Austin Smiley '13
Austin Smiley '13

Student Research Spotlight

Lobbying in the Defense Aerospace Industry

by Austin Smiley '13

Summary: As traditionally military and government-regulated ventures like space travel are commoditized, aerospace defense firms have an increasing interest in contributing to policy and legislation creation. Lobbying, negatively viewed by some, is one way for these firms to ensure their voice is heard. This study reviewed the lobbying actions of various firms and found that three firms spend almost $13 million more per year than the next closest competitor.

Student Research and Honors Projects

Students have the opportunity to perform independent or collaborative research and pursue Honors Projects. The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference, held in April each year, provides a public forum where students may present their research projects.

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.

How do bond specific, firm specific and macroeconomic factors influence corporate credit spreads?
by Michael Mayberger

The recession of 2008-2009 showcased the critical role that the corporate bond market plays in providing firms with access to capital, a role reflected by a 300% increase in corporate bonds issued from $600 billion issued in 2007 to $1.8 trillion issued in 2012. In this study, I investigate the bond specific, firm specific and macroeconomic factors that explain the change in corporate credit spreads within the Consumer Staples industry between 2005 and 2013. The results show that the firm specific variables, debt and total assets, have the largest impact on the corporate credit spreads. However, there is a weaker relationship between the variables and the corporate credit spread during recessionary times.

Lobbying in the Defense Aerospace Industry
by Austin Smiley

The purpose of this research paper is to identify the main variables that impact an aerospace defense firm’s decision to lobby. This study focuses on important accounting and financial measures specific to each company. It also takes into account government and public variables such as the level of public scrutiny the company experiences and national defense spending. This study finds that cash flow and profitability are both negatively correlated with the decision to lobby. It also finds a positive correlation between inventory turnover and the decision to lobby the following year. Additionally, there is a positive relationship between public scrutiny and the decision to lobby.

What Causes Bank Failures During the Recent Economic Recession?
by Qingyu Li

More than 400 banks failed during the recent financial crisis. Bank failures have a significant impact on the financial system and the economy as a whole. It is important to identify factors that may contribute to bank failures so that banks can take measures to reduce their default risk. This paper examines how bank specific characteristics and economic conditions affect bank failures during the recent financial crisis. We employ the logistic regression model to study this issue using the U. S. commercial bank data over the sample period 2007-2012. We find that the ratio of the loan and leases to total assets, real estate loan ratio, and non-performing loan ratio have a positive influence on the bank failures while capital adequacy ratios, return on assets, liquid ratio, and GDP growth rate have a negative impact on bank failures.

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