Our Research Team

Alums

"Behavioral economics allows us to analyze the challenges that companies face and address them with creative solutions."
Sarah Baldessari, MPS-ABEIC '16

Sarah Baldessari

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: seb364@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Music (BA), - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Blatant Nudge: How Revealing a Health Conscious Nudge Leads to Increased Consumption”

Project Description

Obesity is a major health concern facing the US today. Many consumers overeat, and do so as a result of passive food decisions. Many have argued that nudges can be used to lead passive consumers to reduce consumption. In this study, we specifically looked at how snacking is influenced by visual nudging and providing consumers with different insights concerning the nudge. Our nudge involved coloring every fifth chip red within a can of Pringles. Informing consumers about the purpose of the nudge increases consumption unless consumers are given a choice as to whether the nudge will be implemented or not.

 




Portrait of Elizabeth Bell

Elizabeth Bell

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: esb257@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. Psychology and Economics - Washington College, Chestertown (MD), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“What's That You're Drinking? The Effect of Logo Visibility on Brand Recognition, Willingness to Pay, and Consumption”

Project Description

When a consumer drinks from a can, he or she is inadvertently acting as a walking advertisement for that product. This free advertisement might, however, only be effective if the can’s logo is properly aligned and easily visible to other passersby. We attempted to quantify the impact of such canned beverage logo alignment on consumers via two MTurk studies and a field study. Subjects in the MTurk experiments watched video stimuli featuring partygoers holding canned beverages with logos that were either properly aligned or completely misaligned. Post video, participants answered survey questions relating to brand recognition, willingness to pay (WTP), and more. A subsequent field study measured actual selection and consumption behavior for two soda brands (Canada Dry and Polar ginger ale), after manipulation of logo alignment for each brand. All canned beverages used were chosen based on similarities in taste and package design across brands. The MTurk studies showed that logo alignment significantly impacted rates of correct and incorrect brand recognition; rates of correct brand recognition increased when the brand’s logo was properly aligned, and rates of incorrect brand recognition increased during misaligned treatments of the actual brand’s logo. The results also suggest that logo alignment is more valuable for lesser-known brands, though the impact is still quite small. Furthermore, the results from the field study show promising signs that logo alignment might increase consumption for less familiar brands. This finding, we believe, may play an important role in the first-mover advantage and response of beverage companies should one brand decide to implement logo alignment.

 




Colombe Bommelaer

Colombe Bommelaer

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2015

Email: c_bommelaer@hotmail.com, colombe.bommelaer@kantarretail.com   

Current Employment

Senior Research Executive - Shopper Insights Team, Kantar Retail (WPP Group) - London, UK

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and International Business -Concordia University, Montreal (Canada), 2013
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Behavioral Techniques Applied to Marketing in Local Businesses”

Project description

This research included two separate but related projects aimed at understanding the underlying motivations of wine and beer consumers using behavioral techniques including laddering interviews, prototyping and behavioral event modeling. Both projects were a joint effort with other MPS-ABEIC students. The first focused on providing marketing recommendations to a winery in Upstate New York to increase the sales of their wines at local businesses. The second project focused on revealing consumer insights concerning the craft beer market that could help FX Matt’s Brewery, famous for its Saranac beer, grow. Usage of behavioral techniques enabled the team to tailor an overall strategy and specific tactics to each brand’s target market. These techniques to be applied to a variety of industries and thus, display the flexibility of such tools.

CV

 

 




Vicki Bogan

"The ground-breaking skills I learned through the MPS-ABEIC program help in designing the right policies for the best outcomes."
Tanetpong Choungprayoon,
MPS-ABEIC '16

Tanetpong Choungprayoon

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: tc587@cornell.edu, tanetpong@gmail.com  

Current Employment

Junior Economist, Ministry of Finance - Tax Department, Fiscal Policy Office in Bangkok, Thailand

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Economics  International Program (BEc) - Thammasat University, Bangkok (Thailand), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“A Fusion Strategy to Stock Selection and Portfolio Management”

Project description

This project focused on the design of an investment strategy for stock selection and portfolio management using both traditional and behavioral finance concepts. Value strategy and momentum strategy are combined and examined to see if abnormal returns exist. Annualized returns, max drawdown and Sharpe ratio are calculated using historical data from 2000 to 2015.  Capital Asset Pricing Model and Fama-French Three-Factor model are implemented to distinguish and recognize the abnormal return generated by the proposed strategy. The result of statistical analysis and data simulation show that value-momentum fusion strategy with beta-managed portfolio that reallocated every three months has high Sharpe ratio and is able to generate abnormal return beyond the market over a long period of time.

