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  1. Demography and the Marginal Propensity to Unionize [Download]

    Title: Demography and the Marginal Propensity to Unionize
    Author: Okafor, Chinemelu
    Description: Unions advocate for fair employee pay standards and workplace protection: unions can be regarded as a symptom of disequilibrium between the wages workers seek and the wage offered by an employer. Unions serve as powerful institutions for the alleviation of discriminatory workplace practices through the creation of a collective voice for disenfranchised communities. Although union membership offers advantages for workers from marginalized occupational and demographic communities, in the past years overall union membership as a percentage of the U.S. workforce has declined; namely, private sector union membership has declined significantly over time, while public sector union density has remained fairly constant (BLS, 2016). This analysis explores the interrelation between demographic and occupational characteristics and private sector union membership. Private sector union organizers are concerned with developing targeting strategies to reduce attrition rates and recoup membership losses. This paper acknowledges the positive contribution that unions provide to marginalized individuals; thus, the idea supporting this analysis is that considering member profiles and their role in an individual’s decision to unionize might benefit union organizers’ recruitment efforts. Positive, significant results would suggest union organizers target their recruitment efforts toward individuals that have a greater propensity to unionize given demographic and occupational profiles. Using 2013-2016 data taken from the Current Population Survey (CPS), this study investigates the marginal propensity to join a private sector union given personal profile characteristics. Time trends between demographic and occupational characteristic (levels) are first plotted using historical CPS data during the period 2000-2016. The historical trends reveal that union membership levels are highest for black men, individuals ages 45-64, and those in the transportation industry. To empirically test that these trends exist at the margin, a multidimensional logistic regression is employed to underscore the individual propensity to join (or not join) a private sector union. Demographic measures include race, sex, and age and are included first as explanatory variables, and occupational characteristics- occupation/industry- are added subsequently. Based on the observed CPS data trends, I hypothesize that the results of this analysis will be consistent with the historical level results of the data and confirm that there exists a significant, positive propensity to unionize for black men, individuals ages 45-64, and those in the transportation industry.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Union memberships, Discrimination, Demographics, Union, Wages, U.S. workforce
    Date Uploaded: 04/30/2018
  2. Wal-Mart V.S. Supermarkets: Sales and Quality Impact of Wal-Mart on Supermarkets in Cities [Download]

    Title: Wal-Mart V.S. Supermarkets: Sales and Quality Impact of Wal-Mart on Supermarkets in Cities
    Author: Wang, Alex
    Description: In 2017, Wal-Mart’s employs 1% of U.S. workers. Its sales account for 2 % of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Wal-Mart as a company is not only consequential but also controversial. Wal-Mart “Supercenters” offers fresh food and beverages in addition to the usual discount products. Such deliberate strategies have implications for traditional food and beverage stores. This paper focuses on Wal-Mart Supercenters’ effects on the retail supermarket industry in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). This paper explores the causal impact of Wal-Mart expansion on supermarkets food sales and supermarkets store quality. Estimation of econometric models reveals that, a 10% increase in Wal-Mart stores in a given city is expected to decrease the aggregate supermarkets sales by 1%. In addition to this sales effect, such a 10% growth in Wal-Mart stores raises the employment to sales ratio, an indicator for store quality, by 0.8%. In addition to making the supermarket industry more competitive and causing competitors to raise store quality better, Wal-Mart does not have a statistically significant impact on supermarket exit and job loss. My findings suggest that Wal-Mart lowers supermarket sales, increases supermarket quality, gives urban consumers more food shopping choices, and potentially offers more food employment opportunities.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Economics, Sales, Business
    Date Uploaded: 04/14/2018
  3. Inequality and Altruism: Explore the Effect of Inequality on Charitable Giving Across Countries [Download]

    Title: Inequality and Altruism: Explore the Effect of Inequality on Charitable Giving Across Countries
    Author: Gao, Zhenghuang
    Description: Income inequality is different across countries as well as other economic, political and cultural factors. The mainly purpose of this paper was to explore the relationship between income inequality and three measures of altruism across different countries. The three measures of altruism are helping strangers, volunteering one’s time to an organization and donating money. Data of this paper are mainly from Gallup World Poll and World Bank Development Indicator. First, this paper finds people living in more unequal countries are more likely to choose volunteering their time to an organization and helping strangers rather than donating money as their charity behavior. Becker’s time allocation model has been used to interpret this result. Second, this paper also verifies previous literature that welfare states have no crowd out effect on charitable giving from the coefficient of a public total expenditure regressor. Third, this paper using country-level data verifies individual-level studies that donating money and volunteering one’s time to an organization are complements. Further studies are needed for data integrity and to investigate the effects of internal remittances and tax deduction on charitable giving across countries.
    Keywords: Research Days 2018, Economics, Income inequality, Altruism, Charitable giving
    Date Uploaded: 04/14/2018
  4. Does Higher Education Impact the Regional Unemployment Rate in Spain? [Download]

