(March 28, 2012)

Students present at national economics conference

SHREVEPORT, LA — Five Centenary students will present papers at the Economics Scholars Program (ESP) Conference on Friday, March 30, in Dallas, TX. In addition to the presenters, five junior Economics majors will attend, three of whom are serving as discussants and another as a session chair. This year's program includes Economics students from 25 schools in 14 states.

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"The Economics Scholars Program is a premier national meeting that includes students from all across the country," said Dr. Harold Christensen, professor of Economics. "We are honored that five of the 37 papers accepted for this year’s meeting are from Centenary College."

Senior W. Drew Burnham will discuss "On State’s Loan Repayment Record to the IMF." His work identifies characteristics of countries whose loans from the International Monetary Fund are in debt. The data was tested using PROBIT analyses. Burnham is an Economics and Political Science major. He will enter law school in the fall.

Jesse Gilmore, a senior Economics major, will present on "Democracy, Economic Freedoms and Economic Growth in Former Communist Nations." Gilmore uses growth theory models to examine changes in former communist countries per capita Gross Domestic Products.

Colton Robey will discuss "Predicting Price: The Case of Copper." Robey examines copper prices since the inception of the copper futures market. He is a senior Business Economics major.

Senior Economics and Chemistry major Randall White, Jr., will present on "Determinants of High Grossing Films in American Cinema." He examines a number of variables ranging from star-power to product tie-ins. White will be attending medical school in the fall.

Cody Wolfe, a senior Business Economics major, will discuss "Investigating the Determinants of NCAA Football Victories: What Factors Determine Wins." His work includes all of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) schools and analyzes a number of college-specific variables.

"The research that will be presented by these students shows both their dedication and ability," said Dr. Elizabeth Rankin, professor of Economics. "The topics undertaken cover a broad range of interests but share in economic and econometric rigor. We are proud of the work these five majors have done and especially pleased that this national conference has recognized their work."

All of the papers are the result of original research done in fall 2011 through Centenary’s Econometrics class. The work was continued in spring 2012 during Research in Economics. Both courses are taught by Dr. Elizabeth Rankin, professor of Economics.

The Economics Scholars Program is a collaborative effort between Austin College and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to foster the involvement of undergraduate economics students in all facets of research.

Since 2007, student scholars and faculty from institutions across the United States and Canada come together to share undergraduate student-initiated or student–faculty coauthored works at the annual ESP Conference.

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