CV

 

 




Portrait of Lauren Brockhurst

Lauren Brockhurst

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: lab344@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.S. Food Science - Cornell University Ithaca (NY), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Trade Up, Eat Less, Pay More: Generating New Marketing Insights on Chocolate as a Treat”

Project Description

This paper aims to develop recommendations for the Marketing Mix which align with The National Confectioners Association (NCA)’s objectives of promoting portion control, mindfulness, and consumption of candy as a treat. Insights gained from the use of consumer behavior techniques, including Behavioral Event Modeling, Storytelling, Laddering and Inside Source Interviews, were used to create tailored recommendations for the Marketing Mix of chocolate products. These changes intend to modify consumers’ behavior to choose smaller portions of higher quality chocolate at a higher price, leading consumers to “trade up, eat less, and pay more.” Recommendations for the Marketing Mix were generated based on the insights gathered. Some of the major recommendations include developing more dark chocolate varieties of existing chocolates, selling chocolates in smaller, more segmented sizes and placing small portions of more premium chocolate at cash registers to offer an alternative to the current selection of low quality chocolate. Finally, since it was revealed that chocolate is often a gift that brings people together at special occasions, it is recommended that manufacturers take care to develop special gift packaging to promote the use of their product in this way.

 




Geoff Fisher

Roberto Figari

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class or 2015

Email: rf395@cornell.edu  

Current Employment

Associate - The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, Kenya

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, Applied and Computational Mathematics (BS) - Florida State University, 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Information Preferences and Valuation”

Project description

Rational economic models suppose that individuals have fully formed preferences that are stable. If preferences are indeed stable, information about others’ preferences should not influence a decision maker’s willingness to pay for a good. I ran a series of experiments to test the impact of peer and market valuation on individual valuation. I found evidence that peers and market information do affect individual preferences for the good. However, this was not systematic and seemed to depend on the type of good, as well as the individual’s initial preference. 

CV

 

 




Byoung-Hyoun Hwang

"People act irrationally, but yet somehow still have either a conscious or a subconscious sense of rationality. Behavioral Economics helps me to understand how people’s irrational behaviors can result from a rational motivation."
Cheng Huang, MPS-ABEIC '15

Cheng Huang

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2015

Email: ch774@cornell.edu
huangchengorange@gmail.com  

Current Employment

Junior Business Analyst - Indus Valley Partners, New York, NY

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics (BS) - Purdue University, West Lafayette (IN), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Why Do People Pay For Useless Information?”

Project description

The purpose of this project was to test whether people will pay for useless information and what kind of internal or external factors might push them to do so. Our hypothesis was that people are willing to pay for useless information even if they know it can’t improve their current situation. To test this hypothesis I conducted an experiment using gambling bids on horse races. Results showed that participants were willing to pay, on average, 5% to 20% of their potential gain to know the exact outcome of the game, even if they realized it would not improve the outcome of their bids.

CV

 

 




Portrait of Yosuke Izumi

Yosuke Izumi

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: yi84@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Economics - Keio University Tokyo (Japan), 2013
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Analysis of Value Investing Strategies in Early-Stage Movers With High Quality”

Project Description

The aim of this project is to analyze the performance and the effectiveness of value investing strategy with high-quality stocks by building and testing one long/short strategy through Portfolio 123 platform. Firstly, the effectiveness of the strategy is verified by controlling the Fama and French factors. Next, analysis is performed on the actual performance of the strategy measured from January 1999 to March 2017. The portfolio yielded an annualized return of 44.38% (vs S&P500 3.68%) and Sharpe ratio 0.55. Even focusing on major financial crisis periods, the strategy performed well. It earned excessive profits by selling stocks in technology sectors during the period of the bubble burst, successfully chose the high-value stocks to trade, achieved profit gain and limited the loss to a low level at the same time during the period of the 2008 financial crisis. The effects of penny stocks on the strategy were also tested and analyzed. The result indicates that behavioral biases may prevent investors from gaining profit by avoiding investment towards penny stocks even though historically portfolios including penny stocks performed fairly better than portfolios without penny stocks

 




Scott Yonker

"Behavioral Science helps us find systematic and predictable patterns in the seemingly random and senseless irrational behavior exhibited by financial market participants"
Luka Jankovic, MPS-ABEIC '16

