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Category Archives: F5

The Future of Economic Geopolitics: Network Effects in Intercultural Trade

By Joshua Curtis

Using a regression discontinuity design on a gravity model of trade among 36 Middle Eastern and East Asian countries between 1980 and 2014, this study demonstrates network effects in trade. A small improvement in trade between subsets of two cultural blocs diminishes the effect of cultural similarity on trade between all members of the two cultural blocs. The result holds regardless of whether cultural similarity was originally a boon or drag on trade. Furthermore, international businesses adjust to new intercultural acumen very rapidly. The effect demonstrated herein points toward an answer to economic dilemmas posed by Huntington’s “clash of civilizations.”

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Advisor: Dr. Lori Leachman, | JEL Codes: F1, F5, B27

Reforming Turkey’s Judiciary to Meet European Union Standards: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

By Alican Arcasoy

Membership in the European Union has long been a goal of the Turkish Government. The economic benefits of access to the single European market are highly attractive for a developing country like Turkey. However, joining the European Union requires a number of costly reforms. The institutional, political, and economic changes demanded by the Copenhagen Criteria can rack up a large bill for some governments. This paper will focus on the costs of reforming Turkey’s Judiciary to meet European Union standards, and whether or not those costs outweigh the economic benefits of membership.

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Advisor: Michael Munger | JEL Codes: F5, F53, F59

Evaluating the Motivation and Feasibility Theory in Predicting the Onset and Severity of Civil Conflict

By Ishita Chordia

This paper looks at 187 countries from 1960-2004 and explores the economic indicators of the onset and the severity of civil conflicts, where civil conflicts are described as small clashes that result in 25 or more battle deaths per conflict. For conflict onset, I test a model that uses the Motivation Theory to predict when a conflict will begin while for conflict severity. I test a model that uses the Feasibility Theory to predict how severe a conflict will become. In the final section, I reverse the models and test the ability of the Motivation Theory to predict conflict severity and the ability of the Feasibility Theory to predict conflict onset. I find that the Motivation Theory performs ber at predicting both conflict onset and severity.

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JEL Codes: F51, F52, O57 | Tagged: Conflict, Feasibility, International Security, Motivation, Peace


Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly