Students may participate in supervised research opportunities in economics, and earn economics elective credits. In addition, research scholarships and research publication opportunities are available. In Fall 2019, students are working on the following projects.

Automation-Resilient Majors

Description: Using government data on university majors and occupational activities, we produce a ranking of college majors by their susceptibility to automation. By identifying distinctly human skills, future occupations and their associated majors can be categorized by their likelihood to be automated. Institutions which develop uniquely human skills will better prepare their students for an increasingly automated labor market.

Student: Tony Martini,

Professor: Michael Jones

Police Spending and Crime Rates

Description: Studies show that crime rates are related to financial resources provided to a community’s police force. In this project, voting data is matched with a city’s crime data in order to understand if communities that narrowly pass police tax levies have lower crime rates than similar communities that narrowly fail to pass a levy. This technique, also known as regression discontinuity, is a simple but effective technique to measure causal relationships in data.

Student: Chris McCleary,

Professor: David Brasington

Description: Governments offer tax incentives to attract and retain employers in order to promote economic development; however, the structure of tax incentives varies widely.  This project uses publicly-available data from the State of Ohio’s Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) to build a predictive model of the value of tax-incentives. With this model, future employers and governments can predict whether a tax incentive is too high or too low based on previous tax incentive recipients.

Student: Gio Rocco,

Professor: Michael Jones

Description: Recent studies have shown that local governments are spending a greater portion of their revenue in health related areas such as hospitals and emergency medical services. We will examine the number of car accident fatalities and the ambulances response times after a locality has passed levies to hospital and EMS services. By using regression discontinuity techniques, we will analyze if communities that pass these tax levies have better health outcomes than similar communities that fail their tax levies. 

Student: Prasoon Verma,

Professor: Lenisa Chang

A Code of Ethics for Applied Economics

Description: In 2018, the American Economic Association (AEA) released a code of conduct for its members, and the National Association for Business Economics requires its members to follow a set of professional conduct guidelines. In the discipline of applied economics, what would a code of ethics, as opposed to a code of conduct, look like? What ethical framework should guide the collection, analysis, and dissemination of economic data?

Student: Sahar Heydari Fard,

Professor: Michael Jones

Benchmarking Nonprofits using Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Description: Natural language processing can identify a degree of similarity with other nonprofits based on what organizations actually say about themselves in their mission statements and description of services. This research project will identify an approach for a nonprofit organization to find its “most similar” peer. Organizations can then use this technique to identify and benchmark performance against peers with a similar mission.

Student: Martin Harrison McNulty,

Professor: Michael Jones

Economic Analysis of a Public Transportation Tax

Description: This research will understand the fiscal and distributional effects of a ballot measure that will reduce the City of Cincinnati’s income tax from 2.1 percent to 1.8 percent while simultaneously increasing Hamilton County’s sales tax by 0.8 percentage points. The funds from these tax levies will be used for the region’s public transportation system and infrastructure. The methodology applies tax and consumer spending elasticities from research literature to estimate the fiscal effects.

Student: Benedict Leonardi,

Professor: Michael Jones

Supply and Demand for UC Parking

Description: UC operates 11 large parking garages and several open-surface lots covering nearly 12,000 parking spaces. As University enrollment expands year after year, the Parking department is beginning to face a new problem: limited supply. This project will research how changes in parking policy and fee structure could help to solve the parking supply problem.

Student: Eli Proffitt, 

Professor: Michael Jones


If you are interested in participating in a research project, please contact Professor Michael Jones.