Luka Jankovic

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: lmj57@cornell.edu, lukamjankovic@gmail.com                                   

Current Employment

Hedge Fund Strategies Analyst - Goldman Sachs, Investment Management Division in New York, NY

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics & Management (BS) -  Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Trading Behavior in Dynamic Market Systems”

Project description

This study analyzed the role that overconfidence plays in investor trading behavior. In an experimental economics lab, equity trading data from a dynamic, simulated trading exercise was collected. These data were combined with collected respondent signature characteristics which are used to measure overconfidence. Using OLS models, our empirical analysis shows that overconfident investors tend to bid lower for assets and to a lesser extent generate higher net returns.

CV

 

 




Portrait of Zining Ji

Zining Ji

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: zj96@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Psychology - University of California at Riverside, Riverside (CA), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The DNA of Viral Advertising: A Case Study of Super Bowl Commercials”

Project Description

This project focuses on the key elements of viral advertising. Content analyses are conducted for part of the Super Bowl 2016 and 2017 commercials. Even with similar initial TV exposure, Super Bowl ads generate very distinct online activities on social media. The main objective of this research was to identify common elements that are present in those ads that have gone viral. We combine virality measures (social actions and earned views), with advertising content measures like ratings of ad’s visual scene and polarity to determine if there are significant relationships between these factors. To quantify many of the qualitative elements we used a standardized score rating system. We found that the ability to obtain audiences’ attention, the good use of character and visual scene, and the inducement of humor emotion have a positive influence on an ad’s virality. On the other hand, prominent brand or product information, and outstanding audio elements reduce an ad’s possibility of going viral.

 




Portrait of Yuxue Jiang

Yuxue Jiang

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: yj336@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Business Economics - University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles (CA), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“US Corporate Reputation Ranking and Stock Returns”

Project Description

This project looks at the relation between corporate reputation rankings, their earnings and their stock returns. We find that stock returns on average goes down after the companies are added to the reputation ranking. The same trend applies to corporate earnings, as measured by earnings per share over stock price ratio. Moreover, analysts have the tendency to underestimate corporate earnings regardless of the firm’s addition to reputation rankings. Our results suggest that reputation rankings do not predict subsequent performances. Instead, they seem to be a mere reflection of past performance.

 




Portrait of Ceren Karacasu

Ceren Karacasu

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: ck662@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Economics - Bogazici University Istanbul (Turkey), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Impact of Payment Method Used On In-Store Purchase Duration”

Project Description

The objective of this study is to understand the psychological effects of different payment methods on people and the impact on the duration of their shopping trip. The field study conducted at a local organic foods grocery store focused on three payment methods: credit card, debit card and cash. The time spent between entering the store and entering the payment line (in minutes), was recorded as the shopping trip duration for each customer. After completing their payment, customers were asked to take part in a survey including questions related to demographics, payment method used, how they felt about the payment and the design of the store. The sample consisted of 97 customers that were given $5 gift cards each for their participation in the survey. The data analysis and statistical model building were performed using statistical software R. The results show that the shopping trip duration is positively related with the number of product types bought. The use of credit card increased the mean shopping trip duration compared to the other payments, and the use of cash led to the shortest duration of the shopping trip.

 



Corey lee

Cory Lee

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

E-mail: rcl234@cornell.edu

Current Employment

Consumer Behavior Consultant - Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants in Nashville, TN

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Science  in Business Administration Economics, (BS) - Austin Peay State University, Clarksville (TN), 2013
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Blatant Nudge: How Revealing a Health Conscious Nudge Leads to Increased Consumption”

Project description

Obesity is a major health concern facing the US today. Many consumers overeat, and do so as a result of passive food decisions. Many have argued that nudges can be used to lead passive consumers to reduce consumption. In this study, we specifically looked at how snacking consumption may be is influenced based on by visual nudging and providing consumers with different insights concerning the nudge. Our nudge involved coloring every fifth chip red within a can of Pringles. Informing consumers about the purpose of the nudge increases consumption, unless consumers are given a choice as to whether the nudge will be implemented or not.

