Week 8: Editing and Final Presentations

May 03, 2021

Hi everyone!

This week I have begun the long editing process as I finally finished my full first draft including the further research section of my senior project paper. Since I don’t have too much research content to share, I thought I would go over some of my ideas for further research.

One of the more often overlooked tactics for economics research is simulations and lab experiments, often because they are not believed to model real world economic behaviors closely enough. However, especially when first beginning to look into a particularly subject or when natural experiments are impossible, they can be useful in establishing some basic predictions of behavior. With this is mind, I would propose using simulations and/or lab experiments to answer some of the more psychology/behavior centered questions that are yet to be definitively answered on the subject of pay frequency. This includes question such as whether present biases or perceptual biases are more responsible for consumption smoothing difficulties and the relationship between more frequent pay and perceptions of wealth. An online simulation allowing individual’s to make choices on consumption and expenditure could also be useful in assessing the claim that more frequent pay results in fewer purchases of durable goods. A similar simulation has already been used to explore the relationship between pay frequency and discretionary spending (De La Rosa & Tully, 2020).

Another research tactic that has yet to be used extensively for exploring the topic of pay frequency is the one-time survey. In fairness, surveys are both less than perfect indicators of individuals’ real world behaviors and preferences and subject to extensive biases when it comes to wording questions. However, it is still quite surprising that there have been so few surveys on the topic on preferred pay frequency among the general public.

Finally, another somewhat major gap in research surrounds the aggregate effects of different pay frequencies. Although small scale studies have been done on the effects of pay frequency on aggregate hospitalization, crime, and traffic incident numbers, most only focus on a few cities or a specific group of government aid recipients. One exception is the study done by Berniell, which took advantage of differences in the pay frequency laws of different states to investigate the impact of pay frequency on aggregate consumption (Berniell, 2016). I wonder if these same natural differences could be used to do a more in-depth study on pay frequency’s impact on other aggregate factors, such as crime or drug use.

On the internship front, this week I have been preparing further for my final internship presentation, which I will give to the other members of the department in about a week. I will begin work on my senior project presentation later this week.

 

Bibliography:

De La Rosa, W., & Tully, S. (2020). The Impact of Payment Frequency on Subjective Wealth Perceptions and Discretionary Spending. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3658727.

Berniell, I. (2016). Waiting for the Paycheck: Individual and Aggregate
Effects of Wage Payment Frequency.

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