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Economics

Gender, Race, Class and the Economics of Child Care

Finley, Eliza ('09);  Brown, Eleanor

Previous studies show that government funded child care programs and subsidies are not widely used by low-income mothers but rather serve a middle-class clientele whose work hours and child care demands conform to the programs' design. This study will examine how mothers from different race and class backgrounds participate in the labor force, piece together various types of child care, and utilize government subsidies and programs, considering the child care situation in the larger context of gender, race, and class inequalities in the United States. The goal of the research is to use econometric tools in tandem with critical race and gender theories to develop policy reforms that would make public child care programs more useful to low-income families. Extensive child care data will become available in the Fragile Families data set late in summer 2008.
Funding provided by: Aier Grant

Quantitative Evaluation Model for Dynamic Allocation

Hill, Kyle ('09);  Smith, Gary

My research focused on the creation of a quantitative asset allocation model for evaluating equity and bond indexes on the world markets. The model is intended to inspire investment approaches that execute their strategies solely through the use of exchange traded funds (ETFs)—index funds that trade on major exchanges like stocks. Using four years of historic data, the evaluation process ranks the relative attractiveness of indexes in six asset classes by executing a series of over 145 variable rankings based on attributes of relative value, relative growth and relative strength. The results show a 1-10 ranking of the indexes within each of the asset classes. Further research is required to develop a model for determining proper portfolio allocation (accounting for relative risk), and a historic backtest is necessary to identify the variable rankings with the most predictive features.
Funding provided by: Aier Grant

The Assessment of Pakistan Post-Earthquake Activities for Relief and Rehabilitation (APPEAR) Project

Sheikh, Hammad ('10);  Andrabi, Tahir;  Eubank, Nick*;  Das, Jishnu*;  Vishwanath, Tara*;  Cheema, Ali**;  Ahmad, Irfan***
*The World Bank;  **Lahore University of Management Sciences;  ***Rcons

On October 8th, 2005, a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan’s Northern Provinces of NWFP and AJK and left the region in complete disarray. Nearly three years later, there remains little data available on the present state of villages, households, and schools in the area. The objective of the APPEAR project is to complete a series of surveys that will help to characterize the region’s current condition. The APPEAR project is comprised of three major parts: a census, a household survey, and a school survey of 150 villages in the districts of Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad, Bagh, and Mansehra. We are currently administering the census to villages in the field. The data from this questionnaire will be available by September 15th, 2008 for analysis and discussion. Survey teams will then administer the household questionnaire and the school questionnaire. Fieldwork will be completed by June 15th, 2009.
Funding provided by: Pomona College Economics Dept.;  The World Bank

Rank-Order Tournaments in Major League Baseball

Verbeck, CJ ('10);  Lozano, Fernando

This paper uses Major League Baseball’s free agency to test the theoretical predictions of rank-order tournament theory. Tournament theory has been applied to other sports before (see Ehrenberg (1990), Becker and Huselid (1992), or Frick (2003)), but this paper is unique in its assessment of whether tournaments have incentive effects on baseball players who are about to become free agents due to the competition pool and size of the prize. Here we empirically test three predictions from the principal-agent framework: worker’s effort should increase when a player is a free agent – a phenomenon widely argued in the popular press and referred to “free-agent year” --, also the worker’s effort in rank-order tournaments is going to be positively correlated with the size of the prize, and effort is also positively correlated the number of contestants in the tournament. Using data from the free agent MLB players from 2005-2007 on contract year, league positional makeup and predicted tournament reward, while controlling for age/development, position, and team, we found no evidence that tournaments have incentive effects.
Funding provided by: Aier Grant

Research at Pomona