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Theses and Dissertations

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Essays On Household Income And Expenditures, Liqiong Chen Aug 2019

Essays On Household Income And Expenditures, Liqiong Chen

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation studies household income and consumption. In the first chapter, I identify the causal effect of retirement on health service utilization in China. In the second chapter, I investigates the impact that retirement has on the family support network of “sandwich” generations in China. In the third chapter, I propose a new estimator for linear quantile regression models with generated regressors, and apply it to study Engel curves for various commodity consumption for families in the UK.

In the first chapter, I apply a regression discontinuity design by exploiting the exogenous mandatory retirement age rules in China in order ...


Essays In Labor And Information Economics, Sun Hyung Kim Aug 2019

Essays In Labor And Information Economics, Sun Hyung Kim

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation contributes to theoretical and empirical studies in microeconomics, with a focus on evaluating policy relevant problems to provide new insights into questions. Within labor economics, I strive to understand the labor market returns to skills, taking into consideration the business cycle. In the first chapter, I investigate how the labor market returns to cognitive skills and social skills vary during recessions. In the second chapter, I examine the short-, medium and long-term career outcomes of college graduates as a function of economic conditions at graduation and both cognitive and social skills. In the third chapter, within information economics ...


Investigating The Relationship Between Parental Weight Stigma And Weight-Related Parenting Practices, Joshua M Gold Aug 2019

Investigating The Relationship Between Parental Weight Stigma And Weight-Related Parenting Practices, Joshua M Gold

Theses and Dissertations

Reducing rates of overweight and obesity in children remains a prominent public health priority. Parents have been shown to be a major influence on their children’s weight-related behaviors and weight status, but limited research has been devoted to exploring the factors that lead parents to select certain weight-related parenting practices over another. Past research has demonstrated a link between weight stigma (i.e., prejudicial attitudes or discriminatory behavior targeted at individuals who carry excess weight) and an individual’s own weight-related behaviors and outcomes, but no study has examined how parental levels of weight stigma may affect weight-related parenting ...


Essays On Production And Investment, Huizhong Liu Aug 2019

Essays On Production And Investment, Huizhong Liu

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation contributes to the understanding of production and investment decisions under different circumstances. Specifically, it focuses on two aspects: (1) in a market with financial frictions, how entrepreneurs choose their production sectors and finance their business; (2) in a market with spillovers in research and development (R&D), how spillover effect influences firms' R&D investment and other market performances.

In Chapter 1, I examine how financial frictions affect occupational shifts and structural transformations between the service sector and the manufacturing sector. I construct a general equilibrium occupational choice model with intermediation costs and contract enforcement, in which agents can choose to be entrepreneurs in the service or manufacturing sectors, or to be workers. The model is calibrated to match Chinese statistics and is used to conduct policy experiments that vary intermediation and enforcement costs. I find that high intermediation costs cause the contribution to output and the number of workers employed in the service sector to increase. They also decrease output per capita in the service sector.

The service sector size and enforcement do not have a monotonic relationship; the association is positive when enforcement cost is sufficiently high and it is negative when enforcement cost is sufficiently low. Counterfactual experiments are performed for the U.S., Brazil and the Philippines. I find that intermediation costs and enforcement can explain almost half of the sector size gap with Brazil and the ...


The Impacts Of Social Comparison Information On Physical Activity, Lianjun Li Aug 2019

The Impacts Of Social Comparison Information On Physical Activity, Lianjun Li

Theses and Dissertations

My dissertation focuses on changes in health-related behavior in react to information-based intervention. The first chapter analyzes the results of a field experiment to investigate the effects of comparative information on the daily number of steps taken of adults. The second chapter further explores the effects using qualitative analysis. The third chapter intends to offer explanations in the mechanisms of the results from the first chapter.

My first chapter uncovers how patterns in the daily number of steps of adults are affected by information that compares one with unknown peers. I conducted a field experiment that used fitness trackers to ...


The Commodification Of Television Formats: The Role Of Distribution In The Emergence Of The Commodity Form, Joonseok Choi Aug 2019

The Commodification Of Television Formats: The Role Of Distribution In The Emergence Of The Commodity Form, Joonseok Choi

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examines the process of commodifying television formats (e.g., Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Survivor, Big Brother, and Idol) from television show ideas into global commodities. Instead of assuming that a format has always been a commodity, this dissertation seeks to understand the historical process of the transformation from a concept into a commodity. Specifically, it answers three questions: a) What is the process whereby a format obtains property status and becomes a copyrighted work? b) Who enables the transnational movement of a format, and how does that happen? and c) How do people recognize which formats ...


