Popular New Year’s resolutions

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

New Year’s is one of the most celebrated days in the world. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of gifts and long-awaited surprises for those kids who didn’t misbehave.

According to a survey among young adults in 2015 (published at Statista.com), about 72 percent of respondents said that they typically spent New Year’s Eve at home. Slightly more than 20 percent stated they were guests at someone else’s home on New Year’s Eve, and about 10 percent celebrated in a restaurant, bar or club.

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FinTech is a revolutionary way for making payments

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

Financial technology (FinTech) relates to the companies that use technology to make financial services more efficient and can be simply described as innovation in financial services. FinTech comes mostly from small startup companies that develop innovative technological solutions in big data, financial management and online payments. In 2014 the United States was the leading FinTech country, with an overall investment value of approximately $3.97 billion. The transaction value in the FinTech market amounted to $523,318 million that year. The digital payments segment accounted for the largest part of this market: over $497 million in 2014. The business finance and consumer finance sectors accounted for $5,773 million and $20,310 million accordingly.

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Income and Poor Physical Health

Jeffery Green

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

An annual study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides insight into health outcomes at the county level, which often are not captured in statewide health indicators conveying the health status of a state’s population.  From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation data a number of indicators were incorporated to rank each county’s overall health status. These indicators incorporate measures of population health: risk behavior, such as alcohol and drug consumption and environmental factors, such as food options and the state of the physical environment. The table below displays the 50 unhealthiest counties in the United States ranked by the number of days per month its residents indicated were poor health days. As Figure 1 indicates, the vast majority of the unhealthiest counties in the United States are located in the southern part of the country. When examining this data, one can arrive at some broad assumptions regarding widespread health habits in these counties, which lends some insight into their status as the unhealthiest in the nation. Looking at the top 20 unhealthiest counties when ranked on the measure of reported monthly poor health days[1], the following counties fill out the top 20.

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Relocation patterns: recovery after recession?

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. relocate for various reasons: a job offer, family circumstances or simply striving for a change of scenery. To study relocation patterns we analyzed migration data provided by IRS. The data is based on taxpayers’ reports and is provided at the county and state level. In this post, we will focus on migration between states.

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Are smaller Research and Development businesses more effective?

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

As we saw in an earlier post, one of the industries instrumental to the growth in Professional Services sector is Research and Development. The number of people employed in this sector grew from 330,000 to almost 480,000. Even more impressive is the fact that it peaked at almost 600,000 in 2006:

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Coca Cola is on the top of the non–alcoholic beverages market

Pavel Prikhodko, Ph.D. Machine Learning

The non-alcoholic beverages market in the United States comprises categories such as tea and coffee, bottled water, soft drinks and energy drinks. Carbonated soft drinks make up the largest segment of this market. Coca-Cola Co. is the undisputable leader among liquid refreshment brands in the country. The overall U.S. market share of Coca-Cola in 2014 amounted to 42.3 percent (the company’s worldwide revenue approximated to around $46 billion). Almost the same U.S. numbers were recorded in the two previous years: 42.2 percent in 2013 and 42 percent in 2012.

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Education and Funding

Jeffery Green

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

The question of equitable and adequate school funding resonates throughout a number of debates, implicating the government’s obligation to educate the young, questions of fairness and equality in education and broad debates concerning the distribution of public benefits across regions and locales. This debate became more complex in the wake of the 2008 recession, as austerity measures aimed at offsetting state budget shortfalls diminished K-12 public school funding. Austerity measures coincided with the depletion of Federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) after 2010. Consequently, state funding of K-12-education has continued to decline on a steady trajectory since 2010. Confirming this trend, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) finds that 34 states provided less funding per student for the 2013-14 fiscal year when compared to pre-recession numbers.

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Higher wages mean more stable employment numbers

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

When exploring U.S. Census Bureau census data, we saw that even within one state, counties may see significantly different changes in local employment numbers.

While we don’t have any personal data, local changes in employment numbers are indicative of the total number of people who have lost their jobs, become employed or even switched careers.

First, we take the variance of employment change in every state, averaged by five major industry sectors.

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What is your effective tax rate?

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

The United States uses a progressive income tax structure, which means that the more you earn, the higher tax rate you pay. The tax system was designed this way following the assumption that wealthier people can afford to pay more, while those struggling to afford basic necessities should be relieved and given a lower tax rate. This scheme is pretty straightforward, however, the actual relationship between your income and effective tax rate is a bit more complicated.

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