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The Effect of Federal Regulations on the Outcomes of Auctions for Oil and Gas Leaseholds

By Artur Shikhaleev

This thesis attempts to analyze the impact of the differences in regulatory frameworks that govern state-owned and federally-owned lands on the outcomes of auctions for oil and natural gas leaseholds in the state of New Mexico. The analysis tries to isolate the effect of ownership by controlling for auction structure, leasehold characteristics, and prices of underlying resources. Given past research, the hypothesis is that stricter regulations carry a heavier cost to buyers, so the expectation is that federally-owned leaseholds, which are more regulated, are traded at a discount to state-owned leaseholds. However, the result of this thesis is contradictory to the hypothesis. The conclusion is that stricter regulations do not lead to a discounted auction price for an oil and gas leasehold.

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Advisor: James Roberts, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: C12, C21, Q35, Q58 | Tagged: Auction, Education, environment, federal, natural gas, Oil, Regulation, State

Predicting Transfer Values in the English Premier League

By Dylan Newman

This paper examines factors that affect the transfer value of players transferred into the English Premier League from 20092015. The analysis begins by examining what factors are significant in determining a player’s projected transfer fee based on the website Transfermarkt.com as well as the actual fee that the player was sold for. The paper goes on to find that competition level and a player’s form are not statistically significant in models built to determine a player’s transfer value. Quantile regression is then used to illustrate that there is a superstar effect with a forward’s goal’s scored in the transfer market. 

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Peter Arcidiacon | JEL Codes: L83, Z21 | Tagged: English Premier League, Quantile Regression, Soccer Transfer Fee

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

Determining NBA Free Agent Salary from Player Performance

By Joshua Rosen

NBA teams have the opportunity each offseason to sign free agents to alter their rosters. Using only regular season per game statistics, I examine the best method of calculating a player’s appropriate salary value based upon his contribution to a team’s regular season win percentage. I first determine which statistics most accurately predict team regular season win percentage, and then use regression analysis to predict the values of these metrics for individual players. Finally, relying upon predicted statistics, I assign salary values to free agents for their upcoming season on specific teams. My results advise teams to rely heavily on Player Impact Estimate (“PIE”) when predicting their teams’ win percentage, and to seek players whose appropriate salaries would be significantly more than their actual seasonlong salaries if the free agents were to sign.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Peter Arcidiacon | JEL Codes: C30, Z2, Z22 | Tagged: Free Agents, Salaries, NBA

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

Variations in Turkey’s Female Labor Market: The Puzzling Role of Education

By Rachael Anderson

Although Turkey ranks among the world’s 20 largest economies, female labor force participation in Turkey is surprisingly low.  Relative to other developed countries, however, the proportion of Turkish women in senior management is high.  One explanation for these contrasting pictures of Turkey’s female labor force is education.  To better understand how women’s education and household characteristics explain variations in Turkey’s female labor market, I use annual Turkish Household Labour Force Survey data from 20042012 to estimate five probabilities: the likelihood that a woman (1) participates in the labor force, or is employed in an (2) agricultural, (3) blue collar, (4) lower white collar, or (5) upper white collar job.  I find that labor force participation is relatively high among female primary school graduates, who are most likely to work in agricultural and blue collar jobs.  Highly educated married women are the most likely group to participate in upper white collar jobs, and families favor sending single daughters over wives to work during periods of reduced household income.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Timur Kuran | JEL Codes: C51, J21, J23 | Tagged: Employment, Labor-force Participation, Occupation Women

The Professor and the Coal Miner: The effect of socioeconomic and geographical factors on breast cancer diagnosis and survival outcome

