Indecent Estimates: Democracies, GDP Announcements, And Their Roles In Sovereign Debt Pricing (Prof. Camilo Alvarez)

1 student is sought for a project on “Indecent Estimates: Democracies, GDP Announcements, And Their Roles In Sovereign Debt Pricing ” with Prof. Camilo Alvarez that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Since autocracies seem to report higher estimates of GDP than external factors seem to validate, do international financial markets believe them? And when less democratic governments are in times they have high incentives to lie, do financial markets take them at face value? These are the two main questions we will tackle in the summer project. We will start by doing some basic regression to see if financial spreads react differently to GDP growth estimates for democracies or autocracies. Then we would move to focus only on periods where reporting a higher GDP growth might be more beneficial (when asking for new loans, or IMF reviews) and seeing how markets respond.

Prerequisites

They should have some familiarity with coding (language doesn’t matter) and basic regressions.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Camilo Alvarez (calvarez@wlu.edu)

The Gravity of Homicide: Personal Violence and International Trade (Prof. Michael Anderson)

1 student is sought for a project on “The Gravity of Homicide: Personal Violence and International Trade” with Prof. Michael Anderson that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

The Gravity of Homicide project explores our hypothesis that interpersonal violence (murder) diminishes international trade, and we find substantial evidence to support the claim. In brief, high levels of interpersonal violence act as a cost, a tax of sorts, on trading firms, with resulting declines in a country’s overall level of international trade. We estimate the relationship with a sample of over 160 countries over 17 years. To our knowledge we are the first to offer this finding. This summer’s work will advance the project, with data work, regression analysis, and literature reading. A second project will be looking at poverty and trade liberalization in India. This project (with co-authors Stephen Smith and Judith Dean (Brandeis)) has been revitalized over the last year, and we hope to continue the progress this summer.

Prerequisites

A statistics course (e.g. Econ 202 or other) and preferably also econometrics (Econ 203). Programming ability in Stata strongly desired.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. Michael Anderson (andersonm@wlu.edu)

Modernizing Economics Education (Prof. James Casey)

1 student is sought for a project on “Modernizing Economics Education” with Prof. James Casey that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Professor Goldsmith and I plan to work on three papers, which are part of our research initiative – “Modernizing Economics Education” – during the summer of 2024. • “Rethinking Public Policy with an Eye Towards Meaningful Work” • “Modelling ESG: Opening the Door of Student Understanding for a Key Topic in Finance Education” • “Monetary Policy in the Age of AI: A Delicate Balancing Act” SRS will participate in virtually every aspect of the research process, which includes: • Development and articulation of research questions. • Collection of relevant literature. • Discussion and critique of current scholarly work. • Development of relevant formal models to address our research questions. • Analysis using the formal models constructed. • Collection and analysis of data to evaluate hypotheses derived from our analysis of various developments using the formal models we develop. • Create a manuscript outline covering; the importance of our work, how it is carried out, what we find, and how it alters the state of knowledge in this area. • Preparation of a slide show to facilitate presentation of the new scholarship. • Contributing to research talks using the slide show they construct. • Discussion of the feedback received, and how to revise work accordingly. • Assist in revision of the manuscript and the slide show – learning persistence. • How to submit research for review including cover letter preparation. • Strategically thinking about what research is next in light of what was learned.

Prerequisites

Economics 100 or the equivalent.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 1

Contact Information: Prof. James Casey (caseyj@wlu.edu)

Demand Side Management and Renewable Intermittency. (Prof. Joseph Guse)

2 students are sought for a project on “Demand Side Management and Renewable Intermittency.” with Prof. Joseph Guse that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

The transition from carbon-based fuels to renewable energy sources may help society avoid the worst outcomes of climate change. One of the most exciting developments in the past decade is the steep decline in the cost of producing wind and solar power. However, renewable sources (aside from hydro) are intermittent. Therefore, actually using this power to displace coal, oil and gas is challenging. Supply side management options (storage, natural gas peaker plants, new transmission lines) will undoubtedly contribute to a solution. However, such options tend to be expensive. Another approach is to incentive consumers to adjust the timing of their electricity demand in order to better match when the sun shines or when the wind blows. For this project, we consider various demand-side incentive mechanisms and work toward an estimate of the impact on the industry, on electric utility customers and on GHG emissions.

Prerequisites

No.

