2011-2012

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A case study analysis of the craft beer industry
The craft beer industry has been growing steadily for the last twenty years while big brewers are losing market share. The front range of Colorado is one of the epicenters of the craft brewing industry and hosts a wide variety of different brewing business models. As such, this study attempts to understand why the industry is growing, what threats it faces, and what trajectory it is on for the future by interviewing the people behind an assortment of breweries on the front range of Colorado., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
A culture of thrift: an investigation of the effects of cultural factors on household savings rates
Americans are increasingly financially fragile with massive credit card debt and a mounting inability to see themselves through times of financial hardship (i.e. the loss of a job or severe illness). Researchers find that one quarter of Americans could not come up with the savings or assets to cover a financial shock of $2,000 within 30 days. This lack of savings in the United States stands in stark contrast to the thrifty values espoused in a number of European and Asian countries, where saving is a stylish and popular practice. Traditional indicators of household savings rates (i.e. the real interest rate, public debt, and growth in GDP per capita) fail to capture all of the variation observed from country to country; and therefore, innovative approaches now incorporate various cultural factors. This paper seeks to build upon previous work, utilizing a unique three stage regression analysis to examine the question, to what extent do cultural differences influence the variation in household savings rates around the world? Ultimately, this research finds that nations that place a higher value on teaching children about thrift have higher household savings rates. However, it is important to note that this cultural value for thrift is a product of various historical, political, and economic forces. This suggests that one must reconsider a linear notion of causality between culture and economics and instead reflect upon the manner in which the two constantly interact with and influence one another., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
A probability model for earnings restatement
Given their prevalence in recent years, earnings management and financial restatements have been at the center of much of the discussion surrounding corporate malfeasance. This study builds a probability model for predicting the likelihood of earnings restatements by analyzing the trends in and the deviations from the industry averages of the return on assets, accounts receivable turnover, net profit margin, and cash flow to net income measures. Data are obtained for a sample of 104 firms (restating as well as non-restating) for the 2000 to 2001 period. The results suggest that the deviation from the industry average of the accounts receivable turnover and the variability in the cash flow to net income are good barometers for detecting fraudulent accounting. Potential restating firms have higher accounts receivable turnover rates than their industry counterparts and downward trends in their cash flow to net income, signaling the likelihood of a restatement, at least in the current study., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
A quantitative analysis of quality of emergency room care
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., The United States healthcare industry is in need of reform to address the high financial cost of medical care, the dwindling health of the population, and the disorganization, complexity, and high cost of insurance. These healthcare inefficiencies and barriers to treatment create patient quality of care issues. Emergency medicine is a growing sector of healthcare, and this thesis examines how the macro level issues of the healthcare industry effect and relate to patient quality of care in the emergency room. Demographic and patient registration individual patient data was used to quantitatively examine the care received in the emergency room, finding that barriers to quality of emergency medical care more commonly lie in preexisting health issues or socioeconomic factors unrelated to the medical care actually received in the emergency room.
A study on Twitter’s relationship with stock market volatility
Research on stock market prediction has a deep foundation in economic and business research. Recent research into social media has shown that it can be an accurate tool for stock market prediction modeling. This study will continue in this field of research by attempting to determine if stock market volatility can be predicted using Twitter volume data and user metadata. ARCH regression methods are utilized to evaluate time-series data sets of Tweets filtered by 48 separate S&P 500 companies. While the results are for the most part insignificant, the future is bright for social media research in the academia community., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Addressing consumer food waste : the role of increasing information in waste reduction
Every year, one third of the global food supply is wasted through post-harvest, distribution, and household food losses. In a global food system, food consumption and waste practices have substantial environmental consequences and high levels of waste can reduce food access for the world’s poor. In the developed world, food waste occurs most heavily in the retail and consumer stages of the food supply chain. The U.S. Economic Research Service estimated that in 1995, 26 percent of the total edible food supply was wasted by individuals and the food-service industry. Using theory of utility maximization and imperfect information, this thesis uses a survey to explore whether consumers lack information that may contribute to reductions in food waste and what types of information would be most beneficial in decreasing household food waste. In addition, the study tracks food waste over the course of two weeks in a college cafeteria to examine whether an increase in information about the quantity of food waste leads to a decrease in plate waste. This study found that information on financial savings, “sell by” dates and other expiration codes, and the quantity of food wasted may be beneficial in reducing consumer food wastages. Further research in the area is necessary in order to determine the scope of the problem and possible solutions., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Advertising strategies in the American automotive industry : an analysis of information content in television advertisements
The automotive industry is a critical component of the American economy. The success of the industry is largely dependent upon the effectiveness of the advertising strategies and brand messaging of each company. The purpose of this thesis is to examine advertising strategies employed by three American automotive manufacturers through the analysis of informational content in television commercials. Furthermore, this thesis will address possible changes in advertising strategies as a result of an economic recession. This study found that there is a greater focus on general brand imaging during periods of economic recovery., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Agency theory and takeover defenses : an empirical analysis of target company management incentives in relation to shareholder concerns