The Effectiveness Of Numerical Approximation For Dynamic Programming Problems, Wyatt Jones Aug 2019

The Effectiveness Of Numerical Approximation For Dynamic Programming Problems, Wyatt Jones

Theses and Dissertations

The motivation of this thesis is the study of numerical methods for solving dynamic programming problems. In the first chapter, I present methods for reducing the computational cost imposed by the curse of dimensionality in the action and state space that occurs when solving for a Markov perfect equilibrium (MPE). These methods circumvent the computational problems for Markov perfect models in which the size of the state space or action space is large. This is because these methods are able to overcome the issue with approximating a highly non-linear or even discontinuous value function and thus allow the algorithm to ...


Chloride And Corrosiveness: Trends, Indices, Scales Of Measurement, And Agency Management Capacity To Address Freshwater Salinization, Rebecca Lynn Kauten Aug 2019

Chloride And Corrosiveness: Trends, Indices, Scales Of Measurement, And Agency Management Capacity To Address Freshwater Salinization, Rebecca Lynn Kauten

Theses and Dissertations

This study localizes dimensions of freshwater salinization by directly measuring chloride concentrations in ungauged urban streams, assessing the relationship between chloride, copper and zinc in sample data, measures statewide trends for Iowa, and considers the regulatory and cultural environment of managing winter roads. Chloride concentrations in local, urban streams generally persist at higher levels than what is typical of natural Iowa waters. Runoff from snow melt events violate water quality standards, with chloride concentrations more closely resembling sea water than freshwater. Meanwhile, long-term trends at the statewide scale suggest levels are decreasing over time. Dissolved ions in groundwater from limestone ...


The Neural Correlates And Temporal Dynamics Of Cued Fear Generalization, Kelsey Nicole Wilson Aug 2019

The Neural Correlates And Temporal Dynamics Of Cued Fear Generalization, Kelsey Nicole Wilson

Theses and Dissertations

Fear generalization, the generalization of fear to innocuous stimuli, is a characteristic component of pathological anxiety. For example, after returning from war, a person might begin to experience fear in response to the sound of fireworks, a stimulus typically regarded as safe. When excessive, “overgeneralization” serves as a core feature of fear and anxiety-related disorders, such as PTSD. The present collection of studies sought to investigate the neural correlates and temporal dynamics of fear generalization in humans.

The first study sought to investigate the causal role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and hippocampus in the generalization of fear. Contrary ...


Migration And Identity: Japan’S Changing Relationship With Otherness, Paul Capobianco May 2019

Migration And Identity: Japan’S Changing Relationship With Otherness, Paul Capobianco

Theses and Dissertations

Japan is currently facing a demographic shift that will alter the nation’s social, cultural, and economic institutions significantly in the years to come. Due to a declining and aging population, foreigners have steadily comprised a greater portion of Japan’s population and workforce for the past three decades. Although foreigners currently comprise only 2% of Japan’s population, some experts predict an increase to between 8% and 27% by 2050.

If even the most conservative of these estimates are true, this would raise serious questions about Japan’s future. Historically, Japan has relegated cultural and ethnic difference to the ...


Essays In Health And Labor Economics, Chelsea Jo Crain May 2019

Essays In Health And Labor Economics, Chelsea Jo Crain

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation focuses on how changes in public policies have the ability to affect the consumption and nutrition of consumers through changes in product prices and quality. In the first chapter, I examine price pass-through and changes in quality at restaurants in response to an increase in minimum wage. In the second chapter, I examine changes in prices among retailers and restaurants in response to the largest tax on sugar sweetened beverages in the U.S. In the third chapter, I examine changes in nutrition and the labor market effects on the aging population in response to bans on trans ...


Language Varieties And Variation In English Usage Among Native Korean Speakers In Seoul, Linda Seojung Park May 2019

Language Varieties And Variation In English Usage Among Native Korean Speakers In Seoul, Linda Seojung Park

Theses and Dissertations

In the last few decades, a rise in Korean speakers’ borrowing from English has led to a rich pool of contemporary Anglo-Korean vocabulary, also known as English loanwords. Despite the English roots of these borrowed words, their usage in a Korean context is often non-uniform and non-traditional; this process of borrowing, reshaping, and dispersing borrowed vocabulary provides insights on the dynamics of Korean society and its relationship to global English-speaking communities.

In order to investigate the variations on Korean speakers’ use of Anglo-Korean words and their potential correlations with various factors, I conducted interviews with 24 native Korean speakers in ...


