It’s not everyday you can take something from the basketball court into an Econometrics course, but that is exactly what Liam McManimon did. In a research paper for the course, Liam analyzed the relationship between ticket prices for Division 1 college basketball games and a number of school, team, and city characteristics using regression analysis. The main question Liam was after? “Why are Division 1 college basketball ticket prices higher at some schools than others?”
Liam spent much of his time and effort compiling the required data for more than 50 schools, estimating and testing his models, and finally interpreting results. Despite an extremely tight schedule as a member of the Mount basketball team, Liam “produced a well-written and well-researched paper,” said Dr. Solomon Tesfu, Liam’s mentor for the project. The key finding? Team rank is the most important factor influencing ticket prices for Division 1 college basketball games. “On the surface an ordinary correlation but for Liam to use econometrics to explain the reasoning is where real learning takes place,” says Dr. Tesfu.
Liam's high level of interest in econometrics is a good example that even a highly quantitative and challenging course can be made interesting and accessible to any student with limited quantitative background. Tesfu believes the process of "learning by doing" helps students realize that they can develop high level questions and solve them with the tools they learn in the classroom in order to answer these research questions.