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Now showing 1 - 10 of 256
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    Analyses of Short-Run Airport Costs in the U.S.: Pre- and Post-COVID-19
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-07-27) Yang, Yushuo
    Airports are crucial for passenger and cargo transportation, as well as for employment generation and GDP growth. A better understanding of airport cost structure enables airport managers and policymakers to more efficiently allocate their limited resources and design policies, respectively. This dissertation conducts short-term multi-output cost analyses for 50 medium and large U.S. airports. Using a multi-product translog cost function methodology, the dissertation addresses three research questions: what are the effects of negative attributes on short-run airport cost structures; what impact did COVID-19 have on airport short-run operating costs; and for aircraft departures, how does the short-run marginal social cost differ from marginal private costs. Based on 2012 – 2019 data, the first essay estimates a translog cost function with three positive outputs (departures, workload, and non-aeronautical revenue) and three negative attributes (delay, congestion, and air pollution). The results show that delay and congestion have statistically significant and positive effects on airport total operating costs. Compared to the cost analysis with negative attributes, the cost analysis without negative attributes produces unreliable estimates of production properties. Extending the data to cover two COVID-19 years, 2020 and 2021, the second essay examines the effects of COVID-19 and related policies on airport short-term costs. In addition, the essay decomposes the percentage change in average variable costs between pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods. The results indicate that COVID-19 (cases and deaths) and associated policies (state face mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates) significantly and positively affect the total operating costs. COVID-19 cases and the time/technical efficiency effect are the two most influential factors for the percentage change in average variable costs. The third essay focuses on aircraft departures and estimates a measure of marginal social cost that includes negative externalities (delay, congestion, and air pollution). The essay examines whether the current landing fees cover marginal departure social costs. The results find that, on average, current landing fees only cover the marginal private costs but are significantly less than the marginal social costs per departure. This strongly suggests that current airport landing fees do not internalize the negative externalities, resulting in pricing inefficiency from the social perspective. Each of the three essays conducts sub-sample analyses between large and medium hubs, as well as between cargo and non-cargo airports. The results find differences across different airport types in each analysis. In summary, the dissertation uniquely contributes to existing knowledge on the impacts of negative attributes, COVID-19, and the extent to which existing landing fees fall short of the marginal social costs of airport departures. The first essay contributes by incorporating negative attributes into the airport cost analysis and examining production properties after controlling for the negative attributes. The second essay contributes by analyzing the impact of COVID-19 and related policies on airports’ short-term costs and decomposing the percentage change in average variable costs between pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods, which offers new insights into the pandemic’s impact on airports’ costs and technical characteristics. The third essay contributes by estimating the marginal social cost using a broader sample and assessing the pricing efficiency of current landing fees from the social perspective.
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    Essays in Environmental and Development Economics
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-07-24) Kamble, Vikrant Kashiram
    Over the last few decades industrial growth, agricultural activities, and increasing population have contributed to accelerated environmental degradation in India. Policymakers have been implementing various strategies to curb environmental degradation and ultimately slow down climate change effects. My dissertation evaluates the mitigation responses to climate change and environmental degradation in India. The first chapter analyzes the institutional response to the loss of forest cover by implementing one of the most ambitious privately sponsored afforestation projects implemented in the Rajasthan state of India. This research finds evidence of the long-term effect of planting trees over 100,000 hectares of land on rainfall and agricultural activities in the region. We find that post-implementation of the project, Rajasthan state observed an increase in rainfall after 5-6 years. Consequently, the availability of excess water in the region leads to an increase in cultivated area, production, and yield. Contrary to existing literature, our results find that the forest and agriculture sectors can grow together sustainably. The second chapter analyses a natural experiment of closing down mining activities in the iron ore hub of India. As a result of environmental degradation due to illegal mining, the Supreme Court of India banned iron ore mining in the Karnataka State of India in 2010-11. This ban had an effect on the direct and indirect labor market affecting more than 50,000 unskilled laborers. We hypothesize that these laborers will find work in other primary sectors such as agriculture. In our analysis, we find that post-ban on mining, there was a decrease in field labor wages for male and female laborers due to a shift in labor supply. The wages bounced back after the ban was lifted in 2013. In the third chapter, the thesis discusses how individuals mitigate the effects of air pollution. This paper evaluates the labor supply decisions of married individuals affected by pollution. Using a household utility model, I find empirical evidence that due to caregiving responsibility towards their spouse, individuals are forced to adjust their participation in the labor market when their partners fell sick due to pollution exposure.
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    Peer Effects and Human Capital Accumulation
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-04-30) Gu, Xin
    Human capital accumulation is not only an individual decision but also an interactive process. This dissertation studies how peers affect individual human capital accumulation in the context of in-person education and online training. Firstly, the dissertation examines classmate and close friend peer effects on the cognitive ability formation of middle school students. The results suggest that peers generate a significant positive impact on student cognitive ability development. The size of peer effects is heterogenous across student ability distribution and jointly determined by two channels, peer conformity and peer complementarity. Secondly, the dissertation investigates peer effects on the online training participation of young teachers. The virtual instruction platform data contain the accurate duration of attendance for every individual-lecture pair and allow for the control of individual, lecture, and peer group unobserved heterogeneity. The estimation shows significant positive peer effects on the likelihood of joining an online lecture and the duration of staying. The magnitude of peer effects differs by group and increases with the relationship closeness. The potential driving mechanisms are online social interactions, peer pressure, and reputation concerns. Thirdly, the dissertation develops a two-step estimator that identifies peer effects on the duration of lecture attendance by accounting for the self-selection into lecture participation. The application of the online training data demonstrates significant positive peer influences on the duration of lecture attendance. Overall, the dissertation finds strong evidence of causal peer effects on human capital formation in the traditional in-person environment as well as in the emerging online setting. It sheds light on how peer effects can be utilized to improve the effectiveness of human capital accumulation.
