William & Mary undergraduates Brittany Young and Renee Garrow were among 28 undergraduate students from universities around the country recently selected to present their research at the Women in Economic Research (WiER) conference at Williams College. With support from William & Mary’s Schroeder Center for Health Policy and the Economics Department, Young and Garrow traveled to Williamstown, Massachusetts to give 15 minute presentations, respectively, on “The Effect of UberX on Motor Vehicle Accident Outcomes in Virginia” and “Spousal Disability, Human Capital, and Depression Among Elderly Americans.”
Young (B.A., ’20) is an Economics and Latin American Studies major from Mechanicsville, Virginia. Her research was included among a panel focused on transportation, and she reported on the variation in Uber entry in Virginia between 2013 - 2016. Young’s data did not show that ridesharing affected motor vehicle accident hospitalizations or alcohol involvement in fatal accidents. However, Young found that the rate of hospitalizations and alcohol-involvement is declining over time, which she believes suggests that other steps to reduce motor vehicle accident hospitalizations appear to be working. Young enjoyed discussing her work with both students and faculty at the conference, and she left “re-energized to do more with the research,” including using different construct variables and other models.
Garrow (B.A. ’20) is an Economics major and a math minor from Norfolk, Virginia. ’Her research was part of a health and well-being panel, and she investigated caregiving among elderly American couples. She found a significant effect of spouses’ disability on the depressive symptoms of their partners, and she continues to study how this effect changes with the partners’ level of education. Garrow found comments provided on her research by other students and faculty extremely helpful, and she intends to incorporate them into her work over the summer. She also intends to expand her research into a senior honors thesis at William & Mary next year.
Both Young and Garrow believed that the WiER conference is a unique research opportunity, and they highly recommend that other William & Mary students, particularly those who are non-seniors, present their research at conferences as a way to help hone their communication skills and prepare them for senior-level theses projects. Young and Garrow believed that their classes in Econometrics and Economics of Health Care helped prepare them to present high quality research for the WiER conference. Garrow reports that Econometrics “was essential to developing [her] empirical strategy.” Young states, “my past research experiences with the Schroeder Center allowed me to take my educational activities out of the classroom, and that helped me prepare the most for the conference.”