By Shelley Chen

Previous studies reported that patients who live farther from cancer centers do not necessarily experience delayed cancer detection and shortened survival. However, the results are biased because of the incomplete observation of patient survival, which cannot be properly accounted for with the multivariable regression model. In this thesis, I isolated the effect of the breast cancer patient’s distance to a comprehensive cancer center on the stage of diagnosis and survival using the Cox Proportional Hazards model. I linked data from the Kentucky Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 18, the Kentucky Life Tables, and the Kentucky Area Health Resource Files and identified 37654 patients diagnosed with breast cancer. I estimated the effect of distance on marginal probability of cancer mortality, controlling for non-cancer related death, socioeconomic status, and demographic factors in patients. After controlling for covariates, travel distance between the patient and the nearest comprehensive cancer center was statistically significantly on the breast cancer mortality probability, but not on the stage of diagnosis. In the Kentucky population, patients who were located farther from comprehensive cancer centers experience an increased marginal probability of mortality (proportional hazard = 1.004; 95% CI: [1.000502 1.007311]). The linkage of SEER 18 and AHRF data provided more comprehensive information on the socioeconomic risk factors of cancer mortality than past study datasets. For the stage of diagnosis, a low physician to population ratio and high county-level Medicaid coverage were associated with more advanced stages of diagnosis. In turn, a more advanced stage of diagnosis, lower physician to population ratio, and identification as African American increased the marginal probabilities of mortality.

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Advisor: Charles Becker, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: I1, I13, I14 | Tagged: Breast Cancer, Cancer Mortality, Health Outcomes, Inequality, Socioeconomic, Stage

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

A computational model of food choice: Utility optimization through external cuing and heuristic search

By Lucie Yang

The field of economics tends to view decision-making through a lens of assumed rationality and utility maximization. Unfortunately, choices in reality tend to be more complicated than perfect conscious value assignment. One such type of decision-making is food choice, which incorporates not only many inherent values (health, taste, price, energy), but also exists in a world of many external influences (marketing, social pressure). The details of the space in which choices are made can be highly influential, disrupting the typical top-down attentional decision-making assumed with a homo economicus. This paper seeks to utilize a behavioral experiment, eye-tracking, and a novel computational model (the drift diffusion model) in an effort to explore how humans make food decisions. The drift diffusion model links the metrics, reaction time, gaze fixations, and eye movement path length and frequency to the probability of subsequently choosing each item. The model takes into account not only the intrinsic attractiveness of each item, but also the context surrounding them, creating group distributions as well as individual distributions for parameters of the decision process. This paper aims to look at various aspects of food decisions: how do personal internal states, visual salience, and external cues effect how one weights the multiple value characteristics of food.

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Advisor: Kent Kimbrough, Philip Sadowski | JEL Codes: D8, D80, D87 | Tagged: Decision-Making, Drift Diffusion Model, Food Consumption, Neuroeconomics

Optimal Lineups in Penalty Kick Shootouts: An Empirical and Theoretical Investigation

By Lucas Hubbard

The purpose of this paper is to determine how teams should order their lineups in a five-man penalty kick shootout. We begin with a theoretical investigation of how comparative advantages for certain players in stressful situations will create clear, optimal lineup strategies for managers to emulate. Then, we analyze the performance of shooters in all professional men’s international shootouts thus far. We observe a number of factors that affect the player’s success rate—most notably, shooting in a high-pressure situation, shooting in a World Cup, and shooting against a more experienced goalkeeper all negatively impact the player’s success rate. Interestingly, we see a diminishing effect of the adverse response to high-pressure as the shooters are more experienced: inexperienced players suffer a statistically significant adverse response, while average and experienced players show no adverse response to high-pressure. We conclude with a simulation based on the empirical values that suggests teams should place their worst high-stress players (their inexperienced players) in the earlier shootout slots, as those are guaranteed to be of a low-stress variety. Conversely, players who perform relatively well under high-stress should be placed in slots 3-5, which are more likely to be of the high-stress variety. We observe the proportion of shootouts that end after a certain number of kicks, and we conclude that if coaches are able to identify their best high-stress kickers, the first team’s best kicker should kick in either round 4 or 5, while the second team’s best kicker should kick in either round 3 or 4. Finally, we see that the structure of the shootout provides an inherent advantage to the first team to shoot in shorter shootouts and an inherent advantage to the second team in longer shootouts. We recommend the ABBA ordering strategy put forth by Palacios-Huerta as a way to prevent this systemic inequality.

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Data Set

Advisor: Attila Ambrus, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: C7, C79 | Tagged: Game Theory, Optimality, Penalty Kicks, Soccer


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