    Title: Does Higher Education Impact the Regional Unemployment Rate in Spain?
    Author: Adelman, Madeline
    Description: This paper examines seventeen Spanish regions from 2001 to 2011 and how the differences in male versus female educational attainment explains Spain's regional unemployment rate. Using a panel regression, results indicate there is a lower unemployment rate across northern regions compared to southern regions in Spain. The results further provide evidence that women who complete tertiary education have a larger impact on regional unemployment rates than men. Overall this study concludes both men and women who complete tertiary education positively increase the regional unemployment rate. Lastly, this paper looks at the effects of the 2008 financial crisis which conclusively increased regional unemployment rates in Spain. Through the positive effects of men and women who complete tertiary education and the 2008 financial crisis, this study concludes that the labor market in Spain may be saturated. A growing labor force illustrates the availability of jobs for educated laborers may be low.
    Keywords: Research Days 2017, Education, Spain, Unemployment, Gender
    Date Uploaded: 04/26/2017
  5. Human Capital Convergence: International Evidence [Download]

    Title: Human Capital Convergence: International Evidence
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: In the growth literature, evidence on income convergence is mixed. Inthe development literature, health and education indicators are also often used. This study examines whether health and education levels are converging across countries and calculates their convergence speed, using data from 100 countries during 1970-96. A 3SLS procedure is used in a joint analysis of human capital convergence. The results confirm that investments in education and health are closely linked. We find unconditional convergence for life expectancy and infant survival, and enrollment rates, on average and by gender; and conditional convergence for all human capital indicators, including class size.
    Keywords: human capital, convergence, education, health, growth
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  6. Does Employment Matter to the Labor Managed Firm? Some Theory and an Empirical Illustration [Download]

    Title: Does Employment Matter to the Labor Managed Firm? Some Theory and an Empirical Illustration
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description:
    Keywords:
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  7. Blooming Together or Wilting Alone? Organizational Comparative Advantage, Network Externalities, and Mondragon and La Lega Cooperative Networks [Download]

    Title: Blooming Together or Wilting Alone? Organizational Comparative Advantage, Network Externalities, and Mondragon and La Lega Cooperative Networks
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: This paper examines strategies developed by Mondragón Co-operative Corporation in the Basque Region of Spain, and La Lega co-operative network in Italy, to mitigate disadvantages of the typical co-operative organizational structure and market position but without losing its critical advantages and attractive features. A detailed institutional overview of these most prominent examples of successful co-operative clusters is presented. The paper argues that there are network externalities in co-op formation and survival, that imply that even if other barriers to entry are overcome and a co-op is established it may not survive, not because of intrinsic inefficiencies, but simply because of the lack of other co-operative entry, and to some extent also because of a lack of coordination among co-ops that do enter the market.
    Keywords: Mondragón, La Lega, Co-operative network, Co-operatives, Employee ownership, Labour managed firm, Italy, Spain, Developing countries, Economic development, Transition
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  8. Review of The Competitive Advantage of Nations: Michael Porter [Download]

    Title: Review of The Competitive Advantage of Nations: Michael Porter
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage of Nations, though it is written from the perspective of the business school rather than the economics department, and is primarily focused on understanding the distribution of leading positions in industries held by the advanced economies, is potentially an extraordinarily important book for the development field. It is the first serious attempt to develop a really original grand theory of national economic development processes since the early years of Postwar development economics, and represents one of the most original ways of thinking about development policy in years.
    Keywords:
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  9. The Scope of NGOs and Development Program Design:   Application to Problems of Multidimensional Poverty [Download]

    Title: The Scope of NGOs and Development Program Design:   Application to Problems of Multidimensional Poverty
    Author: Smith Stephen
    Description: This study addresses basic questions concerning the scope and structure of organizations working in development and poverty activities. Under what conditions is work on many or few poverty problems by a single organization warranted? Moreover, for a given organizational scope, how many issues and in what combination are best combined in a specific program? How are these choices related? How does “inheriting” an organizational structure that is difficult (very costly) to change influence choices concerning program type? The application of the economics of organization yields useful insights into NGO structure and activities, revealing opposing forces that may lead nongovernmental organizations to diversify either excessively, or inadequately. NGOs working in the poverty field are a natural focus for this research, because poverty is a multidimensional problem with potential (or contingent) complementarities across dimensions. Perspectives on activity choices such as child sponsorship and microfinance emerge from this broader context.
    Keywords: Poverty, microfinance, economics of organization,, Development, Organizational Comparative Advantage, NGOs, economies of scope, integration, specialization
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016
  10. Education and Freedom of Choice: Evidence from Arranged Marriages in Vietnam [Download]

    Title: Education and Freedom of Choice: Evidence from Arranged Marriages in Vietnam
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Using household data from Vietnam, we provide evidence on the effects of education on freedom of spouse choice. We use war disruptions and spatial indicators of schooling supply as instruments. The point estimates indicate that a year of additional schooling reduces the probability of an arranged marriage by about 14 percentage points for an individual with eight years of schooling. We also estimate bounds on the effect of education on arranged marriage when exclusion restrictions are violated locally (the lower bound is six to seven percentage points). The impact of education is strong for women, but significantly weaker for men.
    Keywords: Arranged marriage, Education, Schooling, Freedom of choice, Development, Vietnam, Red River delta, Labour markets, Social interactions
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016