The following study critically examines the actions and underlying incentives of public corporate governors in response to unsolicited tender offers. Using established theoretical frameworks, this thesis hypothesizes that takeover target managers and directors will tend to respond to personal financial incentives and risks in lieu of shareholder wealth concerns. Indeed, the past literature on the subject has mostly reflected this result; however, no recent study has determined conclusively if this trend is harmful to shareholders. Using methodology reflecting that of the successful past research, the empirical models test the explanatory power of the following variables on bid resistance by target firms over a sample of 64 tender offers spanning from 2004 to 2012: Hostility (defined as the intention of the bidder to replace target management), Bid Premium (the only variable of concern to shareholders), Managerial Wealth Change (a variable representing the immediate capital gains facing the top managers and directors as a result of the takeover) and Managerial Stock Ownership (as a percentage of total shares, and as the natural logarithm of total shares held by top managers and directors). The relationships highlighted by the data will be compared in their explanatory power and statistical significance to determine if shareholders, and thus the greater capital markets, should be concerned about the potential results of a misalignment of principal and agent incentives., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., Data set includes dates, names of targets and acquirers, share prices leading up to the takeovers, insider holdings information, synopses of many of the bids, and other pertinent data described in detail in the Data section of Chapter IV., Microsoft Excel 2010, with results from Stata 11
Are MLB signing bonuses too high? An analysis of player production and investments in draft picks
Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are often criticized for overspending on amateur draft picks. Sports business professionals and the casual baseball fan argue that awarding unproven amateur baseball players millions dollar signing bonuses is not a sound investment. However, previous studies in sports economics have found that teams are willing to sign better players to higher salaries or signing bonuses in order to increase their production or team wins. Similar to the labor market, baseball teams will attempt to create a product (team wins) by employing signing inputs (players who provide skills and services). This paper attempts to quantify or place monetary values on a single total value baseball statistic, Wins Above Replacement (WAR), to determine the Market Value of a baseball player’s production. WAR represents the additional amount of wins a player contributes to his team over a season. This paper then tests the overall performance and investment of baseball draftees from the 1996 through the 2000 Rule IV Draft. Results of this study reveal that professional baseball teams on average receive a very positive return on their investment in amateur drafts picks., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Attendance in the National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is not only a sports entertainment industry, it is also a business. The main profit function for the NBA is the attendance rating. Studies have examined the details of how this powerful business survives, but none have explored the specific link between all-star players and the attendance rating. This study presents an attendance maximization model that attempts to determine if the presence of an all-star player increases the attendance rating. An Ordinary Least Squares regression model is used to identify the determinants of what different independent variables have on the attendance rating. Results indicate that the true variable to increase the attendance at NBA games is the amount a team wins during the season. Other variables that were found to be significant were the city population, the amount of gate revenue, how many championships a team has won, the real ticket price, and the arena age., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., Title self-submitted as: Attandance in the National Basketball Association
Black economic empowerment in South Africa
Apartheid has had long-lasting effects on the economic conditions in South Africa. It has affected the ability of the previously discriminated groups, in this case people of color, to achieve any form of upward social mobility. The white population holds majority of the wealth in a country that is predominantly black. To address issues of inequality the South African government introduced Black Economic Empowerment, a program seeking to redress poverty, especially amongst the black community. Initially the program was geared towards business management and ownership amongst the black population but changed to include human resource development and employment equity. This study uses three ordinary least squares regression models to determine the impact of black economic empowerment on the wage gap but also education and the job opportunities as they all inter-relate. The result of this study reveals there has been no consistent change over time. The wage gap is still exceptionally high between blacks and whites, with blacks remaining in an inferior position. Using examples of similar programs in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Nigeria, education is a common theme in affirmative action programs that is lacking in South Africa. Therefore in order to achieve greater success the program needs to place more emphasis on the role of education in economic advancement., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Capitalization of test scores on property prices : a fixed effect model approach
Using a hedonic fixed effects model, this paper analyzes the rate of property capitalization due to the test scores of elementary schools, and the distance of elementary schools to the property, for Lake Oswego, Oregon through the fixed effect of school attendance boundaries. This paper also explores the use of the taxcode and the neighborhood association as fixed effects variables for the capitalization of test scores on property. The result of the regressions were a test score capitalization rate of 2.4% for test scores for a boundary fixed effect, which increases to 4% when the distance variable is included in the regression. Changing the fixed effect variables resulted in a test score capitalization of 1.5% for taxcodes, and 0.9% for neighborhood associations. These results show that the test score capitalization rate changes as the variables of the regression also changes., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references
Chinese competition : who's to blame for the deindustrialization of America?
