Three senior business economics majors from The College of Wooster – Ruben Aguero, Emily Foley, and Sanjana Kumbhani – presented their Independent Study projects at the Eastern Economics Association’s annual conference, recently held in New York City.
Aguero, an economics and mathematics double major from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, used game theory to model the many impacts of skilled worker migration on education choices. He concluded that better emigration prospects incentivize investment in education in native workers. Under certain circumstances, skilled worker migration can lead to human capital accumulation, referred to as brain gain, in the “sending” country.
Foley’s research matched her dual interests in economics and environmental policy. A native of Cincinnati, Foley used behavioral economics experiments to show how subject valuations responded to accredited labels, such as USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance. She found that consumers have a higher willingness to pay for accredited labels. Her work has important implications for marketing research and third-party accreditation organizations that use the sale of products to promote greater understanding of the environment.
Kumbhani, who came to Wooster from Mumbai, India, and is vice president of the Jenny Investment Club (the College’s student-managed $4.1 million investment portfolio), produced an in-depth study on the Black-Scholes Model, possibly the world’s most well-known options pricing model. She showed that the volatility measure of the underlying stock’s returns from the Black-Scholes Model is a better predictor than the historical variance of returns measure.
In addition to presenting their research, the students gained valuable networking opportunities as they met with Wooster alumni in New York City who now work for economic consulting firms. They were also joined on the trip by associate professor of economics Amyaz Moledina and Lincoln Plews ’15, who were presenting their research.
The trip was sponsored by the Department of Economics and APEX (Wooster’s center for Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning).