IMBA Thesis Workshop Class 1. P. Schuhmann, Spring 2012 Lecture material based on the work of Steven Greenlaw : Doing Economics: A Guide to Understanding and Carrying Out Economic Research , Steven A. Greenlaw , 2006. Houghton Mifflin Co. Available for purchase here:
P. Schuhmann, Spring 2012
Lecture material based on the work of Steven Greenlaw:
Doing Economics: A Guide to Understanding and Carrying Out Economic Research, Steven A. Greenlaw, 2006. Houghton Mifflin Co.
Available for purchase here:
1. An Overview of Research& the Research Process
2. Reviewing the Literature on a Research Topic
3. How to create a readable literature review: The Literature Review section of your thesis
4.Making a “contribution to the literature”
5. Locating (and Collecting) Data
6. Describing your data: The Data section of your thesis
7. Analysis of data: The Methods section of your thesis
8. An introduction to regression analysis in SAS
9. Reporting your findings: The Results section of your thesis
10. The Discussion section of your thesis
11. Summarize and conclude
Which of the following best describes the idea of “research”?
Greenlaw defines research as the creation of knowledge.
A more complete definition includes notions of investigation, study and inquiry …
Before we can create new knowledge, we must first establish a set of facts and understand the knowledge regarding what those facts mean (and what they don’t mean).
Whether exploratory or confirmatory in nature, whether based on the examination of existing facts & data or based on newly acquired facts & data, creating new knowledge requires:
“I’ve just started learning about this material that people with PhD’s have been studying for decades. How can I be expected to create something new?”
How to create knowledge?
The scientific method aims to minimize subjectivity:
Elements of an empirical thesis:
The research question should be problem-oriented
For example, consider the following questions:
What types of firms successfully navigated the financial crisis?
Why did certain firms do better than others during the financial crisis?
The research question should be investigative and diagnostic.
Example: What happened during the financial crisis? How did different types of firms react? How did those reactions correlate to success?
The research question should be interesting to you and to your audience.
The research question should be amenable to empirical analysis.
The research question should be feasible given your time and resource constraints.
When you have a grasp on the following, and have much of it written down, you are probably prepared to defend your proposal:
Your committee will be thinking about the following:
Source: Cornell University Library
You should attempt to answer the following for each paper you read (1-3 sentences for each):
Salas, S., Sumaila, U.R., and Pitcher, T., 2004. “Short-term decisions of small-scale fishers selecting alternative target species: A choice model”, Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 61: 374–383.
Mexico (Yucatan Coast)
No valuation (Other fisheries applications)
A random utility model of daily species target selection is estimated for three fishing communities of Yucatan, Mexico. The model is estimated using data on expected CPUE and revenues from spiny lobster and octopus, opportunity costs of fishing for alternative targets, the opportunity cost of fishing (i.e. forgone non-fishing earnings), travel costs and weather conditions. One-day lagged values of CPUE and revenues are used as estimates of expectations. Fisher responses to changes in species prices and CPUE are simulated. Target choice and target switching are found to be based on resource availability and revenues from prior trips. Decreases in species-specific revenues are found to induce switching to alternative targets. However, these effects are not linear. Price changes appear to have threshold effects on target decisions, depending on the relative costs and skills required for targeting different species. Increases in the availability of species are found to direct effort away from other species. Weather is found to influence target decisions based on associated changes in water clarity and turbidity that differentially affect species catch. Fisher behavior is heterogeneous across communities, indicating that results from modeling efforts such as this one may not apply directly to other areas. This work highlights the importance of understanding fisher behavior for policy development, recognizing that small-scale fishers make repeated daily decisions regarding whether or not to go fishing, what species to target or whether to engage in non-fishing employment or gear repair.
Notably, an increase in the availability of octopus may affect the probability of targeting lobster for two reasons: increased probability of octopus catch and decreased likelihood of lobster catch due to predation by octopus.
Reid-Grant, K. and Bhat, M.G., 2009. “Financing Marine Protected Areas in Jamaica: An Exploratory Study”, Marine Policy, 33: 128-136.
WTP for Montego Bay Marine Park (MBMP)
This paper provides a review of funding sources for marine protected areas as well as empirical analysis of potential funding sources for the Montego Bay Marine Park. WTP for park maintenance and conservation by stakeholders is analyzed based on a sample of five hoteliers, 21 tourism-based businesses and 99 tourists conducted during the summer of 2005.
Using a Poisson specification, a travel cost model of tourist demand was estimated for cruise ship and air travel visitors using number of trips in the past 5 years as the dependent variable and demographics, recreation opportunities and quality ratings as independent variables. Consumer surplus for an average visitor is calculated by integrating under the estimated demand function. Notably, nearly half of tourists indicated that they would not be willing to donate to the park. CS (net gains above trip costs) per person is estimated to be US$586 or US$739 per person per trip. Aggregation produces estimates of the total annual consumer surplus of US$189 and US$993 million for cruise travelers and air travelers respectively. These consumer surplus values as well as tourist expenditures are compared to the annual park expenditures (estimated to be roughly US$117,500 in 2010) to make a case for tourist taxes as a source of park funding.
Three out of five hoteliers stated willingness to donate to conservation efforts (though none were willing to donate funds directly to the MBMP) and three out of five were willing to provide a means of collecting donations from hotel guests. Only 38% of tourism-based business owners indicated willingness to donate to conservation of the MBMP despite the fact that a majority indicated that the park was important to their business and recognized that anthropogenic activities had an adverse effect on the quality of the park.
Edwards, P., 2008. “Sustainable Financing for Ocean and Coastal Management in Jamaica: The Potential for Revenues from Tourist User Fees”, Marine Policy, 33: 376-385.
Willingness to pay an environmental tax to fund ocean and coastal management activities
This paper examines tourists’ willingness to pay for preservation of coastal systems under alternative institutional frameworks. Results are used to predict how decreased coral reef quality might affect visitation decisions and the coastal tourism industry. Based on a CVM survey administered to a sample of 481 tourists in 2007, mean WTP is US$130.07 for a general tourism is tax and $165.15 for an environmental tax, which translate to US$16.16 and $20.52 per person per day. Using estimates of the impact of these taxes on visitation, the authors suggest that an environmental tax of $1 per person would cause a 0.1% decline in the visitation rate and would generate revenues of $1.7 million, which is roughly 88% of the ‘‘best case’’ cost estimate for natural resource protection provided by coastal zone managers. A $2 per person tax would decrease visitation by 0.2% and generate revenues of $3.4 million. The authors note that attempts to capture the entire consumer surplus from visitors would cause visitation to decline by 52.4%.
Covered Calls. Dividend Capture and Sin Stocks: A Portfolio Strategy Related to Morality