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St. Lawrence News

Kevin Machia '12 and Abby Cook '12
Abby Cook '12 and Kevin Machia '12 presented research conducted to date for their honors theses at the Eastern Economics Association meeting held in Boston March 9 to 11. Both gave their presentations at the Issues in Political Economy Student Sessions.

Cook, an economics and psychology major, is researching how mobile banking affects domestic remittances in developing countries. Her abstract states, "Mobile banking, or the ability to send and receive payments through a mobile phone, has been established as a way to increase financial access. It reduces the transaction costs of banking, making it both cheap and easy to use. This study looks to examine the effects of mobile banking technology. Specifically, how do mobile banking services affect financial access and remittance rates in developing countries?"

Machia, who majors in economics and African studies, is researching the effectiveness of the fair-trade program for coffee producers, using the differing experiences of coffee farmers from Ethiopia and Nicaragua. In the abstract, Machia states, "Research conducted in recent years points towards fair-trade coffee as actually doing more harm than good to some small-scale producers, although there currently exists no single agreed-upon measure to determine fair trade's success. Through measuring fair trade's success as a result of increased profit versus conventional coffee production, this cross-country study attempts to provide a template for further research into fair-trade coffee's financial impact on coffee producers."

Posted: March 23, 2012



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