Vegetation In Student Environments And School-Level Academic Achievement: Associations At Multiple Extents And In Various Social And Environmental Contexts, Cody Brian Hodson May 2019

Vegetation In Student Environments And School-Level Academic Achievement: Associations At Multiple Extents And In Various Social And Environmental Contexts, Cody Brian Hodson

Theses and Dissertations

Contact with nature confers numerous benefits to mental and physical well-being, including enhanced recovery from stress and mental fatigue. Given that stress and mental fatigue likely interfere with performance in school, vegetation in student environments, an element of nature, could support academic achievement and greater educational attainment, a critical component of social mobility and therefore well-being. However, such benefits may be reduced for urban populations, as living in cities often entails reduced access to environments with vegetation, access which may be even lower for minority urban populations. The distribution of vegetation in urban areas therefore has serious implications for well-being ...


Understanding Perceptions Of Urban Biodiversity And Its Benefits, Brianna J. Zumhof May 2019

Understanding Perceptions Of Urban Biodiversity And Its Benefits, Brianna J. Zumhof

Theses and Dissertations

The human population is rapidly urbanizing, creating dramatic changes in local land use and land cover, unprecedented species loss, and a society increasingly disconnected from nature. Nature, specifically biodiversity, has been shown to provide benefits and enhance well-being to humans. Living in an environment with reduced opportunity to interact with or experience biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as both a public health and environmental issue, whereby separation from nature can negatively impact human well-being and how humans value nature, diminishing interest in and understanding of nature and its conservation. Because urban living reduces contact with nature, it is imperative to ...


A Comparative Analysis Of Uas Photogrammatry And Terrestrial Lidar For Reconstructing Microtopography Of Harvested Fields, Kang San Lee May 2019

A Comparative Analysis Of Uas Photogrammatry And Terrestrial Lidar For Reconstructing Microtopography Of Harvested Fields, Kang San Lee

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study is comparing elevation models from Terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) and Unmanned aerial system (UAS) photogrammetry focusing on detecting microtopography and the relationship between elevation differences and image textures. The soils on agricultural lands are permanently modified by intensive farming activities almost every year. The microtopography of the soil, that plays an important role in the surface runoff and infiltration, depends on cultivation practices and the field environment. By way of example: crop residues, furrows, tillage direction, and slope may impact the soil nutrient and erosion. To better understand and prevent soil degradation via erosion, 3-D ...


Forget Me, Forget Me Not: Unlearning Incorrect Associations In Word Learning, Tanja Charlotte Roembke May 2019

Forget Me, Forget Me Not: Unlearning Incorrect Associations In Word Learning, Tanja Charlotte Roembke

Theses and Dissertations

During word learning, many words are associated with many meanings to build a lexicon. A model by McMurray et al. (2012) suggests that vocabulary acquisition may not only depend on building correct associations, but also pruning incorrect ones. Additional evidence for the importance of pruning comes from a word learning analog in pigeons, where the opportunity for pruning incorrect associations between objects and symbols was manipulated during training (Roembke et al., 2016). To investigate pruning in humans, we conducted six supervised word learning experiments. Participants were first trained to link two objects to each word, and subsequently were tested how ...


Broadcast For One: Paging And Network Communication, Benjamin Allen Morton Dec 2018

Broadcast For One: Paging And Network Communication, Benjamin Allen Morton

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation explores the history and culture of a mobile communication device and practice that has been superseded by today’s networked communication devices. The pager—known later in the 1980s and 1990s as a beeper—has a longer history than most assume. In the early 1950s the device was not a distinct technology in its own right, but a haphazard combination of existing communications technologies: telegraphy, telephony, radio broadcasting, answering services, and hearing aids. These technological origins, and the cultures that support them, are important for broadcast and telecommunications historians, as well as media history and theory in general ...


Brain Network Predictors Of Exercise Behavior Change In Sedentary Older Adults: An Emotion And Decision Making Perspective, Timothy Benjamin Weng Dec 2018

Brain Network Predictors Of Exercise Behavior Change In Sedentary Older Adults: An Emotion And Decision Making Perspective, Timothy Benjamin Weng

Theses and Dissertations

Given the proliferating aging population, increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and exercise is critical because it enhances overall well-being and reduces the rates of many adverse age-related health conditions. However, intervention efforts to establish sustained changes in MVPA have yielded limited success due their sole focus on conscious factors (e.g., changing goals and intentions). Thus, older adults continue to represent the highest proportion of sedentary adults, despite their knowledge of the widespread health benefits associated with PA and exercise or even their intentions to engage in such behaviors. Consequently, the benefits of PA and exercise are not being fully ...


Spatiotemporal Correlation Analysis Of Colorectal Cancer Late-Stage Incidence, Mortality, And Survival: Iowa, 1999 To 2010, Kevin Andrew Matthews Aug 2018

Spatiotemporal Correlation Analysis Of Colorectal Cancer Late-Stage Incidence, Mortality, And Survival: Iowa, 1999 To 2010, Kevin Andrew Matthews

Theses and Dissertations

This study of the spatiotemporal patterns of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Iowa introduced the importance of examining the geographic patterns of four epidemiological measures (incidence, late-stage incidence, mortality, and survival) as inter-related phases in the natural history of the disease rather than as independent measures. To conduct such an analysis required the development of a framework for conducting spatiotemporal correlation analysis involving two or more measures across two or more periods.

This framework is based on geographic units called spatially adaptive filter areas.which effectively address the small number problem. This common spatial epidemiology problem occurs when the population in ...


The Effects Of Caloric Education, Trial-By-Trial Feedback And Their Interaction On College-Aged Women’S Abilities To Estimate Caloric Content, Marian Tewfik Rizk Aug 2018

The Effects Of Caloric Education, Trial-By-Trial Feedback And Their Interaction On College-Aged Women’S Abilities To Estimate Caloric Content, Marian Tewfik Rizk

Theses and Dissertations

Many people track the caloric content of food, given its relevance to weight loss, gain, or maintenance. Thus, better understanding the psychological underpinnings of caloric content estimation for unhealthy foods is of significant psychological and public health interest. This study investigated whether college-aged women could be trained to estimate the caloric content of unhealthy foods more accurately via exposure to caloric content education, trial-by-trial feedback, and their combination. Two hundred and thirty-eight college-aged women estimated the caloric content of 84 photographed foods and completed three transfer tasks. Prior to the first task, women were randomly assigned to one of four ...


Sleep-Dependent Sensorimotor Processing And Network Connectivity In The Infant Rat, Carlos Del Rio-Bermudez Aug 2018

Sleep-Dependent Sensorimotor Processing And Network Connectivity In The Infant Rat, Carlos Del Rio-Bermudez

Theses and Dissertations

Early sensory experiences play a critical role in the activity-dependent development of the sensorimotor system. The sources of sensory input to the neonatal nervous system involve external stimulation (exafference) and sensory feedback arising from self-generated movements (reafference). In the perinatal period, reafference from twitches of the limbs and facial muscles during active (REM) sleep is a powerful driver of neural activity across the entire neuraxis. Thus, sleep-related twitches are thought to contribute to the activity-dependent development of sensorimotor networks. In this dissertation, we first aimed to identify a motor pathway for the generation of twitching. Using newborn rats at postnatal ...


Water And Energy Resource Dependence And Conflict, Sojeong Lee Aug 2018

Water And Energy Resource Dependence And Conflict, Sojeong Lee

Theses and Dissertations

The main purpose of this thesis is to understand the relationship between natural resources and conflict and cooperation. In this research, I develop a theory of resource dependence focusing on water and energy resources that are important to people’s survival and national economy and security. I theorize the relationship between resource dependence and interstate conflict in two ways. First, I argue that as a state becomes more dependent on natural resources, the state is less likely to engage in conflict with other states. Resource dependence reduces conflict risks because a state with greater resource dependence does not want to ...


Complaints In L2 French: Perception And Production Across Social Contexts, Alexandra Courtney Shaeffer Aug 2018

Complaints In L2 French: Perception And Production Across Social Contexts, Alexandra Courtney Shaeffer

Theses and Dissertations

Complaining happens in all cultures, and offers a unique insight into the values, taboos, and communicative practices of a given society. The ways in which complaining is viewed and performed vary drastically not only cross-culturally, but across smaller communal groups and between individuals, too. This dissertation approaches complaining from a multilateral perspective to investigate how individuals in three different language groups – monolingual French speakers, monolingual English speakers, and native English speakers enrolled in upper-division university French courses – perceive and produce complaints as well as the influential role played by social context.

In the perception study, the researcher explores how individuals ...


Protesting Korean Protestantism: Media, Resistance, And Theology Of Critical Insiders, Seung Min Hong Aug 2018

Protesting Korean Protestantism: Media, Resistance, And Theology Of Critical Insiders, Seung Min Hong

Theses and Dissertations

This study focuses on “critical insiders” of Korean Protestantism in the twenty first century, namely those who are committed to their Protestant faiths yet are highly critical of the ways in which Protestant Christianity is taught, believed, and practiced in South Korea. Particular emphasis is given to the question of how they resist/challenge dominant institutions and popular beliefs – especially on religious authority and various moral and monetary implications of such beliefs – as well as alternative visions they offer, through media. Scholars today acknowledge the centrality of media in various religious practices. I show that the role of media is ...


