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Entrepreneurial Attractiveness: Amazon, Google, and the Search for Innovative Hot Spots

By Anna Katherine Kropf

Recent economic literature suggests that entrepreneurship in technological fields can spur economic growth, making it a popular topic for city development officials. Yet, this increasingly popular phenomenon is met by many economic questions. One of those questions is which characteristics of metropolitan areas are attractive to entrepreneurs. To answer the question of attractiveness on both the small business and corporate levels, I compare across two case studies: Amazon’s search for a second headquarters and Google’s tech hub network. Using principal component analysis, I statistically deduce seven components of attractiveness from an original 34 variables. These components are then weighted using three methods—a case study, a survey, and an empirical method—to produce comparable indices of attractiveness. Generally, I find that sizeable population and healthy economy are the strongest components. However, the statistically insignificant components that can change an urban area’s ranking considerably are talent and geographic network effects. Ultimately, creating policy to maximize these aspects can change a city’s innovative

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Advisor: Dr. Charles Becker | JEL Codes: O, O3, R, R1, R11

The Economic Effects of Military and Non-Military Government Spending

By Patrick Royal

There has been substantial investigation into the influence of government spending in general on economic growth, unemployment, and inequality, but relatively little investigation into the relative effects of different types of spending.  This thesis attempts to separate the influence of military and non-military government spending on the economy.  As with many such investigations, it focuses on a single economy – that of the United States.  The results indicate that, dollar for dollar, military spending is just as effective as non-military spending at affecting unemployment, but much more effective at promoting short-term growth.  Neither type of spending has a strong impact on income inequality, suggesting that the primary determinants of that are not related to government spending.

Honor’s Thesis

Data Set

Advisor: Craig Burnside | JEL Codes: E1, E12, E62 | Tagged: Government Spending, Growth, Military


Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly