Jeanne Kiernan '14, an economics major in the health professions and College Honors programs, presents during the 2014 Academic Conference.
Director: Conor Carney
Honors informational session: Friday, September 22nd, 2023 at 12pm, in Stein 314
Application Deadline: The application process is open for third-year economics and accounting students and are due on Thursday, October 5th, 2023 at noon
Honors interviews: Monday, October 23rd, Thursday, October 26th, and Friday, October 27th, 2023
An excellent opportunity for faculty-student collaboration is offered by the department Honors Program. Program participants gain valuable experience in research, writing, and public speaking.
The program consists of three parts. In the spring of the junior year, department honors students take a research methods seminar (ECON 460 Research Methods I) in which they learn the tools of economic research, develop a thesis topic and literature review, and choose an advisor. This course is also a lower-level elective for economics majors.
In the fall of senior year, honors students write a thesis under the guidance of their advisor. The thesis counts as course credit (ECON 462 Honors Directed Research), and also an upper-level elective course for economics majors. In the spring of senior year, students prepare a presentation to be given at the College’s Academic Conference, and provide guidance to the juniors in the research methods class. This is a half-course overload called ECON 461 Research Methods II. To be granted honors at graduation, students must meet the standards in each course.
To be considered, email the following materials to Chelsea Mahoney, the department’s administrative assistant.
- An unofficial transcript printed out by you from STAR. Make sure it is fully legible.
- A separate typed list of economics and accounting courses (including current courses) with faculty names.
- A letter of reference from a faculty member in the Department of Economics and Accounting. Ask the professor to send letter directly to the department office.
- A one or two-page statement or purpose. Why do you want to participate in the Program?
- A short writing sample, e.g., a short paper from a class you've taken
- A completed application cover page (doc)
After all the applications are submitted, we will send out a follow-up email to schedule an interview. Decisions will be made prior to course enrollment.
Economics honors applicants will normally finish ECON 255 (Microeconomics), ECON 256 (Macroeconomics) and ECON 249 (Statistics) by the fall of junior year, though exceptions are routinely made for candidates with other strong credentials. Applications are competitive, and require a recommendation, transcript, essay, and other materials. Decisions are made by the Honors Selection Committee following interviews. Accounting majors should have taken accounting courses through ACCT 278 (Intermediate Accounting II), and ECON 111/112 (Principles of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics) or ECON 199 (Principles of Economics), ECON 249 (Statistics), and the second semester of calculus equivalent by fall of junior year. Students studying away from the College in the spring of junior year or anytime during senior year are not eligible for the program. The program usually admits between four and six students per class.
Special Considerations for Accounting Majors
Accounting majors face special challenges in completing the program due to the large number of courses that are required for the major as well as the 16-course cap placed on economics and accounting department courses.
- Accounting majors must be aware that admission to the honors program may affect course selection and possibly require taking additional coursework as overloads or away from the College. Given the CPA exam requires 150 hours of coursework to sit for the exam, in reality this may not be an unreasonable burden.
- Majors often take electives such as Corporation Finance, Accounting Information Systems, Financial Institutions and Markets, Ethics, and other economics or accounting courses. Some students need some specific electives in order to sit for the CPA exam in some states. The research methods course qualifies as an elective for accounting majors and may qualify as "business" hours for purposes of the CPA exam in certain states.
- The honors program will take up two of the electives. If an honors student wishes to take Econometrics to help with the thesis, that will use another of the student's electives that may count towards graduation. Econometrics has Microeconomics as a prerequisite, which normally would require an overload.
Recent Honors Theses
- Alexandra Adamek: "How Society Reacts to Changes in the Homeless Population"
- Rudy Antonios: "Asylum Seeking Determinants and Deterrents: A Trump Presidential Study"
- Adam Guillemette: "The Preferences Behind Produce: Investigating the Effects of a Massachusetts Food Access Policy"
- Christian McGannon: "Pay Discrimination in Major League Baseball: Are Darker-Skinned Players Still in the Hole?"
- Tavish McNulty: "Measuring Political Affiliations and Peer Effects Impact on Solar Panel Adoptions in New York State"
- Maggie Reddington: "Intellectual Property Rights and the Effect on the Equity Value of Fashion Firms"
- Sinead Walsh: "The Effect of Gender Quotas on the Composition of the Board of Directors"
- Brendan Connelly: "Incentive Clauses: The Risks and Rewards of Major League Baseball Contracts"
- Olivia Dimonte: "The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Crime in Chicago, IL and Houston, TX"
- Caroline Harkins: “Analyzing the Network Advantages for Student-athletes at Holy Cross”
- Robert Murray: "Decision Theory in Sports: How Does Uncertainty Aversion Impact NBA Draft Performance?"
- Karter Seitz: “Is a New, Innovative Form of Financial Aid Already Threatened?”