CV

 

 




Junsub Lee

Junsub Lee

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: jl3383@cornell.edu  

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Master of Public Health (MPH) - Rollins School of Public Health-Emory University, Atlanta (GA), 2012
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology (BA) - Emory University, Atlanta (GA), 2008
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Factors to Consider When Promoting Sales of Genetically Modified Foods”

Project description

Previous studies have shown that desirability of genetically engineered foods increases when benefits of biotechnology are described to consumers. My research focused on two major questions. First, do different benefits of biotechnology influence willingness to consume in a similar way or not? If not, how different is that willingness? Second, are consumers’ shopping behaviors and changes in willingness to consume genetically altered foods based on benefits correlated with each other? I conducted a survey with 212 valid participants and found:  first, that different benefits influence consumers’ willingness differently; second, that the correlation between consumers’ shopping behaviors and change in willingness to consume modified products based on benefits differs for each benefit. Thus, my study shows that GMO marketers should define their target audience clearly and introduce specific advantage of GM foods for an effective marketing campaign.  

CV

 

 




William Schulze

Andrew Lysaught

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: ajl362@cornell.edu  

Current Employment

Senior Analyst – Initiative (MFS, Aramark & Boeing accounts) in Chicago, IL

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Arts in Cold War History/Economics (BA) -  Indiana University, Bloomington (IN), 2009
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Blatant Nudge: How Revealing a Health Conscious Nudge Leads to Increased Consumption”

Project description

Obesity is a major health concern facing the US today. Many consumers overeat, and do so as a result of passive food decisions. Many have argued that nudges can be used to lead passive consumers to reduce consumption. In this study, we specifically looked at how snacking consumption may be is influenced based on by visual nudging and providing consumers with different insights concerning the nudge. Our nudge involved coloring every fifth chip red within a can of Pringles. Informing consumers about the purpose of the nudge increases consumption, unless consumers are given a choice as to whether the nudge will be implemented or not.

CV

 

 





Portrait of Von Shin Ng

Von Shin Ng

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: vn222@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. Economics - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (MN), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Asymmetric Effects of Negative and Positive Customer Reviews”

Project Description

Unlike shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, consumers are faced with considerable uncertainty when shopping online. Consumer reviews have become an important source of information to predict product quality and shopping experience. Prospect Theory demonstrates the irrational decision making behavior when people are faced with uncertainty, and predicts loss aversion – the tendency for individuals to react more strongly to negative outcomes than to positive outcomes. This study examines the asymmetric effects of negative and positive online consumer reviews on consumer willingness-to-pay for products in a simulated online shopping environment. Participants were incentivized to reveal approximately true valuations through first-price auctions to win actual merchandises. We then measured the marginal effects of consumer reviews on consumer willingness to pay. The results show that marginal effect of negative consumer reviews (1-star and 2-star reviews) and neutral consumer reviews (3-star reviews) are indeed larger than marginal effect of positive consumer reviews (4-star and 5-star reviews). This suggests that consumers might over-weight negative reviews in the online shopping environment. This research is notable in that it uses a demand revealing mechanism as well as it incorporates product-level variation in the reviews participants see.

 



Alex Peever

Alex Peever

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016

Email: arp252@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • BScH in Life Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston (Canada), 2007
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) - University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia), 2012
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Health by Design in the Clinical Setting”

Project description

Health by Design is a pilot scorecard intended to help health professionals in the clinical setting assess and modify their surrounding environment to avoid cues that trigger mindless eating. We are looking to help people eat less by identifying habits that will keep them from mindlessly snacking. Our scorecard can be quickly and easily conducted in a waiting room or exam room, and our goal is that the scorecard questions will provide simple suggestions for patients to try at home to curb mindless eating.

CV

 

 




Portrait of Xinyao Peng

Xinyao Peng

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: xp54@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.B.A. in Financial Management - Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Economics Value Behind TV Commercials Distribution - A Study from Big Data Analysis and Behavioral Economics”

Project Description

The advertising spending on TV was $80.3 billion in 2016, which is almost half of all advertising spending in the US. There is clearly a complicated optimization ad placement mechanism within this industry yet to be discovered. This study is a first step to explore the advertising placement patterns and suggests several explanations for those patterns, providing some informal insights into how TV networks create economic value through the placement of the advertisements. However, the insights presented in this project are still on an intuitive and informal level and require further, more formal and model-based exploration.

