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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Internetification today

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Nowadays technology and people are so strongly connected that you can hardly imagine life without it. The Internet became an important instrument for everyone and for everything, whether it is studying, working, entertainment, etc. The number of computer users in the world, and America in particular, is growing at a quick rate, so let’s figure out who they actually are.

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The Nation on the Move Slows Down

Kristine Barseghyan

Kristine Barseghyan, Ph.D. (ABD) Social Sciences

People in the United States are more geographically mobile than in any other western country. At least they used to be. The idea that one can choose and move to a place that promises better life has been an important part of American life. For more than 40 percent of Americans who change their address every five years,[i] mobility is a lifestyle.

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Striking a Balance Between Quality of Life and Social Capital

Benjamin Schultz

Benjamin Schultz, Ph.D. Geography

After going through decades of decline and outmigration, city living has come back into vogue in the United States. In reversal of post-war trends, more and more people, especially young professionals, are opting for close-in neighborhoods rather than the spacious suburbs.

For many urban mayors, this is a welcome change and a potential source of much-needed tax revenue. To improve their attractiveness even further in the eyes of the young, talented and educated potential movers, many cities have made substantial investments in “quality of life” projects.

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Venture Capital: Where Will the Money Move to Next and Where Has It Been?

R.T. Young

R.T. Young, Ph.D. Business Economics

Venture capital is the world of very risky investments. In a nutshell, the venture capital world consists of a very few well-connected financial investors looking to invest in early to later stage startup companies and small businesses needing cash. The hope – from both the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur – is that the given startup will succeed in achieving often amazing growth rates. If the company succeeds, the entrepreneur usually makes a ton of money, as well as the early-stage investors, which in most cases includes venture capitalists.

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Startup Hubs

Jeffery Green

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

A white paper released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation finds that Kansas City and other areas viewed as “new” startup hubs have actually been fostering a culture of entrepreneurship for some time. Many of these cities have a history of strong technology sectors or have experienced strong growth among technology startups over the past two decades.

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