Archive for the ‘academia’ Category

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability

July 17, 2015 Comments off

Building Millennials’ Financial Health Via Financial Capability (PDF)
Source: University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

Today’s young adults, referred to as Millennials born between the early 1980’s and 2000’s, are coming of age in an economy unlike any other. 1 The macroeconomic conditions of the Great Recession from approximately 2007 to 2011 systematically undermined Millennials’ financial health by limiting employment opportunities, stagnating income growth, reducing net worth, and increasing reliance on debt. Millennials entered a labor market with limited opportunities and saw higher unemployment rates than the rest of the population.2 Fewer Millennials entered the labor market than young adults from any preceding generation and their unemployment rate was roughly 15 to 17 percent at the height of the recession—5 to 7 percentage points higher than the average unemployment rate for the rest of the population. They also experienced diminishing returns for participating in the labor market, earning 6 percent less per paycheck than in previous years.

Fewer employment opportunities and reduced paychecks translated into less money to save and invest. The average Millennial has about $1,000 in savings,4 suggesting that many may struggle to afford necessary expenses in the face of unemployment and to become financially independent.5 Millennials also delayed investing in homes and those who did invest experienced substantial wealth losses that were driven by declining home equity. 6 These losses are reflected in the value of Millennials’ accumulated net worth compared to that of previous generations.7 Millennials’ net worth is valued at $10,000, which is 41 percent less than the values of net worth held by Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers two decades ago.8

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit for Solar Energy: Alternatives to the Anticipated 2017 Step-Down

July 6, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Investment Tax Credit for Solar Energy: Alternatives to the Anticipated 2017 Step-Down
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar installations is scheduled to step-down from 30% to 10% at the beginning of 2017 for corporate investors. This raises the question whether solar PV will be cost competitive post 2016 in the U.S. We examine the economics of solar PV for a sample of U.S. states and industry segments. Our model calculations indicate that for almost all of these settings the anticipated ITC step-down would render solar PV uncompetitive by early 2017, raising the specter of a ‘cliff’ for the solar industry. We identify and evaluate an alternative phase-down scenario that would reduce the ITC gradually and eliminate it completely by 2024. Provided the solar industry can maintain the pace of cost reductions demonstrated in past years, our projections indicated that solar PV would remain broadly competitive, even as federal tax support would be gradually diminished, and ultimately eliminated, under the alternative phase-down-scenario.

Snapshot Report – Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Completions

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Snapshot Report – Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Completions
Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

In the 2013-14 academic year, 46 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year institution were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous 10 years. This is a one percentage point increase over the comparable figure for degrees awarded in 2010-11. The prior two-year enrollment may have been brief (as little as a single course) and the two-year institution may or may not have been the first one the student attended. As shown below, 21 percent of students previously enrolled at two-year institutions were enrolled for only one term. In 14 states, more than half of four-year degree recipients were previously enrolled at a two-year institution.

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014

June 30, 2015 Comments off

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014 (PDF)
Source: ACT
From email:

Understanding the Underserved Learner: The Condition of STEM 2014 is an ACT report that determines underserved students’ interest and their college and career readiness in math- and science-related areas. Students’ readiness in these areas could affect their STEM career opportunities and help address the national deficit of skilled STEM workers.

The report, released today, identifies underserved learners using student characteristics that are often related to a lack of access to high-quality educational and career planning opportunities and resources.

+ Underserved students make up a large portion of the potential STEM target group. Of the 899,684 students from the 2014 graduating class who reported an interest in STEM, more than 418,000 (47%) were underserved students.

+ Underserved graduates are just as likely as ACT-tested students overall to be interested in STEM—49 percent have an interest in STEM in each case.

+ Underserved students are far less prepared for success in college STEM coursework than are students overall. For example, only 25 percent of underserved STEM students met the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in science, compared to 59 percent of students who are not underserved. Erasing this readiness gap in science would help more than 140,000 students become ready for first-year college science coursework.

Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup?

June 25, 2015 Comments off

Does it pay to win the Stanley Cup? (PDF)
Source: University of Windsor

Yes, it does indeed pay to win the Stanley Cup (SC). Professional sports offer a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between a player’s salary and their performance. Salary statistics have become widely available and enable individual performance scrutiny in relation to remuneration level. There is an extensive literature explaining which factors influence the players’ salary in the National Hockey League (NHL), using data sets from different seasons and including various performance indicators. Although much is known about salary and performance in professional hockey, there is a lack of understanding and empirical evidence of the pecuniary value of winning the Stanley Cup (SC) – the trophy awarded annually to the NHL playoff champion and the ultimate prize in professional hockey. Our empirical analysis suggests that winning the Stanley cup the season prior to signing a new contract earns players a 19% wage premium on their next contract.

Ideological Proximity and Support for The Supreme Court

June 21, 2015 Comments off

Ideological Proximity and Support for The Supreme Court
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Although the Supreme Court is a countermajoritarian institution by design, many scholars have contended that without concrete powers, the Court relies on public support for legitimacy. Accordingly, it is important to understand the relationship between people’s ideological proximity to the Court and their support for it. Existing empirical research suggests a correspondence between public opinion and the Court’s positions, but these studies do not directly compare masses and elites in a common space. To address these issues, we conducted an original survey asking respondents about their positions on ten recently decided Supreme Court cases. This allows us to estimate the positions of citizens and justices on the same ideological scale. Further, while some existing theories of perceptions of judicial legitimacy suggest similar relationships between ideological distance and various types of support for the Court, we propose a theory of heterogeneous responsiveness which posits that citizens’ ideological distance from the Court should be negatively related to their approval of and trust in the institution, but positively related to their support for its countermajoritarian function. Our empirical approach finds support for the theory.

Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment

June 15, 2015 Comments off

Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Roughly 20% of adults in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) lack basic numeracy and literacy skills. In the UK, many colleges offer fully government-subsidized adult education programs to improve these skills. Constructing a unique dataset consisting of weekly attendance records for 1,179 students, we find that approximately 25% of learners stop attending these programs in the first 10 weeks and that average attendance rates deteriorate by 20% in that time. We implement a large-scale field experiment in which we send encouraging text messages to students. Our initial results show that these simple text messages reduce the proportion of students that stop attending by 36% and lead to a 7% increase in average attendance relative to the control group. The effects on attendance rates persist through the three weeks of available data following the initial intervention.