 




Portrait of Jacqueline Stine

Jacqueline Stine

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: jjs499@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.S. in Finance - Florida State University, Tallahassee (FL), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“What's That You're Drinking? The Effect of Logo Visibility on Brand Recognition, Willingness to Pay, and Consumption”

Project Description

When a consumer drinks from a can, he or she is inadvertently acting as a walking advertisement for that product. This free advertisement might, however, only be effective if the can’s logo is properly aligned and easily visible to other passersby. We attempted to quantify the impact of such canned beverage logo alignment on consumers via two MTurk studies and a field study. Subjects in the MTurk experiments watched video stimuli featuring partygoers holding canned beverages with logos that were either properly aligned or completely misaligned. Post video, participants answered survey questions relating to brand recognition, willingness to pay (WTP), and more. A subsequent field study measured actual selection and consumption behavior for two soda brands (Canada Dry and Polar ginger ale), after manipulation of logo alignment for each brand. All canned beverages used were chosen based on similarities in taste and package design across brands. The MTurk studies showed that logo alignment significantly impacted rates of correct and incorrect brand recognition; rates of correct brand recognition increased when the brand’s logo was properly aligned, and rates of incorrect brand recognition increased during misaligned treatments of the actual brand’s logo. The results also suggest that logo alignment is more valuable for lesser-known brands, though the impact is still quite small. Furthermore, the results from the field study show promising signs that logo alignment might increase consumption for less familiar brands. This finding, we believe, may play an important role in the first-mover advantage and response of beverage companies should one brand decide to implement logo alignment.

 




Scott Yonker

"Behavioral Science provides me with the necessary insights to develop business strategies that align with consumers’ true desires."
Isobel Rubin, MPS-ABEIC '16

Isobel Rubin

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2016 

Email: ir237@cornell.edu  

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2016
  • Bachelor of Arts in Economics (BA) -Barnard College, New York (NY), 2010
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Health Branding: The Role of Socio-Demographics on the Effectiveness of Different Methods of Branding Health”

Project description

The purpose of this project was to investigate the effectiveness of different types of health branding elements on consumers’ purchase likelihood of granola, breakfast, and snack bars. This question was explored through a series of regressions on household purchases from the Nielsen Homescan dataset combined with dummies for the health branding elements of bars purchased. Analyses were designed to measure whether different elements of health branding significantly influence a household’s bar purchases and, if so, whether certain sociodemographic groups are more responsive to specific elements of health branding relative to others. 

 

 




Paul Shin

"Through the Applied Behavioral Economics and Individual Choice program, I learned how to recognize what really drives decision-making processes."
Paul Shin, MPS-ABEIC '15

Paul Shin

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2015

Email: pshin@cobank.com  

Current Employment

Sr. Credit Analyst; CoBank ACB in Rocklin, California

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Economics (BS) -University of Los Angeles, (CA),  2013
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Behavioral Techniques Applied to Marketing in Local Businesses”

Project description

This research included two separate but related projects aimed at understanding the underlying motivations of wine and beer consumers using behavioral techniques such as including laddering interviews, prototyping and behavioral event modeling. Both projects were a joint effort with other MPS-ABEIC students. The first one focused on providing marketing recommendations to a winery in Upstate New York to increase the sales of their wines at local businesses. The second project focused on revealing consumer insights concerning the craft beer market that could help FX Matt’s Brewery, famous for its Saranac beer, grow. Usage of behavioral techniques enabled the team to tailor an overall strategy and specific tactics tailored to each brand’s target market. These techniques to be applied to a variety of industries and thus, displays the flexibility of such tools.

CV

 

 




Portrait of Xin (Kate) Tan

Xin (Kate) Tan

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: xt82@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.B.A. in Accounting and Finance - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (China), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“The Analysis of Value Investing Strategies in Early-Stage Movers With High Quality”

Project Description

The aim of this project is to analyze the performance and the effectiveness of value investing strategy with high-quality stocks by building and testing one long/short strategy through Portfolio 123 platform. Firstly, the effectiveness of the strategy is verified by controlling the Fama and French factors. Next, analysis is performed on the actual performance of the strategy measured from January 1999 to March 2017. The portfolio yielded an annualized return of 44.38% (vs S&P500 3.68%) and Sharpe ratio 0.55. Even focusing on major financial crisis periods, the strategy performed well. It earned excessive profits by selling stocks in technology sectors during the period of the bubble burst, successfully chose the high-value stocks to trade, achieved profit gain and limited the loss to a low level at the same time during the period of the 2008 financial crisis. The effects of penny stocks on the strategy were also tested and analyzed. The result indicates that behavioral biases may prevent investors from gaining profit by avoiding investment towards penny stocks even though historically portfolios including penny stocks performed fairly better than portfolios without penny stocks.

