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Research

Students in the Economics Department are actively involved in research. In the past three years, students have presented more than 30 quality research projects at the Annual Linfield College Science and Social Science Symposium. Past topics have been as diverse as the economical impact of mountain bicycle events, the effect of human development on economic growth, and factors predicting box-office revenues.

Below are just some of the highlights from recent symposia:

21st Annual Linfield College Science and Social Science Symposium (2013)

Demand for TriMet Bus and Light Rail Systems
By: Cameron M. Chester
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey A. Summers
Project poster
This study estimates the demand for bus and MAX light-rail ridership in the Portland, Oregon area from 1987 to 2011 using a time series model. Based on the estimated effect of income on ridership demand, we find that bus service is an inferior good and MAX ridership is a normal good. This suggests that although both modes of public transit in the Portland area operate at the same price level without competition from other public transit agencies, demand behavior for each service is not the same.

Predicting Gross Domestic Box Office Revenue
By: Erik Knapp
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey A. Summers
Project poster
This paper analyzes the impacts of twenty-two explanatory variables on the independent variable, gross domestic box office revenue. The explanatory variables are divided into six groups including production, star power, reviews, genre, rating, and release date. The significant variables are budget, total theaters, director, franchise, audience, PG-13, summer and holiday.

The Economical Impact of Mountain Bicycle Events in Oregon
By: Kadin Hashimoto, Katie Main, Rhiannon Ladwig, Jeff McNamee
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeff McNamee
Project poster
The current project aimed to quantify the economic impact of several mountain biking events and one tour operator in Oregon during 2012. Specifically, we outlined the county level economic impact travel estimates, participant demographics, travel party size and spending averages across the four events.

The Effect of Human Development on Economic Growth
By: Peyton Mizell
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey A. Summers
Project poster
I estimated an equation for GDP per capita growth in a panel of 129 countries over the years 1980-2010. Openness and the initial level of GDP are found to have significant effects on growth in only the lowest income countries.

20th Annual Linfield College Science and Social Science Symposium (2012)

Factors Affecting Retention at Private Baccalaureate Liberal Arts and Sciences Colleges
By: Tarun T. Fernandes
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey A. Summers
Project poster
This paper attempts to analyze the factors that affect retention at private liberal arts colleges. We found that increases in average grants and average loans led to higher levels of retention at Private Baccalaureate Colleges. We also found that a college’s acceptance rate is negatively correlated with the retention rate.This analysis is intended to help Private Baccalaureate Colleges understand the factors that enhance the ability to successfully retain students.

The Determinants of NFL Ticket Prices: What Managers May Consider when Pricing Tickets
By: Julia A. Huffman, Buddy J. Saxon
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey A. Summers
Project poster
Our purpose of this study is to determine what factors contribute to NFL ticket prices across teams and over time. Results of this study show that a team’s previous season’s winning percentage, the average income of the area, the population of the area, and playing in a new stadium all have a positive, and significant, influence on ticket price. This study’s outcome allows fans and others to observe what team managers may consider when making price-changing decisions, and also by what percent a change in each factor will potentially change price.