Undergraduate Research in Economics
Student Research in Economics
Click to watch Rebecca Thornquist '14 discuss her research project.more
Pomona is a community of daring minds. It is a place for students who are venturesome by choice, who have talent, passion, and independence of spirit, and who are prepared to dream big and work hard in order to make a difference in the world.
One way that Pomona College provides opportunities for students to excel is through research opportunities. Conducting research as an undergraduate not only gives students an advantage when applying for fellowships or graduate school; it also gives them a chance to tackle real-world problems and to find out what it’s like to be treated as colleagues by their professors, many of whom are the leading experts in their fields.
Analyzing Education Trends in Pakistan
Joshua Rosenberg (2013); Mentor(s): Tahir Andrabi
Abstract: My project used the newest rounds of household and
school-level data from the “Learning and Educational Achievement in
Pakistan Schools” (LEAPS) project to analyze various aspects of
education in Pakistan. One part of my project involved using STATA and
regression analysis to analyze the trends and determinants of pre-school
enrollment over time. Some have theorized that pre-school enrollment in
Pakistan is increasing because private schools have been able to
provide pre-school education cheaply while remaining profitable.
However, I found that pre-school enrollment,
as a percentage of total enrollment, has not increased in the last 5
years and that private schools have not offered proportionally more
pre-school services than public schools. I also found that younger
children were more likely to enroll in private schools. To determine
causes of enrollment, I constructed variables for parents’ education
level, parents’ time use, household wealth, and household demographics,
but my regression analysis
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP
Recession Blues: Do Economic Conditions Affect Music Preferences?
Samuel Antill (2013); Mentor(s): Eleanor Brown
Abstract: In this work, I examine the relationship between economic
conditions and the market for popular music. While some forms of
entertainment, such as movies, immerse the consumer in a prolonged,
multisensory experience that offers an escape from daily life, popular
music is an expressive art form that is more likely to be chosen based
on the listener's mood . I hypothesize that the relative popularity of
increases during economic downturns. To test this, I use the One Million
Song dataset to obtain characteristics of a large sample of songs
published between 1922 and 2010. Using mode as a proxy for the mood of
the song, a song is classified as sad if it is minor and happy if major.
I test whether changes in the mood of popular music can be explained by
recessions or general economic conditions. Preliminary results suggest
downturns have a significant positive correlation with the proportion of
contemporary songs that are sad. In addition to a cyclical pattern in
the demand for sad songs, my results confirm a recent study’s finding
that popular music is getting sadder over time.
Funding Provided by: Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Funds