Senior Honors Thesis

Writing a senior thesis is an excellent way for students to build upon their economics coursework and pursue research that is meaningful and interesting to them. It also allows students to hone the skills they’ve developed and apply frameworks and knowledge in a way that develops an even greater analytical perspective.

Writing a senior thesis requires organization, planning, and focus. Students interested in writing a senior thesis should consult the Senior Honors Thesis Guidelines. The guidelines document describes the philosophy behind the senior thesis and walks you through the process of selecting a topic, engaging a faculty adviser, and registering for the two-semester senior honors thesis seminar.

Past thesis students have found this experience richly rewarding. Read the testimonials below to learn how the opportunity to work closely with a faculty adviser and to think critically and deeply about a significant intellectual problem of their own selection helped these BC alumni grow as researchers, analysts, writers and critical thinkers. While a thesis is arguably essential for students who intend to pursue graduate work in economics, it is also incredibly valuable for the majority of thesis students who follow other paths.

Students who are interested in writing a senior thesis should begin the process in the spring of their junior year (identifying a faculty adviser and developing a research idea in late March or early April). The resources below will help you learn more about the senior thesis and help you get started. Please reach out to Thesis Program Co-Directors Professor Michael Grubb and Professor Bob Murphy for help and advice.


Current and Past Years’ Senior Honors Thesis Topics

Presentations will be in Maloney 313. We will meet from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Advisers are invited to attend. Each presentation should be about 20-25 minutes with some additional time for questions.

April 4

Yiqing Kuang: “Impact of Face Mask Mandates on the COVID-19 Cases in the United States” (Baum)

Caitlin Hearty: “Does increased access to primary education decrease economic inequality in Costa Rica?” (Cichello)

April 6

Joe Lamoureux: “Is a Helping Hand Better than an Invisible One? The Effect of Helpfulness on Employee Engagement” (Cox)

John Dempsey: “Pre-Health Track Educational Disparities and Impact on Future Labor Market Outcomes” (Sankaran)

Shaokai Wang: “The Invisible Hand: Political Cycles, Economics, and the Stock Market” (Ireland)

April 11

Grace Tymann: “Does Minimum Wage Influence Union Votes?” (Sanzenbacher)

Augusta Imperatore: “Is Inclusionary Zoning Creating the Inclusive Communities it Intends?” (Sanzenbacher)

Allison Pyo: “From One-Room Schools to Graded Schools: Analyzing the Shift in Education During the Mid-1800s” (Rutledge / Higgins)

April 13

Natalie Almonacid: “The Great Unequalizer: How State Responses to COVID-19 Differently Impact the Unemployment Rate of Racial and Ethnic Groups” (Sanzenbacher)

Dylan Frick: “How Allowing the US to Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices Would Impact Innovation” (Sanzenbacher)

Ryan Ollestad: “Improving Microloans in Developing Countries with Blockchain Technology” (Regan)

April 20

Rita LaPlante: “Understanding Green Gentrification in Boston: A GIS Approach” (Maxwell)

Eleana Tsiamtsiouris: “Does the Type of Lawyer Representation Really Matter? Exploring the Differences in Defendant Outcomes between Private Retained Counsel and Private Court-appointed Counsel in Criminal Cases” (Maxwell)

Ryan Cattich: “Estimating the Negative Externalities of Disinformation” (Wesner)

April 25

Maxwell Vogliano: “Economic Welfare: How Various Ethical Underpinnings for Calculation Affect Welfare Policy” (Quinn)

Chris Bunner: “The Social Effect of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Subsidies” (Sweeney)

Bryan Kim: “The ULCC Effect: How Does The Entry of Ultra-Low Cost Carriers Impact Airfares of Incumbent Airlines?” (Murry)