How Much Is Enough In Brief Acceptance And Commitment Therapy?, Emily Brenny Kroska Aug 2018

How Much Is Enough In Brief Acceptance And Commitment Therapy?, Emily Brenny Kroska

Theses and Dissertations

A large body of research has examined the appropriate time course of psychotherapy across a variety of therapeutic modalities. Research in the area of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has indicated the efficacy of single-session interventions in improving anxiety, depression, and even weight loss. These findings, though promising, are accompanied by the question of how much ACT is enough to make a statistically and clinically significant difference in symptoms. The present study sought to clarify this question among individuals with depression.

Adults (N = 271) with elevated depressive symptoms were recruited via mass emails for a study comparing the relative effectiveness ...


The Sociology Of Grit: Cross-Cultural Approaches To Social Stratification, Hye Won Kwon Aug 2018

The Sociology Of Grit: Cross-Cultural Approaches To Social Stratification, Hye Won Kwon

Theses and Dissertations

Grit, the concept consisting of perseverance and passion towards a desired long-term goal, has been spotlighted as a key psychological resource that is predictive of positive life outcomes including academic achievement, professional success and subjective well-being. Despite its popularity within and outside of academia, much more needs to be researched before we can understand its properties and sociological utility.

This dissertation explores the potential location of grit within various sociological discourses, including literature on agency, stratification, and perceived meritocracy. In addition, I explore the relationship between social status, subjective agency, the social valuation of grit, and grit cross-culturally to place ...


A Comprehensive Examination Of Anxiety And Its Risk Factors In The Perinatal Period, Michelle L. Miller Aug 2018

A Comprehensive Examination Of Anxiety And Its Risk Factors In The Perinatal Period, Michelle L. Miller

Theses and Dissertations

The perinatal period is increasingly recognized as a vulnerable time for the development and exacerbation of psychopathology symptoms. Research has often focused on perinatal depression, with limited information on perinatal anxiety. This study examined the psychometric structure of all anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms as well as explored the relation between perinatal internalizing symptoms and sociodemographic, obstetric, and psychological risk factors. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common perinatal anxiety disorder that is now classified with the Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum (OCS) (hoarding, body dysmorphic, trichotillomania, and excoriation disorders). This study also aimed to determine the prevalence of clinically significant OCS symptoms and ...


An Eight-Week Forrest Yoga Intervention For Chronic Pain: Effect On Pain Interference, Pain Severity, And Psychological Outcomes, Jennifer L. Bayer Aug 2018

An Eight-Week Forrest Yoga Intervention For Chronic Pain: Effect On Pain Interference, Pain Severity, And Psychological Outcomes, Jennifer L. Bayer

Theses and Dissertations

Background: Chronic pain conditions are pervasive, debilitating, and costly problems across the globe, yet medical treatments often fail to relieve the patients of pain. As a result, complementary treatments, such as yoga, are often used in an attempt to reduce pain and disability. Yoga seems to be effective in short-term relief of pain and, in some cases, helps alleviate psychological comorbidities associated with pain, such as depression and anxiety. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of an eight-week Forrest Yoga intervention on pain interference, pain severity, and psychological outcomes.

Methods: Seventy-nine participants were randomly assigned ...


Vernacular Geography And Perceptions Of Place: A New Approach To Measuring American Regional And Political Subcultures, Christine Bricker Aug 2018

Vernacular Geography And Perceptions Of Place: A New Approach To Measuring American Regional And Political Subcultures, Christine Bricker

Theses and Dissertations

This study develops a new theoretical approach and empirical measure of American regional subcultures using public opinion survey data and building on previous research (Chinni and Gimpel 2011; Elazar 1962, 1966; Hero 2000; Lieske 1993; Putnam, Leonardi and Nanetti 1994). Instead of approaching classification of regions based on formal geography, border states, population demography, ethnic groups and migration patterns, or historical traditions, this study uses a vernacular geography approach to study culture in the 50 American states. Vernacular geography is the sense of place revealed in ordinary people’s language. The study uses original nationwide survey data to measure perceptions ...


Essays In Health And Labor Economics, Youn Soo Jung Aug 2018

Essays In Health And Labor Economics, Youn Soo Jung

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis focuses on how health care policies affect the labor supply of physicians and beneficiaries. Further, I examine how the labor supply responses of physicians vary based on the level of competition.

In the first chapter, I focus on the labor supply response of physicians to two large public health insurance expansions, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These insurance programs have significantly increased the number of patients with public health insurance and the demand for medical services, but it is not clear whether providers will supply additional services for newly-insured ...