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Seniors Present Research at Boston Economics Conference

Two St. Lawrence University seniors presented their senior honors theses last month at the annual Eastern Economics Association conference in Boston.

On March 8, Andrew Chan ’14 of Niskayuna, N.Y., was featured in the conference’s undergraduate finance panel, while Garrett Watson ’14 of Mooers, N.Y., was featured in the undergraduate labor panel.

Andy’s research is motivated by his lifelong interest in financial markets and his experiences during the New York City semester. His work, titled “Quantitative Easing and the Performance of Money Managers,” uses the Fama-French-Carhart Four Factor Model to analyze the performance of Kiplinger’s top performing mutual funds over the last 20 years. His preliminary results indicate that these mutual funds are not adding long-run investment value and that investors are better off allocating funds in alternative, lower cost, financial products.

Garrett’s presentation, titled “Skill Specific Human Capital Transferability: An Application to the Contemporary U.S. Labor Market,” worked through his economics Senior Year Experience research. His research focuses on the contemporary rise in long-term unemployment in the U.S. labor market, and hypothesizes that an increase in human capital skill is partially responsible for the plight of the long-term unemployed. Using data from the O*NET Skills Survey and the Current Population Survey, Garrett proposed several empirical models that will test his hypothesis.

Andy and Garrett credited their respective advisors, Cynthia Bansak, Eggleston Associate Professor of economics, and Steven Horwitz, Dana Professor and chair of the Department of Economics, for their guidance and mentorship throughout the research process. The Department of Economics and alumni helped fund their trip to Boston.

For more information, visit www.stlawu.edu/economics.