SPP Applied Policy Research & Training Program Convenes in Washington, DC

May 3, 2017  | 2 min read


The School of Public Policy (SPP) will be convening its Applied Policy Research and Training Program research fellows in Washington, DC, on Thursday, May, 4, 2017, from 2-5 pm, at the Pepperdine Washington, DC campus. The fellows have worked closely with SPP faculty on policy research projects chosen jointly by the students and the faculty member. The research culminates in publishable academic articles on contemporary issues of significant interest to policymakers, in which they will be presenting to a panel of expert discussants. Funding for the program was generously provided by the Charles Koch Foundation and Carla Sands for the 2016-2017 academic year. Register to attend one or both sessions, here.

2 pm, Session 1: Importance of Physical and Digital Infrastructure for Entrepreneurship

Faculty Mentor: James Prieger, PhD, Professor of Economics & Public Policy

Student Presenters: Heng Lu (MPP ‘17) and Qian (Habi) Zhang (MPP ‘17)

Given the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy, it is important to understand the factors that facilitate the formation of new businesses. Infrastructure is potentially important for entrepreneurship, because it facilitates connectivity of people to people and businesses to markets. The role of infrastructure in enabling entrepreneurship is little studied, however. Using county-level data from 2000-2013 for the US, our research examines how regional physical, digital, and intellectual infrastructure can facilitate the birth of new business establishments. We hypothesize that different types of infrastructure affect entrepreneurship heterogeneously. For example, manufacturing startups are heavily dependent on physical infrastructure, but in the computer and information industries, digital infrastructure (which we measure with data on the provision, quality, and prevalence of broadband Internet access) plays a larger role. Entrepreneurship in all industries requires pools of talented, educated entrepreneurs and workers — intellectual infrastructure—which we measure with local stocks of educated individuals and inventors. We investigate the relative contributions of each type of infrastructure as well as looking for complementarities or opportunities for substitution among them.

Katherine LoPiccalo, PhD, Economist, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis Federal Communications Commission; Visiting Economist, Economic Analysis Group, Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice
Mary C. Boardman, PhD, Courtesy Professor, University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences, School of Information; Methodologist, Pherson Associates, LLC/Globalytica

3:40 pm, Session 2: Mobile Banking as a Mechanism to Increase Access to Financial Services

Faculty Mentor: Luisa Blanco-Raynal, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor of Economics & Public Policy

Student Presenters: Xizhu Wang (MPP ‘17) and Christopher (Drew) Bosque (MPP ‘17)

We study the determinants of mobile banking adoption, where we have a special interest on evaluating how mobile banking can be used to increase access to financial services among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. We also study the impact of mobile usage on financial behavior and spillovers at the household level for mobile banking adoption. In our analysis we use survey data from two different sources: 1) National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households for 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 from the FDIC; and 2) Survey of Consumers' Use of Mobile Financial Services for the period of 2011-2015, from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Ellen A. Merry, PhD, Principal Economist, Consumer and Community Development Research, Federal Reserve Board
Ryan M. Goodstein, PhD, Senior Financial Economist, Consumer Research and Examination Analytics, Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.