Special Comments

This is a new avenue of research for me, so I cannot say how much time students will spend on specific tasks. However, an ideal candidate would (1) be eager to learn about this topic area (2) be good at reading and summarizing academic articles and technical documents (3) have good organizational skills and (4) have a strong interest in data collection, cleaning and analysis.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Joseph Guse (gusej@wlu.edu)

Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs. (Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA)

2 students are sought for a project on “Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs.” with Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

The goal of this project is to study if it is possible to hedge currency momentum portfolios using information stored in past currency returns after considering transaction costs. The goal for the student that collaborates with me over the summer will be to reproduce and update the internet appendix of Menkhoff et al. (2012) “Currency Momentum Strategies”. If the student achieves this task before the end of the summer, we could work on advanced time series techniques to study currency returns volatility. The student will learn how to download and manage currency datasets, how to use Python to estimate currency returns, and how to use Python to generate a statistical description of a currency dataset. The Bloomberg terminal (available at the Leyburn Library) holds an amazing amount of financial and economic data. However, I learned that few senior students know how to use it when I taught Macroeconomic Forecasting. The student will learn how to find and export data from the Datastream dataset. The student will have to use Python to clean and merge multiple datasets into one panel. Then, the student will generate a statistical description of the data and will perform some hypothesis testing. I believe that these skills will help the students to strengthen their CV. The student will perform better in future classes and will be a stronger candidate for the job market when he/she graduates. The student will also have a positive impact on my research. I will be working on the literature review and reviewing the student progress during the summer. Then, I will use the panel created by the student to work on my second research project “Constant leverage covering strategy for currency momentum portfolio with transaction costs.”

Prerequisites

*The student should have successfully completed the following courses. Econ 100 Introduction to Economics Econ 211 Macroeconomic Theory

Special Comments

*Ideally, the student should have successfully completed Econ 203 (Econometrics). However, this is not required. *Ideally, the student should know how to work with Python. However, this is not required.

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. MARIO NEGRETE GARCIA (mnegrete@wlu.edu)

Trends in privatization (Prof. Chantal Smith)

2 students are sought for a project on “Trends in privatization” with Prof. Chantal Smith that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

This summer I plan to take a deep dive into the idea of privatization. Privatization involves allowing formerly publicly provided goods and services and allow private actors to enter the market. Specifically, I plan to continue work I’ve already started on private prisons and school choice (two separate projects). Initially these two topics seem to be very different, however, there are some interesting similarities. One of the connections between schools and prisons is the research being done on the school-to-prison pipeline, which illustrates the connection between low-resourced schools and the juvenile and adult criminal justice system. While this summer’s research will not involve that connection, the connecting concept for both are the idea of competition. Economic theory states that competition serves two functions: 1) it improves consumer satisfaction (more options can improve prices), and 2) it incentives firms to be responsive to consumer desires. There continues to be a question of if the competition that this privatization movement promises is competitive.

Prerequisites

It would be helpful (but not required) if the students have previous exposure to statistics, econometrics, and coding in statistical packages such as R, Stata, or Python.

Special Comments

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Chantal Smith (csmith@wlu.edu)

Modernizing Economics Education (Prof. Arthur Goldsmith)

2 students are sought for a project on “Modernizing Economics Education” with Prof. Arthur Goldsmith that will begin on 6/3/2024 and last for 10 weeks

Project Description:

Professor Casey and I plan to work on three papers, which are part of our research initiative – “Modernizing Economics Education” – during the summer of 2024. • “Rethinking Public Policy with an Eye Towards Meaningful Work” • “Modelling ESG: Opening the Door of Student Understanding for a Key Topic in Finance Education” • “Monetary Policy in the Age of AI: A Delicate Balancing Act” SRS will participate in virtually every aspect of the research process, which includes: • Development and articulation of research questions. • Collection of relevant literature. • Discussion and critique of current scholarly work. • Development of relevant formal models to address our research questions. • Analysis using the formal models constructed. • Collection and analysis of data to evaluate hypotheses derived from our analysis of various developments using the formal models we develop. • Create a manuscript outline covering; the importance of our work, how it is carried out, what we find, and how it alters the state of knowledge in this area. • Preparation of a slide show to facilitate presentation of the new scholarship. • Contributing to research talks using the slide show they construct. • Discussion of the feedback received, and how to revise work accordingly. • Assist in revision of the manuscript and the slide show – learning persistence. • How to submit research for review including cover letter preparation. • Strategically thinking about what research is next in light of what was learned.

Prerequisites

Economics 100 or the equivalent

Special Comments

None

Project Information

Estimated Start Date: 6/3/2024

Estimated End Date: 8/9/2024

Maximum number of students sought: 2

Contact Information: Prof. Arthur Goldsmith (goldsmitha@wlu.edu)