Winning PerformanceGAMBIER, Ohio (June 28, 2006) Eduardo Rodriguez, Class of 2007, won first prize and Audrey Kaem, Class of 2008, won an honorable mention in the microeconomics division at the Sixth Annual Undergraduate Economics Paper Contest at Bowling Green State University. Rodriguez, a native of Brazil, is majoring in economics. In his prize-winning paper, he presented evidence that immigrants are penalized in labor markets if they speak English poorly. However, he found that the penalty is smaller if they choose to live in ethnic enclaves where immigrants from their native country have clustered. Rodriguez has experience coming in first, since he is also a member of the men's swim team, which won its 27th consecutive NCAA Division III men's swimming and diving championship in 2006.
Kaem is an economics major from Hauppauge, New York. In her paper, she presented evidence that economic factors affect the religious practices of Americans. In particular, she found that the amount of time that people devote to religious services decreases as their income and level of education rise, suggesting that people with higher opportunity costs seek out houses of worship with shorter services.
Papers submitted to the competition were judged by economists from several Ohio colleges and universities, and the finalists were invited to present their papers at Bowling Green State University. Rodriguez and Kaem originally wrote their papers for a seminar taught by economics professor David Harrington.
This is the second time that Kenyon students have entered the contest. Kathleen Moore, Class of 2003, won first prize in the microeconomics division for a paper on the effect of affirmative action laws on emigration from South Africa. Moore now works at NERA Economic Consulting in Washington, D.C., and plans to enter a Ph.D. program in economics or public policy in 2007.