The Student Honors Papers collection represent exemplary work in Business Administration at Illinois Wesleyan University. The Ames Library is proud to archive these and other honors projects in Digital Commons @ IWU, the University's online archive of student, faculty and staff scholarship and creative activity.


A Different Approach to Term vs. Whole Life Insurance
by Neil Rubenstein '96

This is study comparing term to whole life insurance. These two life insurance vehicles will be compared using the after-tax dollar figure of the surrender value or death benefit (for the whole life policy) and the total after-tax value of the "difference" and/or death benefit (for the term life insurance policy). These comparisons are not intended to be used to extrapolate the average rate of return needed in the future to justify the extra risk inherent in term life insurance.

The Role of the PBGC in Pension Guarantees: An analysis of efficiency and effectiveness
by Jason C. Richards '96

The retirement-income system in the average American household can be described as a three-legged combination of private and government savings. The first leg includes Social Security and other government welfare programs designed for the elderly. The second is individual savings. This leg includes IRA's, savings accounts and stock and bond portfolios, among other things. The final leg includes Privately-sponsored pension plans (Schmitt, 1993). In simplest terms, there exist two types of pension plans in the United States: defined-contribution and defined-benefit. For general information --as well as later discussion --we will now define both.

Accounting For Derivatives
by Craig Ward '96

This paper will address the issue of disclosure concerning the derivative acitivities of publicly traded companies. The paper will begin by explaining the basics of derivatives and proceed to explain the current requirements in place to date. It will also detail the current developments of proposed new regulations for derivative activities. Then, the paper will present the results of how a sample of publicly traded companies currently account for and report their derivative positions in the financial statements. Finally, I will propose new requirements to account for and report derivatives in the financial statements. These requirements will combine ideas already proposed by some in the accounting profession, some current practices, and some original ideas to form a new set of standards in this area of accounting.

The Case for High Returns: A Study of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry
by David Taylor '95

In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has undergone intense criticism from a myriad of opponents from President Clinton to the common citizen. In fact, Bill Clinton included comprehensive health care reform in his election platform, and the pharmaceutical industry with its high profits has emerged as a scape goat in this debate. Recent developments, including Congress' delay of any legislative health care reform and the election of a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, have decreased the short run potential of any comprehensive health care reform. However, because of the rising costs associated with health care, some sort of comprehensive legislation is likely to occur within the next decade.

Advertising Aimed Toward Working Women Before and After World War II
by Jennifer Bowman '94

Even at the start of the war in Europe in 1939, women workers were only turned to as a last resort, The war in Europe had brought a flood of economic activity to America. Recovering businesses damaged during the Great Depression were once again prosperous, bringing hope to the American public for a bright future. In fact, World War II quickly "turned the unemployment problem into one of a labor shortage and rocketed the economy into new heights of production and prosperity." (Hartmann, 2) Business was booming and people were working.

Traditional beliefs "that men should be the primary or sole breadwinners in the family was especially significant in limiting women's job opportunities as long as unemployed men were still available to fill the labor needs." (Anderson, 24) The resistance to hiring women before all sources of male labor were depleted was encouraged by the War Department itself. A Civil Defense official was quoted as saying "give the women something to do to keep their hands busy as we did in the last war--then maybe they won't bother us." (Kessler-Harris, 274) Meaning women were still only expected to volunteer and do housework.

The Adaptation of Flour Milling Based Companies to Environmental Change
by Thomas B. Welge '92

It might well be argued that no other industry was as important in the civilization of man as flour milling. As man discovered the process of grain milling he was able to evolve from wanderer, to farmer, to city dweller. The sale of flour is considered by many historians to be the first industrial enterprise. Wheat, grown for over 10,000 years, was regarded as a symbol of life and power by the ancient Assyrians, Egyptians, Jews, Greeks, and Romans (steen p. 19). Both the art and business of grain milling evolved as world population grew. The cUltivation and milling of wheat migrated with man from the ancient Syrian/palestine region to Europe, Asia, and Africa (Storck & Teague p. 35). Each new society contributed some innovation which increased productivity in the industry.

The German Automobile Industry's Reaction to the Announcement of German Reunification: An Event Study
by Rhea E. Rosenlof '91

This study seeks to explore more deeply the economic and political aspects of Reunification and the role of the West German automobile industry in the Reunification process. Due to the importance of the automobile industry in rebuilding the East German economy, an examination of the German automobile industry's reaction to the announcement of Reunification would be an important and informative economic consideration in evaluating the positive and negative consequences of German Reunification. Therefore, through the application of a "special event" methodology utilized in financial research, I intend to discover whether the German automobile industry as a whole, and the individual firms which make up the industry, reacted positively or negatively to the announcement of German Reunification, and what these reactions could mean for the future of the industry and for the future of a united German nation.

This paper details the economic and political outlook in Germany during the early months of 1990, the investments made by the West German automobile industry in East Germany prior to the announcement of Reunification, and the methodology to be applied in this study. I will then provide an analysis of the automobile industry's reaction to the announcement of German Reunification.

Alcohol Advertising: Freedom of Speech v. Social Responsibility
by Reona Jack '91

In Illinois, 10% of the population, or approximately 800,000 citizens, meet the criteria to be classified as problem drinkers; nationally, one out of four children comes from an alcoholic home; and, alcohol plays a role in nearly half of America's murders, suicides, and accidental deaths, claiming at least 1,000,000 lives per year.' Not only do these statistics add up to social problems but they also reflect an increasing economic cost to society. Estimates of the cost of alcoholism and alcohol abuse reach nearly $117 billion a year, considering premature deaths, reduced work effort, and treatment.

Effects of Store Atmosphere on Shopping Behavior
by Wendy L. Billings '90

There is little sound documentation for the actual effects of store atmosphere on shopping behavior. Some retailers have claimed that they have influenced customers' buying behavior by manipulating store atmosphere via layout, color, lighting, and music (wysocki 1979; Stevens 1980). However, this evidence is solely anecdotal. Researchers have been unable to document strong effects of store atmosphere for a variety of reasons. First, the effects evoked by store atmosphere are primarily emotional states that are difficult to verbalize. These emotions are temporary and therefore difficult to recall accurately. In addition, they influence behaviors within the store rather than more easily identifiable behaviors such as selecting which store to patronize (Donovan and Rossiter 1982). Previous retail image studies have used structured questionnaire surveys which ask respondents to rate various researcher-specified attributes according to their importance for patronage. However, this method clearly does not capture the consumer's true emotional responses to the store's atmosphere; it simply lists atmosphere as one component of store image.

In addition, the majority of previous store-atmosphere measurement, which was usually done in the context of store image research, has been conducted outside of the store environment, long after the actual shopping experience. This method is not very reliable, since it is difficult for respondents to recall accurately their emotional responses to a particular atmosphere while in a different setting.

Thus, if store atmosphere can actually affect shopping behavior within the store, it is necessary to develop a framework with which to study such effects. This study will attempt to apply the Mehrabian-Russell model, an environmental psychology framework, to explore environmental variables in retail settings.

Report on the United States Small Business Administration
by David C. Case '67

Americals small business concerns operate in our huge economic complex, along side some very large economic giants. In this economic environment, these small businesses ere sometimes confronted with many problems. Foremost among the problems that small business faces are management weakness-involving the lack of management ability, and financial weakness relating to the lack of adequate capital and credit.