Senior Theses 2021

 Dr. Chuck Moul teaches a class in the Farmer School
Student raises her hand during class
 Student shuffles papers on his desk
Figures and equations on a whiteboard
 Students listen to an Economics class lecture

Ryan Burghart

Advisor: Jing Ling

Title: Do Economic Factors Help Forecast Political Turnover? Comparing Parametric and Nonparametric Approaches

Abstract: Political turnover is the change in a government from one ruling political party to another. Turnover often leads to the redaction of policies from the previous administration, creating periods of political as well as economic instability. While turnover can impact an economy, the economy can also impact an electorate’s perspective on the ruling political body. This study looks to answer the question: can we predict turnover using economic indicators such as unemployment rate? Using linear probability models, logistic regression, and classification tree models, we examine relationships between factors such as unemployment, inflation, and investment on political outcomes for presidential and congressional elections. We compare the forecasting performance of parametric models to nonparametric models. Current results find that there are strong relationships between economic indicators and political outcomes but lack accuracy in prediction


Elliott Crummer

Advisor: John Bowblis

Title: The Impact of Payer-Mix on COVID-19 Vulnerability of Nursing Homes: Evidence from Ohio

Abstract: COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on nursing homes due to the vulnerable populations that live there. I investigate what characteristics are associated with the probability of having a COVID-19 case and the number of cases over the first six months of the pandemic using logistic and negative binomial regressions. I focus on payer-mix as an explanatory variable for COVID-19 outcomes, due to the cancellation of elective surgeries and subsequent change in payer-mix. Despite expectations, I find no significant, consistent relationship between payer-mix and COVID-19 outcomes. I confirm previous results on what characteristics of facilities are indications of cases, including size, urban status, and BIPOC population. I also find chain status, occupancy, and case-mix to be associated with the number of cases. These results help to understand the impact COVID-19 is having on different types of nursing facilities and contribute to a larger analysis of the impact COVID-19 is having on the U.S. healthcare system.


Julia Draeb

Advisor: Jing Ling

Title: Reexamining the Expectations Hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates: An Out-of-Sample Forecasting Perspective

Abstract: The expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates implies that the long term and short-term interest rates are linked. This paper determines whether that link can help improve the forecast of future interest rates and how that forecasting power differs across term differences. With rolling windows, the out-of-sample fore-casting errors based on the autoregressive distributive lag models are compared to the autoregressive model. From the forecasting perspective, I find evidence that the link-age becomes weaker as the term difference increases. This finding complements the previous study of Li and Davis (2017).


Emma LaGuardia

Advisor: Greg Niemesh

Title: Rationalizing Trends in Educational Assortative Mating over the Early 20th-Century United States

Abstract: Understanding trends in assortative mating is essential to understanding how in-equality may change over time. Little research has been done on trends in assortative mating in the early 20th century, especially during a period known as the “high school movement” which saw a rapid increase in the availability of secondary education and a decline in economic inequality. I use the Seperable Extreme Value Index developed by Chiapporiet al.(2020) to determine changes in assortative mating and perform a counterfactual analysis. I find that positive assortative mating decreased among high school-educated people between the 1880-89 and 1890-99 birth cohorts. This is consistent with a counterfactual simulation which suggests that the value of positive assortative mating also decreased. I use the general openness, saturation, and status-attainment hypotheses to rationalize the trends in assortative mating over the entire 20th century


Michael Molchan

Advisor: Tyler Henry

Title: Growth Opportunities and Extreme Market Reactions to Mergers and Acquisitions: Do Growth Targets Generate Extreme Announcement Day Returns?

Abstract: This thesis examines the link between a target firms growth opportunities and the likelihood of an extreme stock market reaction to merger and acquisition announcements. While there is utility in observing the average cumulative abnormal return to shareholders, not all firms involved in an M&A transaction can expect to receive the average return. Instead, many firms receive extremely positive or extremely negative announcement day returns. Cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) are estimated for 812 target firms and 571 acquirer firms with announcement dates between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2019. The growth opportunities of the corresponding target firms are approximated using the KBM model and the target firm’s market-to-book ratio. Target shareholders were significantly more likely to experience extreme announcement day returns when their firm was classified as a growth target while acquirer shareholders were significantly less likely to experience extreme announcement day returns when acquiring a growth target. However, the impact of a target firm’s growth opportunities is rendered statistically insignificant after controlling for acquirer characteristics such as the acquirer’s size, cash, capex, assets, and market-to-book ratio. Ultimately, the relationship between target growth potential and extreme announcement day returns is inconclusive.


Rukumini (Ruku) Pal

Advisors: Greg Niemesh and Melissa Thomasson

Title: Economic Effect of Sole Hospital Closure on Rural Community

Abstract: This paper analyzes a panel from 1996 – 2014 of rural counties that had a single hospital in 1996 to estimate the impact of a hospital closure on county economic activity employment, total payroll, and number of establishments. Using a two-way fixed effect regression model, I find ambiguous results as to the true effect of the sole hospital closure. The results indicate either little to no direct effect on the rural community as a whole or that the data set lacks enough variation to capture the true effect.


Henry Shaneyfelt

Advisor: Chuck Moul

Title: Flying Under the Radar: Multimarket Contact and Tacit Collusion in the U.S. Airline Industry

Abstract: This paper serves to identify the effects of multimarket contact on tacit collusion through the measures of average price and price dispersion. Implementing methods used in Evans and Kessides(1994) and Ciliberto and Williams(2014), I employ gate-use data to instrument for the average multimarket contact variable and addressany potential bias from endogeneity. Additionally, squared gate-use instruments, which are novel to the existing literature, are included in the analysis. When using the novel instruments, a significant positive relationship is found between average multimarket contact and both prices and price dispersion.


Noah Tilton

Advisor: Deborah Fletcher

Title: Don't Forget the Time: Revisting Prior Studies Estimating Impact of College Sports on Academic Achievement

Abstract: I revisit the studies performed by Lindo, Swensen, and Waddell (2012) and Hernandez-Julian and Rothoff (2014) to determine the impact of athletic success on student performance at a university with smaller Division I athletic programs. I use data from Miami University spanning fall of 2007 to the spring of 2018 and utilize student and subject-by-level fixed effects in my estimations. However, I am unable to include time fixed effects, which poses significant concerns regarding the validity of the results. Despite the smaller scale that Miami’s athletic programs compete at, I find that the success of the men’s ice hockey, men’s basketball, and football teams have significant impacts on student performance. Specifically, student performance and the gender gap between male and female students is most impacted by the success of the hockey team in the fall. However, the success of the football team is found to impact student performance in the spring, despite the football competing exclusively in the fall. The findings of my analysis call into question the results found in previous studies estimating this relationship, and demonstrate that the inclusion of time fixed effects is crucial in education production functions to more accurately estimate the impact of its inputs.


Morgan Uveges

Advisor: Chuck Moul

Title: Life at the Border: The Effect of the Medicaid Expansion on Labor Market Outcomes

Abstract: The 2010 Affordable Care Act sought to expand health insurance coverage in the United States in part through an expansion of Medicaid to cover to low-income, able-bodied individuals without dependent children. In this paper, I employ a contiguous border-county approach to compare labor market outcomes in neighboring states with differing Medicaid Expansion statuses. Unlike existing state-level analyses of the Medicaid Expansion that find no significant impacts in the labor market and unlike an existing border-county study that finds only a transient decrease in employment one year after the Medicaid Expansion, I find a significant increase in unemployment per capita by 0.25 percentage points and in the unemployment rate by 0.64 percentage points. I also find insignificant decreases in measures of average hours worked per week, labor force participation, and employment.