Current legislation seeks to label China a “currency manipulator” due to its allegedly unfair trade practices. The coincidence of increased Sino-US trade flows with domestic job loss in manufacturing fuels a great deal of the growing anti-China sentiment in the US. Proponents of the Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act attribute America’s long-experienced decline in manufacturing employment to competition from rising Chinese imports, therefore advocating protectionist measures. This thesis examines the validity of such claims, suggesting the possible significance of technologically-induced productivity gains rather than increased trade liberalization. Employing an ordinary least squares regression model, this study tests for the determinants of manufacturing job-loss between 1983 and 2005. Results of this study indicate the significance not only of increased imports from China, but from the entirety of the US’s low-wage trading partners. However, negligible significance is attributed to enhanced productivity during this period., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Competitive balance in the National Hockey League since the 2004-2005 lockout
Previous sports studies on competitive balance have used many different economic tools to determine whether a league is balanced or not. In this paper the Herfindahl- Hirschman index is used to measure competitive balance in the National Hockey League. This study was done using the year before the lockout (2003-2004) as well as every year post lockout up to last year (2010-2011) in hopes of seeing whether competitive balance in the National Hockey League has increased since the 2004-2005 lockout. The numbers show that since the lockout competitive balance has increased in the National Hockey League with the major factors being offensive talent, defensive talent, and the lockout., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Connect and participate: an inquiry into Colorado College's alumni giving participation rates
Alumni giving is a major priority for any and all top liberal arts colleges. Not only is total alumni donation a major funding contributor to liberal arts colleges’ annual operational costs, but it has a 5% weight in U.S. News and World Report ranking. Specifically, Colorado College has seen a significant decrease, per annum, of alumni giving participation rates since 1995. This thesis aims to understand potential causes behind this decrease in participation rates by interacting directly with a specific alumni sample in order to understand their perception of this phenomenon. Through a phone interviewing methodology, informed by prior data collection and analysis of survey results/alumni characteristic, findings will suggest actionable ways in which to improve alumni connection to Colorado College in order to foster increase alumni giving participation rates., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Consumer attitudes and environmentally friendly fashion
Consumers are adopting a greener lifestyle, and demanding more environmentally friendly options. This demand has transcended into the fashion industry. Eco-fashion, which recently was considered exclusive, now is a major focus for large brands and retailers. While the conscious consumer is growing, their attitudes towards environmentally friendly fashion are unclear. This thesis aims to shed light on the consumers involved in this market. Eco-fashion can be anything from organic cotton or bamboo to repossessed materials. The options to reduce the environmental impact of apparel are immense, making the market infinitely large., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Consumer confidence as a leading indicator for gross domestic product growth
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index consistently fluctuates with GDP growth. While many believe that this correlation is caused by consumer’s reactions to economic changes, this paper argues that economic changes are reacting to consumer’s attitudes in the form of GDP growth. By using both The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index and The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, this study is able to compare and distinguish which index has better forecasting capabilities. Granger-causality regressions on a 4 year time-series showed statistical evidence that The Consumer Confidence Index was capable of determining GDP growth one and two years in advance while GDP growth does not appear to influence consumer confidence. In accordance with previous research, The Index of Consumer Sentiment does not appear to possess any forecasting power for GDP growth., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., Title self-submitted as: Consumer confidence as a leading indicator for gross domestric product growth
Corporate social responsibility & the consumer goods industry
The modern corporation's relationship to society has undergone drastic changes between the 1960s and the present day, in large part because the general public has held corporations to increasingly higher ethical and moral standards. While originally this relationship manifested itself only as punishment for extreme environmental and human rights violations, as made evident in the divestment movement in Apartheid South Africa and the backlash against Exxon after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, in the past twenty years firms are increasingly rewarded for going beyond the bare minimums set by regulators. Firms like Costco and WholeFoods exemplify this new trend in corporate America, and the current research tests whether a relationship exists between a firm's corporate social responsibility scores and its financial performance. Formally, the research predicts a positive correlation between strong corporate social responsibility and financial performance for firms listed in the S&P 500 in the consumer goods industry. The study relies on corporate social responsibility information provided by the KLD MSCI STATS database as well as financial information from the Mergent online database to test the theory on S&P 500 firms in the consumer goods industry., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references.
Demographic predictors of alcohol and tobacco consumption in the United States, a multivariate analysis
The main focus of this study is to examine how well various demographic indicators predict the demand for alcohol and tobacco in the U.S. Using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR), four different demand models are examined simultaneously to determine the effects of variables like income, age, education and price level on quantity demanded. These models are derived from 1996-1999 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only are the demographic indicators of consumption significantly different from previous research, but the data also suggest a drastic increase in price responsiveness after the recession of December 2007., Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., Thesis date on title page December 2010, should be December 2011.
Derivatives usage and firm value
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College, bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, Includes bibliographical references., This thesis analyzes a sample of large non-financial U.S. firms listed on the S&P 500 index to establish a concrete relationship between firm value and derivatives usage. Derivatives are widely utilized by firms to hedge various types of risks, however, the exact effects of derivatives usage and how such activities are perceived by the market are not very clear. An IV regression model is used since the decision to use derivatives is not exogenous. Both notional values and fair values of derivatives are considered in establishing a relationship with firm value. The results suggest that derivatives usage has a negative connotation and the market values user firms at a discount.

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