 




Portrait of Geran Tian

Geran Tian

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: gt282@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.B.A. in Finance - Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong (China), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Computer Mouse Trajectory and Choice Uncertainty”

Project Description

This research project elaborates on how mouse-tracking methodology can be used to detect choice uncertainty. Past research on mouse-tracking, and studies that used mouse-tracking to measure subject uncertainty are reviewed. Main measurements – Area Under the Curve (AUC), Maximum Deviation (MD), and x-flips/y-flips – are defined and illustrated with MouseTracker software, and the limitations of mouse-tracking methodology are discussed. The empirical part of the thesis focuses on a wine study looking into how presence of various levels of information about a product affects willingness to pay as well as how cursor trajectory can be used to predict consumer choice. It is shown that when MD is larger than 0.9, willingness to pay is reduced by 37%. The implications of these results are discussed.

 




Portrait of Weitong Wang

Weitong Wang

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: ww447@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Economics and Psychology - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“US Corporate Reputation Ranking and Stock Returns”

Project Description

This project looks at the relation between corporate reputation rankings, their earnings and their stock returns. We find that stock returns on average goes down after the companies are added to the reputation ranking. The same trend applies to corporate earnings, as measured by earnings per share over stock price ratio. Moreover, analysts have the tendency to underestimate corporate earnings regardless of the firm’s addition to reputation rankings. Our results suggest that reputation rankings do not predict subsequent performances. Instead, they seem to be a mere reflection of past performance.

 




Scott Yonker

Jingwen Xie

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2015

Email: xiejingwen1993@gmail.com

Current Employment

J.D. Candidate, 2018, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance (BS) - Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu (China), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Household Retirement Behavior: A Cross Country Analysis Between the U.S. and the U.K.”

Project description

The determination of retirement timing requires people to take various factors into account. In this project we surveyed the recent trends in average retirement age and factors that might affect the retirement timing decision. We investigated retirement behavior in both the United States and the United Kingdom. We compared trends in the average retirement age and the retirement systems of the U.S. and the U.K. We found significant differences between the U.S. and U.K. trends. There is a strong positive correlation between the unemployment rate and retirement timing in the U.S., while the correlation between the unemployment rate and retirement timing are weak and negative in the U.K. The health status and CPI do not seem to be strongly correlated with average retirement age in either case.  The discrepancies between the two countries and between genders within each country seem to be largely due to policy differences.  

CV

 

 




Portrait of Xinghan Xu

Xinghan Xu

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: xx249@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.S. in Finance – Purdue Northwest University-Calumet, Hammond (IN), 2013
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Exercise and Wealth Management: A Family-level Study of The Relationship between Exercise and Stock Market Participation”

Project Description

Prior work in psychology, neurology and behavioral economics have indicated that exercise may cause fluctuation in certain hormones that lead to increased risk preferences. Could there be any association between exercise and a household’s participation in the stock market? In this project we use data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics (PSID to study this relationship. The results show higher stock market participation rates among more active households.

 




Portrait of Bochen Yu

Bochen Yu

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: by264@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Economics and Music - Colgate University, Hamilton (NY), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Will Obtaining a Higher Degree Help Prevent Obesity? --The Effect of Educational Attainment on Body Weight and Obesity”

Project Description

This study examined the effect of education on body weight and the likelihood of adulthood obesity using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, 1994-2008. Using an ordinary least square model, a standard probit model, and a generalized least square model, the results show that compared to those with high school degree or lower, the chance of those with college degree or equivalence being obese is 3.9% lower. The number increases to 8.0% and 14.2% for those with master degree and those with degrees beyond master, respectively. The effect of education on obesity also differs by gender: compared to those with a high school degree or lower, females with at least some college education have a lower chance of being obese, whereas males with some college experience have a higher chance. As a sub-finding, parental education showed a negative effect on obesity, which can be explained as casual

 




Portrait of Haowen Yuan

Haowen Yuan

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: hy485@cornell.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Finance - George Fox University, Newberg (OR), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Overconfidence in Chinese Cross-border M&A Markets”

Project Description

This research examines and compares the stock performance of Chinese companies with overconfident and non-overconfident CEOs in the context of Chinese cross-border M&A markets. We find that non-overconfident CEO firms generate and average -6.67% abnormal return in the 60-day period after an M&A announcement while overconfident CEO firms generate an average 1.82% abnormal return in the same period. The results of our full model do not show any statistically significant correlation between the overconfident proxy and cumulative abnormal returns (CAR), but we find the overconfidence proxy is statistically significant when we analyze the two different Chinese stock exchanges separately. The overconfidence proxy is positively correlated to CAR in the Shanghai Stock Exchange subsample and negatively correlated to CAR in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange subsample.

