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Category Archives: L83

The Impact of Collegiate Athletic Success and Scandals on Admissions Applications

By William J. Battle-McDonald

This paper examines how the quantity and quality of admissions applications to Division 1 colleges and universities were affected by two non-academic factors: (1) performance of a school’s men’s basketball and football teams; and (2) scandals associated with these athletic programs. Admissions data from 2001 – 2017 were compared to team performance during their football and basketball seasons in order to understand how these non-academic factors contribute to an individual’s decisions to apply for admission. A multivariate linear regression model with school and year fixed effects supported the hypothesis that athletic success positively affects the quantity of applications, increasing them by up to 3% in basketball and 11% in football in the following application period. Seasonal football success was also shown to have negative impacts on the distribution of standardized testing scores of future applicant classes, however these scores were shown to increase when a team played their best season in five or more years. Additional analysis of the effects of athletic program scandals reveals a significant negative effect on the number of applications received, although a deep dive into a few of the most prominent scandals suggests that the benefits associated with violating NCAA rules may, under the right circumstances, be well worth the risk.

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Advisor: Dr. James Roberts | JEL Codes: I23, J24, L82, L83, Z2

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

A Franchise Education: The Impact of High School Quality on the Operations of Quick Service Restaurant Franchises in Texas

By Joseph Yetter

While the franchise business model provides customers with a certain level of consistency, there is still considerable variation in service quality across locations. Among other factors, a franchise’s quality of human capital (i.e., its workers) contributes to the quality of its operations, one of the strongest determinants of its revenue. Assuming that low wage workers have minimal geographical mobility, this paper studies how worker education impacts operation scores at the Texas locations of a quick service restaurant franchise brand by studying local school quality. This analysis controls for internal and external operations influences, such as the franchisee, designated market area, retail location type, the location’s proximity to a highway, and per capita income of the area to isolate the effect of school quality on operations. Ultimately, this study finds that higher school quality ratings have a significant and positive impact on the operations of franchises, and that operations have a significant and positive impact on sales revenue. Decomposing operations scores, this study finds that school quality ratings primarily impact operations by reducing customer complaints.

Honors Thesis

Advisor: Michelle Connolly, Ryan Mcdevitt | JEL Codes: J24, L8, L83 | Tagged: Business Operations, Education Quality, Franchise, Worker Productiviity

Game Theory and The World Marathon Majors

By Benjamin Jones

The World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series Prize was enacted in 2006 as a million dollar prize handed out annually to the top man and woman competing at five of the most important marathons. This paper considers the motivations behind setting up this prize, as well as the theoretical rationale for its existence and whether the empirical data supports these results. We find that the game theory model supports the ideas that the World Marathon Majors organizers state as their goals in creating the prize, but at the same time, there is not much empirical support as of yet to support any quantifiable changes within marathoning in the past few years. The regressions do not produce statistically significant data for finishing times decreasing even though the world record has been broken three times in these races since the implementation of the WMM. This may be due to the small number of observations and the fact that the series is so new. However, there are other areas of interest, such as an increase in World Record-breaking times or an increase in overall publicity, that may justify such a lucrative prize for these races. These topics are not included within the regressions and could be an area for further study.

 

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Advisor: Curtis Taylor, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: C7, C73, L83 | Tagged: Game Theory, Marathon, Sports Economics, Tournament Theory

Questions?

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
dus_asst@econ.duke.edu

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu