Political Career of a Policy Motivated Candidate with Valence Increasing in Tenure
Abstract: I study a model that looks at a consecutive series of two-candidate elections where a candidate's valence increases as he wins reelection. A policy motivated incumbent uses his valence advantage that accumulates over time to gradually move towards his preferred policy. The policies offered to voters in elections with longstanding incumbents will diverge as the incumbent moves closer to his preferred policy.
Is a Graduate Economics Degree Worth It? If So, Which One and When? (with Dr. Ani Dasgupta)
Abstract: This paper sets out to determine the most desirable career-related strategy from a purely pecuniary perspective for an individual who has just earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics. Using survey data collected by the National Science Foundation, we estimate the average economist’s salary as a function of a) the type of degree held (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate), b) the year of entry into the workforce, and c) number of years on the job. These surveys are two to four years apart, and each survey reports only average salaries for cohorts that obtained their degrees within a five-year range; moreover, salaries above $150K are censored. This creates a challenging problem of estimating the salary path, for which we use GMM. Using the estimates obtained, as well as costs of acquiring various degrees, we then solve the dynamic programming problem of determining the optimal course of action for someone who has just finished a bachelors program in economics, and is a good enough student to get admitted to an average masters or Ph.D. program. We find that, for a large range of discount rates and standard lengths of graduate programs, the optimal course of action is to immediately obtain a doctorate degree. The masters degree becomes viable only if it is a one-year program and discount rates are low. Our results also help uncover what the optimal course of action is for the bachelor’s degree holder who has ‘missed the boat’ for a few years.
Quantitative Analyses of Video Game Franchises and Series
Abstract: The video game industry is occasionally charged with a of lack of originality. Using a data set of 2,412 video game titles released from 1983 through year-end 2012 with at least 500,000 worldwide unit sales, I find that while the number of “original content” games has increased over time, the proportion over all releases has been falling. This is due to the strong popularity of sequels and franchising in the industry: I find that consumers have strong preferences for major video game franchises, and sequels’ sales are partially dependent on their predecessor’s success (in both quantity and quality). The results provides evidence of consumers’ preferences towards what is known versus what is new, and the quantitative effects of brand extension.