are designed to protect, educate and helping consumer with their financial decisionmaking. This paper examines the valuation of various nonessential goods in both a marketplace setting and sliderbased setting, and in both a neutral influence and social influence conditionIn a marketplace valuation setting, it is found that prices and pricesearching behavior are the most significant predictors of a decision to checkout a good. In the sliderbased valuation setting, it is found that the condition and a psychological impulsive measure are the most significant indicators of willingnesstopay. Pricesearching behavior indicated that the influence of responsible peers is as effective at reining in impulsive decisions as the more conventional, neutral method. Finally, a phenomena of paying more in the marketplace schema compared to the slider based schema appeared, despite the incentives being exactly the same. This was likely due to anchoring effects of the presented prices and list price.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Kent Kimbrough, Rachel Kranton | Tagged: Behavioral economics, Impulse Purchasing, Anchoring Effect, Market-based Valuation, Price-searching

Understanding Financial Incentive Health Initiatives: The Impact of the Janani Suraksha Yojana Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Institutional Delivery Rates and Out-of- Pocket Health Expenditure

By Ritika Jain

Demand-side financing is a policy tool used by nations to incentivize utilization of public institutions, and India’s Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is one of the largest such financial incentive programs in the world. The program pays eligible pregnant women to deliver their babies in health institutions partnered with the program. This paper studies the impact of the JSY on changes in mothers’ health-seeking behavior to deliver in-facility and on the out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) for delivery that they incur. Using data from the most recent wave of India’s District-Level Household Survey conducted in 2007-08, this paper finds that the overall introduction of the program in districts in India does not lead to significant changes in institutional delivery or out-ofpocket expenditure outcomes. Further analysis of subpopulations shows that marginalized populations are responsive to JSY introduction in their district with increased probability of delivering in-facility of 1.10 – 3.40 percentage points. Lastly, results show that receiving JSY payments leads to a 1.34 percentage point increase in the probability of incurring OOPE, but a 4.81 percent decrease in the amount of OOPE incurred. The JSY is helping to reduce overall out-of-pocket spending on deliveries. However, the majority of program benefits are not reaching poor pregnant women as the JSY aims, communicating the need for improvement in population targeting.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Kent Kimbrough, Manoj Mohanan | JEL Codes: C22, I12, I18 | Tagged: Conditional Cash Transfer, Demand-side Financing, Difference-in-difference-in-differences, Difference-in-differences, Healthcare Reform, Maternal Health

Understanding the Argentine Peso’s Devaluation in 2014 —Analysis on Argentina’s Fiscal Sustainability from 1993 to 2013

By Feng Pan

This research analyzes the fiscal sustainability of Argentina from 1993 to 2013. Specifically, it explains the peso devaluation in early 2014 and suggests that it is primarily due to the fundamental problems in Argentina’s economy. This paper highlights Argentina’s inability to enhance its fiscal conditions and suggests possible future economic developments in Argentina. This paper concludes that there is high
chance of hyperinflation, debt default, and the eventual dissolution of the managed exchange rate regime in Argentina in the future.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Craig Burnside | JEL Codes: E43, E44, E52, E58, E62, F31 | Tagged: Argentine Peso, Exchange Rate, Fiscal Sustainability

Adoption Subsidy, Foster Care Payment, and Foster Care Adoption: A Two-stage Least Squares Approach

By Chun Sun Bak

This paper examines the effect of the change in the magnitude of monthly governmental adoption subsidy on the adoption rate for foster children in foster family structures. In order to account for omitted variable bias attached to the amount of subsidy that a child receives, I construct an instrumental variable that takes advantage of the fact that each state has different policies on: (1) the base age from which a child is eligible for special needs; and (2) the amount of increased adoption subsidy that a child receives, on average, if he or she is eligible for special needs adoption. Using the data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) during the years 2001 to 2012, I find that a dollar increase in the amount of adoption subsidy, holding the amount of foster care payment constant, is expected to increase a foster child’s probability of adoption by 0.255%. Although the positive sign of the coefficient is intuitive, and although it is statistically significant at all levels, its magnitude is unrealistically high, suggesting that there may be a problem in the instrument itself or in the accuracy and selection of the data.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Allan Collard-Wexler

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