- Matthew Sexton: "Civic Identity and Library Proximity: Measuring the Impact of Libraries in California on Political Participation & Engagement"
- Gabrielle Tammaro: “Risky (Small) Business: Small Business Owners’ Risk Aversion and its Impact on Decision Making”
- Brooke Walsh: "Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Fashion"
- Dana Barovich, "The Effects of Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal Reporting on Self-Identified Catholicism State-by-State"
- Chris Cerulli, "The Impact of the ACA Medicaid Expansions on Crime Rates"
- Hope Goodman, "The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Framingham Businesses"
- Ethan Hensley, "Double Counting: The Effect of Wealth on College Admissions"
- Kyle P. Irvine, "The Mental Health Effects of State and Local Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Laws: Evidence from BRFSS"
- Joe Jalbert, "The Effect of Cannabis Dispensaries on Student Achievement; Evidence from Washington State"
- Vanessa Kelly, "How Art Theft Affects Museum Attendance, Membership, and Fundraising Revenue"
- Garret Keough, "The Effect of Opening Knowledge is Power Program Charter Middle Schools and High Schools on Public School District-Wide Standardized Test Achievement"
- Kevin Finnegan, "Sell-Side Research: Do Analyst Recommendations Add Value for Investors?" (PDF)
- Mitch Grenier, "The Responsiveness of Household’s Charitable Donations to Income Changes Across Religious Groups" (PDF)
- Victor Karalolos, "Internal Audit Effectiveness within U.S Colleges and Universities" (PDF)
- William LaFiandra, "Predicting Player Performance in the NFL" (PDF)
- Eman Boufares, "The Effect of Hospital Concentration on Bankruptcy Rates" (PDF)
- Jack Chaffee, "Synthetic Rhino Horns as a Poaching Deterrent" (PDF)
- Deirdre Kennedy, "An Experiment on Charity Economics in Email Advertising" (PDF)
- Charles Krumsiek, "Does Inflation Today Indicate Political Instability Tomorrow, on an International Scale?" (PDF)
- Emma Carlone, “The Effects of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion on the Opioid Epidemic” (PDF)
- Matthew Klier, “Athletically Related Aid and Collegiate Athletic Program Success” (PDF)
- Patrick Koval, “State-Level Gun Legislation and its Effects on Homicide and Suicide" (PDF)
- Isabelle Kozik, “Nurse Practitioners on the Rise: Do Looser State Regulations Affect Their Population and Wages?” (PDF)
- Sijia “Lily” Liu, “Stock Impact of Data Breaches” (PDF)
- Michael Lyons, “Referee Bias in March Madness” (PDF)
- Christina Nee, “Sexism in the Stock Market? Analysis of Investors’ Preferences Regarding CEO Gender Bias on Earnings Reports” (PDF)
- Sarah Vrountas, “Inter-municipal Competition on Cape Cod" (PDF)
- Emma Brickfield, “Fake News: Can We Correct It All and Does It Matter If We Don’t?” (PDF)
- Lauren Hayward, “Does the Stock Market Value Inclusion on a Sustainability Index? An Event Study using the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index” (PDF)
- Hannah Jeter, “Reconsidering the Effects of Subsidies on Adoption from Foster Care” (PDF)
- Maura Mullaney, “The Ultimate Tradeoff for Institutions of Higher Education: Academic Quality or Consumption Amenities?” (PDF)
- Erin Sullivan, “The Role of Elite College Admissions Policies in First-Generation Access and their Implications for Intergenerational Mobility” (PDF)
- Dan Vucovich, “The Effects of Labor Market Pull Factors on Refugee Resettlement in the United States” (PDF)
- Greg Violante, “How Sovereign Credit Ratings Impact Capital Flows Pre and Post Financial Crisis” (PDF)
- Marisa Carlson, “How informative are Credit Ratings? Analyzing the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on changes in Corporate Bond Ratings” (PDF)
- Kylie Coffman, “Simply Politics? A Look into Trade Linkage's Influence on the Impact of Economic Sanctions” (PDF)
- Andy Dong, "The impact of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement on passenger number between the United Kingdom and the United States" (PDF)
- Matthew Reeves, "Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: An Economic Analysis of New York City Airbnb Listings" (PDF)
- Patrick Franco, “Terrorism as a Risk Factor for Genocide”
- Timothy Beekman, “Corporate Valuation: An Analysis of Discounted Cash Flows and Comparable Companies"
- Greg Joyce, “Power in Numbers: Examining the Influence of Political Majorities on Growth within the United States” (PDF)
- Anthony Spagnoletti, “Is the Punishment Fitting the Crime? Analyzing the On-Field Impact of NCAA Sanctions in College Football” (PDF)
Published Honors Theses
Several previous honors theses have been published in academic journals as joint papers by the student and advisor. Below is a partial list:
- Robert Baumann and Katie Lucia '05, "Differences in the College Enrollment Decision Across Race," American Economist, Vol 53, Issue 1 (Spring) 2009.
- Miles B. Cahill and Alaina C. George '03, "Executive Compensation Incentives in a Volatile Market," American Economist, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Fall), 2005: pp. 33-43.
- Scott Hinds '00, Nicolas Sanchez and David Schap, "Public Enterprise: Retrospective Survey and Prospective Theory" in Jurgen G. Backhaus and Richard E. Wagner (eds.) Handbook on Public Finance, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004: pp. 277-300.
- David Schap and Andrew T. Young '97, "Enterprise and Biodiversity: Do Market Forces Yield Diversity of Life?" Cato Journal, vol. 19, no. 1 (Spring/Summer), 1999: 49-67.
- David Schap and Deirdre K. Valvo '96, "Recoverable Damages for Wrongful Death in the States," Journal of Forensic Economics, Vol. 10, No. 3 (fall), 1997: 279-84.
- John R. Carter and Shannon A. McAloon '94, "A Test for Comparative Income Effects in an Ultimatum Bargaining Experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 31 (December), 1996: 369-380.
- John R. Carter and Stephen D. Guerette '90, "An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Vol. 73 (April), 1992: 251-260.