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    Multidimensional poverty, telehealth, and perinatal healthcare
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-04-26) Dong, Xiaoyu
    This dissertation commences with an evaluation of multidimensional poverty in America among various racial and ethnic groups throughout the past decade. The analysis reveals that a higher and notable percentage of individuals face deprivation evidenced through health indicators, regardless of their race or ethnicity, compared to the other four indicators. To delve deeper into this issue, the next two theses concentrate on the impact of public health policies on reducing health costs and enhancing health outcomes. The first thesis presents alternative indices to estimate multidimensional poverty in the USA over the last decade with a focus on analyzing trends by race and ethnicity. Individual level data on five different dimensions of well-being were compiled over the last decade using annual Census surveys. The results indicate a decline in multidimensional poverty over time, with different indices highlighting different aspects of poverty. The second thesis investigates the impact of telehealth parity laws (TPLs) on healthcare expenses. TPLs remove barriers for patients from using telehealth services, and the study finds that passing TPLs decreased total healthcare expenses, hospital care expenses, and physician service expenses significantly. The effects were observed to increase over time, suggesting that telehealth could be an effective substitute for in-person visits in reducing healthcare costs. The final thesis examines the impact of e-cigarette policies on birth outcomes, specifically the effects of vaping during pregnancy on birth weight and compares the results with smoking only and dual-use. The study finds negative effects of vaping on birth outcomes, but these effects are about half the magnitude of those associated with smoking alone on birth weight. Overall, this dissertation sheds light on the issue of multidimensional poverty and the impact of public health policies on reducing health expenses and improving health outcomes. This highlights the importance of considering multiple dimensions of poverty, the potential benefits of telehealth and effective policy interventions in improving public health.
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    Relationship between Income and Cost of Living in US Cities
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Surani, Aamir ; Young, John Michael
    This paper examines the relationship between the cost of living and median household income. The hypothesis is that there is a positive correlation between the two variables, where the median income is higher in areas with a higher cost of living. Variables such as water, electricity, energy, and rent were utilized in order to obtain a well-rounded cost of living factor and then compared to the median household income. Evidence suggests this hypothesis to a certain extent. While there is a positive correlation, the increases are not simultaneous.
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    Exploring the Relationship Between Commute Times and Property Value
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Eichner, Samuel
    This analysis seeks to determine a correlation between home property values and commuting times in the United States. Different methods of transportation are considered both independently and combined. Factors such as age of homeowner and number of bedrooms are used for control. The dataset is very large, so the models have high levels of confidence despite a loose fit. Both linear and quadratic models are tested to varying degrees of success.
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    The Cross-Country Effects of Education Level on Savings Rate
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Madrigal, Rodrigo ; Murphy, Casey
    This analysis attempts to find the relationship between the education level of the people of a country and the savings rate of the people in a country at the global scale. Previous research has found there to be a positive relationship between education levels and savings rates both across the US and across countries. This study uses both simple and multiple linear regression models to analyze and find the relationship between the two variables to see if those past studies hold up with modern data. Results were mixed as in the simple regression model education was very significant and positive, but in the multiple regression models education became negative when income was considered. There was special consideration as to whether a country was considered developed or developing.
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    The Impact of Education on GDP per Capita
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Weatherly, Helena ; Lopez, Kendy ; Tierra, Carol
    Education plays an important role in a country’s economic growth. This paper looks at the impact of education on the gdp per capita of different countries across the globe. The data comes from the World Bank and from the Barro and Lee database for the year of 2015. We took the average of total years of schooling to determine how the quantity of education affects GDP per capita. First, we look only at the relationship of education and GDP per capita on a simple regression model. We then add other factors such as the unemployment rate, foreign direct investment, gross savings, and manufacturing to see how they also affect GDP per capita across these countries. Our models found a significant relationship between years of total education and GDP per capita.
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    The Cross Country Effect of Patent Applications on Ease of Doing Business
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Both, Dylan ; Mahadevan, Ashwin ; Yadlapalli, Sreya
    Innovation and technological progress have long played a critical role in the economic growth of countries. While this relationship has been studied many times, it is not clear exactly how patents play into this equation. We believe that patents have a direct relationship with innovation, and thus, business growth and progress. Therefore, we hypothesized that countries with a greater number of patent applications will have better ease of business scores as measured by the World Bank. To analyze this relationship, we have used World Bank data and created economical and statistical models to understand this crucial relationship to get a better sense of the role patents play in a country’s economy. Contrary to our original hypothesis, no evidence could be found to support a statistically significant effect of the number of patent applications in a country’s economy on that country’s ease of business score.
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    Family Size and Mortgage Loan Amounts
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-11) Calhoun, Rylee ; Xia, Maggie
    This paper seeks to uncover potential mortgage loan discrimination related to family size for Boston mortgage loan applicants in 1989. We utilize mortgage loan amounts as the primary dependent variable and an applicant’s number of dependents as the primary independent variable to explore this relationship. The dataset analyzed in this paper, loanapp, comes from Dr. Jeffrey Wooldridge’s introductory econometric data repository that records data from the 1989 Boston Federal Reserve Bank’s study of the Boston metropolitan area’s mortgage practices. After implementing multiple regression models, we find no evidence of statistical discrimination concerning family size, suggestive by the insignificance of our primary independent variable, dep, in regression analysis. Specifically, we find that a single increase in an applicant’s number of dependents raises mortgage loan amounts by about 0.381% overall and raises loan amounts by 0.137% for applicants who have at least one dependent. Ultimately, we reject our null hypothesis that increases in family size negatively influence mortgage loan amounts.