Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2008, the Bitcoin community has grown tremendously. This momentum pairs with the spike in Bitcoin’s monetary value. Over the course of five years, the price of Bitcoin has tripped from six cents to $255 per Bitcoin in April 2015 (Coinmarketcap 2015). Its popularity and dramatic price movement have led more people to scrutinize cryptocurrencies and to understand whether this is the new technology that will have a significant impact on our lives like computers and the Internet. The goal of this thesis is to understand the future of cryptocurrencies through Bitcoin and five different lenses: historical context, supply side, demand side, market dynamics, and applications in other fields. Each chapter analyzes Bitcoin through one perspective, together to answer the central question: are cryptocurrencies a new secular phenomenon that will change the world?, 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1340, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Berkey, Aidan Alexander (Aidan Alexander Berkey) (Author), (Joyce Jacobsen) (Thesis advisor)
An interdisciplinary analysis of forms of commemoration in model cities of the modernizing global south. Investigations of memory and forgetting, framed as contestation between institutions and the urban periphery., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1666, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
In this study I test several assertions commonly made about Republican and Democratic spending preferences. Specifically, using annual data from 19712001, I examine how party control at the state level affects overall expenditure growth and the shares of expenditure allotted to various classes of programs, including education, welfare, healthcare, transportation, and public safety. I incorporate into my regressions a wide array of control variables and statistical corrections, including explicit modeling of spatial dependency. My results generally align with political rhetoric and prior research. Democrats appear to spend significantly more on welfare and education and less on public safety than Republicans. However, I also find that Democratic control of government causes less expansion of the public sector, in opposition to what many believe. The robustness of this result is relatively low, though, and the coefficient may be simply an artifact of my methodology and sample choice., 2012, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/797, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Cigarette taxes and regulations have historically been used by governments to raise revenues and more recently discourage the habit of smoking. In the past year alone, the United States government increased the federal tax rate on a pack of cigarettes by 62 cents (the largest increase in history of the U.S. federal tax rate on cigarettes), and the government of Greece has chosen to increase the tax on cigarettes to help offset its current debt crisis. This thesis will attempt to provide an explanation for why cigarettes have become such a popular commodity for government regulation, as well as the economic theories behind these decisions. This paper will also attempt to quantify the economic effects of cigarette regulation using econometric techniques to determine whether these theories hold in reality., 2010, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/466, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Hutchinson, Giovanni (Giovanni Hutchinson) (Author), (Joyce Jacobsen) (Thesis advisor)
Labor market outcomes, choices, and how they differ by race and gender have been a major controversial topic in recent years. Labor economists have been seeking plausible explanations for these gender and racial differences in choices (such as college major and occupation) which eventually affect income and other labor market outcomes. This paper addresses the effects of personality traits, both controlling for race and gender and interacting with race and gender, on labor market-related choices and outcomes. Specifically, I consider college major, occupation, and income as outcomes.
In this study, the direct, race-interacted effects, and gender-interacted effects of personality are modelled on labor market choices and outcomes, using both conventional regression and machine learning techniques. Results show that many traits have significant effects on our choice of college major and occupation as well as quantifiable effects on income. Furthermore, many of these traits vary by race and gender.
However, personality trait effects on choice of college major and occupation are more significant than effects on income, consistent with a framework in which people select jobs that are most suited with their personality. For example, neuroticism is more negatively related to income for men than women, suggesting that some personality traits, and their return in the workplace, cannot be completely offset by their ideal choice of occupation.
The analysis is extended using machine learning techniques as a different way of modeling labor market outcomes highlights the intersectional relationship between gender, race, and personality traits, as a means to provide additional information about cluster of traits through inferential statistical analyses. In conclusion, race, gender, and personality do affect one’s choice of major and occupation, which eventually impacts their income., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2205, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
The term “gentrification” has become ubiquitous in discussion of neighborhood change and urban policy; yet, a rarely studied – and little understood - aspect of gentrification is the extent to which it affects neighborhoods across various cities at the local level. This thesis draws on unique datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau to examine patterns of neighborhood change in gentrifying and potentially gentrifiable neighborhoods in Cleveland, Phoenix, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City between 2000 and 2010. The results reveal significant heterogeneity in the effects of gentrification across cities. In this thesis, I also introduce an econometric model used to predict and determine why some neighborhoods gentrify and others do not. The results of the model suggest that predictors of gentrification vary by city., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1677, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Cities have undergone tremendous changes over history. And more changes are yet to come. While everyone is able to see the physical changes that take place in a city, it is also equally important to ensure social progress is made to allow for an increased quality of life for people living in the city. The city is a place where people are able to live and express themselves. To accomplish this, urban planners need to build cities that take into account the individuals living in the city, especially looking at the relationships individuals have with the built environment and with one another. This thesis uses Singapore as a case study to look at the characteristics that make for a great city. The main argument this thesis makes is that first, there is an important relationship between the built environment and a city, and second, that social organization of a city needs to be taken into account to develop a holistic means of evaluating cities. Great cities, such as Singapore, can be built by fulfilling these two needs., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1842, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)