 




Portrait of Yufei Zhang

Yufei Zhang

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: yzhan208@illinois.edu

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.A. in Agricultural Economics - University of Illinois, Urbana (IL), 2016
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Effects of Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History Policy on Farmers’ Crop Insurance Decisions”

Project Description

With the implementation of the Trend-Adjusted Actual Production History (APH) policy since 2012, there has been an increase in the average coverage level for several major crops including corn and soybean. The goal of this project is to investigate the relationship between the Trend-Adjusted (TA) policy and farmers’ crop insurance decision. Using county-level data for crop insurance indicators before and after 2012, and a fixed-effect model we examine farmers’ responses towards the policy by analyzing: subsidy rate, subsidy amount, subsidy per liability, premium per acre, premium per liability, and liability per acre. The primary result indicates that farmers respond positively towards the policy when TA is available. They are spending more on the insurance premium and having a higher guarantee. Furthermore, farmers with a higher TA factor will increase their coverage more, compared to those with a lower TA factor. Some behavioral biases, including conservatism and framing effect could also be plausible explanations for the increase in the use of crop insurance during those years.

 




Jinyan Zhao

Jinyan Zhao

Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2015

Email: zhaojy9301@163.com   

Current Employment

    Board Office Vice Commissioner - Agricultural Development Bank of China, Beijing, China

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, Finance (BS) -  School of Banking and Finance, University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing (China), 2014
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Household Retirement Behavior: A Cross Country Analysis between the U.S. and the U.K.”

Project description

The determination of retirement timing requires people to take various factors into account. In this project we surveyed the recent trends in average retirement age and factors that might affect the retirement timing decision. We investigated retirement behavior in both the United States and the United Kingdom. We compared trends in the average retirement age and the retirement systems of the U.S. and the U.K. We found significant differences between the U.S. and U.K. trends. There is a strong positive correlation between the unemployment rate and retirement timing in the U.S., while the correlation between the unemployment rate and retirement timing are weak and negative in the U.K. The health status and CPI do not seem to be strongly correlated with average retirement age in either case.  The discrepancies between the two countries and between genders within each country seem to be largely due to policy differences.  

CV

 

 




Portrait of Xinyu Zhu

Zinyu Zhu

Cornell Cornell MPS-ABEIC Class of 2017

Email: zhuxinyujoe@gmail.com

Education
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences with concentration in Applied Behavioral Economics (MPS-ABEIC) - Cornell University, Ithaca (NY), 2017
  • B.S. in Mathematics and Economics - University of Oregon, Eugene (OR), 2015
MPS-ABEIC project title

“Corn Price and Storage: A Case of China's Corn at North and South Port”

Project Description

In 2016, China ended its costly corn price support program, “government temporary reserve policy”, which started in 2007, aiming to enhance farmers’ income. As an unfavorable outcome generated by this program, the volume of corn owned by the Chinese government is surprisingly high: 230 million tons, which is equivalent to one-fifth of world corn production in 2016! As a result, how storage influences corn price greatly concerns Chinese market players. With such market uncertainty, there might be a possible arbitrage opportunity of “buy low and sell high”. Since corn is mostly grown in northeast China and demanded by southern China’s feed plants, the question of corn price could be generally limited to two geographic areas: Dalian (North Port) and Guangdong (South Port), and the restriction of this project within the scope of these two port could map a better understanding of corn supply chain. Faced with ever-increasing corn prices, China increased imports of corn and corn substitutes dramatically, including sorghum and barley. All these factors are considered in modeling the domestic corn price at South Port in China in a weekly framework. Additionally, a stocks-to-use ratio formulation is used to capture the effects of supply and demand market condition on price determination. The models are developed based on a reduced form of the competitive storage model. The results show that government inventory, North Port quantity traded, inventory of imported grains, and price of barley are associated with lower corn price at South Port. On the opposite side, corn price at North Port, freight cost, price of sorghum, and stocks-to-use ratio of commercial corn storage at North Port are associated with higher corn price at South Port.

 

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