Borrowers in the West repay faster

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

It is no secret that some people prefer to repay their debts once they are able to, instead of waiting for the due date. Let’s see if this philosophy applies to the peer-to-peer lending market.

Here we focus on the both major P2P lending marketplaces in the U.S.: Lending Club and Prosper. We also define the early repayment rate to be the percentage of all loans currently active which have been repaid at some age (in months since the origination date).

Continue reading Borrowers in the West repay faster

The Sorting of America in the Obama Era

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

Historically, America has been divided along racial and income lines. In 2008, Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort” forwarded the idea that America is also becoming increasingly segregated along political and cultural lines. Using a variety of datasets, he and his research assistant Robert Cushing demonstrated that liberals and conservatives are very likely to cluster together near like-minded people. The result is an even more divided country in which people of one political persuasion are less likely to encounter dissenting viewpoints in their immediate vicinity.

Continue reading The Sorting of America in the Obama Era

Industries with highest divorce rates

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post we will again explore the 2013 year’s PUMS five-year survey data from the American Community Survey. Now we are also interested in the relationship between marital status and job industry, but this time we will look for industries with the highest divorce rates. We expect that the values of divorce rate will be relatively low, since 88.5 percent of the respondents who were employed at the time of survey were married.

Continue reading Industries with highest divorce rates

Does new home construction affect crime rate?

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post we will explore the relationship between crime rates and the development of residential areas; we want to see if the construction of new houses affects crime rate. Naturally, one would think that incoming new residents will attract more criminal elements to the area, but this may not always be the case.

Continue reading Does new home construction affect crime rate?

Firearms and Crime Rate

Jeffery Green

Jeffery Green, J.D., Ph.D. (ABD) Political Science

Firearm ownership and its impact on the safety of populations provides a diverse array of conclusions as to the causality of firearms and their impact on crime rates in particular. It is often stated that an armed population is a safe population due to the presumptive deterrent effect of firearm ownership on those who may be pondering committing a crime. Most right-thinking people would be a bit reticent to force their way into a house in the middle of the night to steal a television or harm the occupants if they knew that a loaded firearm was waiting to greet them. There is a certain mythology, which may be grounded in some fact or a great deal of fiction, that guns make us safer. We cling to this old west homesteader notion of the gun as a tool. In those days, a firearm provided the means to hunt and offered protection in what was an unruly society wherein human life was certainly cheap. Today we live in a more rule-governed and somewhat more orderly state. To state that a firearm is a necessary tool for a household is a point of debate. Certainly, a number of Americans still feel that a firearm in the home is important for protection. A recent national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that that nearly half of gun owners (48 percent) report that the main reason they own a gun is for protection. This is compared to 32 percent who state they own a gun primarily for hunting.

Continue reading Firearms and Crime Rate