Omicron Delta Epsilon Faculty Advisor Session

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Sheraton Grand Chicago, Mayfair
Hosted By: Omicron Delta Epsilon
  • Chair: Stacey Jones, Seattle University

Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership

Stephen Schmidt
,
Union College
Lewis Davis
,
Union College
Jack Mara
,
10 Thoughts

Abstract

We exploit changes in the residential and social environment on campus to identify the economic and academic consequences of fraternity membership at a small Northeastern college. Our estimates suggest that these consequences are large, with fraternity membership lowering student GPA by 0.4 points on the traditional four-point scale, but raising future income by 30%, for those students whose decision about membership is affected by changes in the environment. These results suggest that fraternity membership produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital for potential members. Alcohol-related behavior does not explain much of the effects of fraternity membership on either the human capital or social capital effects. These findings suggest that college administrators face significant trade-offs when crafting policies related to Greek life on campus.

Do Different Assessment Delivery Methods Significantly Affect Student Outcomes?

Kaitlyn R. Harger
,
Florida Gulf Coast University
Carol Sweeney
,
Florida Gulf Coast University

Abstract

Recent research suggests that interactive teaching methods are more effective in the classroom than the traditional lecture format. Despite these findings, such methods have yet to become mainstream in economics instruction. Reasons f or the lack of adoption may include, high financial start-up costs for students and institutions, high opportunity costs for faculty during initial implementation, and the potential for technology related distractions during class. In this paper, we compare student outcomes in two sections of the same class, taught in the same semester, by the same instructor. In the control section, daily in-class assignments are administered on paper. In the treatment section, the same assignments are administered using an online quick-response software. We are interested in whether there is a significant difference in student outcomes including, pretests and posttests, final exam scores, final grades, and drop, withdraw, or failure [DWF] rates, dependent upon the method of disbursement. Results from this study can be used to inform professors of whether the benefits of technological adoption to students outweigh the perceived prohibitive costs to all stakeholders.

Minimum Wage Effects on Employment and Post Secondary Education Choices

Lance Wescher
,
Covenant College

Abstract

The existing literature claims a significant dis-employment effect for teenage and young workers as minimum wage levels increase. Less well understood is the impact on the human capital investments made by those affected. Young workers who are able to find work with higher minimum wages may be less likely to attend college as the opportunity cost of that choice increases, thus lowering college applications and enrollment. Conversely, those who are unemployed by the increase may see college as a more attractive choice in hopes of competing for jobs at higher wage rates.

We use 1997-2011 longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth [NLSY97], including restricted geocode data, to further analyze the implications of a minimum wage increase on college enrollment for older teens. Using a multinomial logit model we find that an increase in the minimum wage leads to a lower likelihood of college matriculation among potential applicants. This adds an important factor to the ongoing discussion of minimum wage laws.

Can Social Messages and Nudges Encourage Water Conservation?

Cynthia Rogers
,
University of Oklahoma

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a field experiment executed in Norman, Oklahoma designed to test the efficacy of norm-based messages on residential water use. The experiment involved sending a random selection of 2,163 homes one of four different combinations of three treatments; a set of tips on how to save water, a pro-conservation message and a social comparison message. We investigate the differential impacts of each treatment on homes, considering heterogenous impacts.
Discussant(s)
Cynthia Rogers
,
University of Oklahoma
Kaitlyn R. Harger
,
Florida Gulf Coast University
Stephen Schmidt
,
Union College
Lance Wescher
,
Covenant College
JEL Classifications
  • A1 - General Economics