Another semester in the books. Now a little more than a year old, the Yale Journal of Economics is still finding its footing in the academic community—a process that we knew would require time and, more importantly, effort. Without those, the Journal could never achieve its goal: showcasing original economic research performed by undergraduates. We are thankful for the enthusiasm for our project shown by students around the globe, who have continued to submit insightful and innovative papers; we are excited to publish their research here and in future issues. We are also thrilled to expand the Journal’s online presence via a redesigned website that allows undergraduates’ excellent work to reach an even wider audience.
This issue contains five essays written by students at Harvard University, Yale University, and the University of California, Berkeley. In fact, this issue has a bit of a global flavor. To start the issue, Alex Dombrowski examines a key U.S. institution: the National Basketball Association. Specifically, he considers the optimal time for college players to “go pro” by declaring for the NBA draft. Stefano Giulietti turns his gaze towards Europe and its sovereign debt crisis, using credit default swap spreads to measure contagion effects across countries. Disha Verma studies the effects of political fragmentation in India and finds that coalition governments grow faster, undertake more social spending, and incur less debt than majority governments. Dounia Saeme investigates Brazil’s college entrance examination system to see how the implementation of affirmative action incentivizes public school students in São Paulo. Completing the issue, Adin Lykken’s research spans the globe; he analyzes the performance of governments that complete projects financed by the World Bank, and concludes that improving project supervision may be the most effective way to yield better project outcomes.
We also need to thank the generous donors whose contributions make the Journal possible. In addition to the Yale Department of Economics and the Yale Undergraduate Organizations Committee, Stephen Freidheim ’86 and David Swensen GRD ’80 made substantial contributions that allow us 4to continue to produce the Journal and distribute it free of charge. Thanks to their support, we have published the Journal two times this academic year, this spring and last fall. Finally, we would like to thank the members of our advisory board for their guidance during the publishing process. Together, we hope to bring the Journal to new heights.