E-Net News

Austin Martin '18 receives 'Best Thesis' award

The Business Fellow's senior economics thesis won the top prize from the Department of Economics.

The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ Department of Economics acknowledged Austin Martin ’18 for writing the best economics thesis of the year.

Martin, an international economics major, was selected to receive the Best Thesis award out of 23 seniors majoring in economics or international economics who successfully completed undergraduate research theses this year.

The senior thesis serves as the culmination of the students’ required comprehensive evaluation in economics. Students work individually with a faculty mentor to research further topics and ideas that were discussed in class.

In “Exploring the Effect of International Wage Differences on Brain Drain,” Martin investigates whether international wage differences are a contributing factor to the decision to migrate. “Brain drain” is a phrase often used to describe the flight of highly-skilled individuals from poor countries to rich countries. Interestingly, Martin shows that wage differences appear to matter much more for low-skilled emigration than high-skilled emigration.

Martin was mentored by Assistant Professor Brandon Sheridan. Of Martin, Sheridan writes, “Working with Austin was a privilege. He is a highly-motivated student and was meticulous, creative, and passionate in approaching his thesis. Rather than take the path of least resistance, he decided to fully immerse himself in his research and the end result was a truly excellent paper.” 

Martin presented his thesis at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Meeting and at Elon’s Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). He served as associate editor for Issues of Political Economy, the undergraduate economics journal co-edited by undergraduates at Elon and University of Mary Washington. Martin also held the position of president of Elon’s chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honorary society, and was recently awarded the John Kappas Economics Award at the Love School of Business Annual Awards ceremony. After graduation, Martin will attend law school at either George Washington University or Georgetown University.

The economics department also acknowledged Brook Hunziker ’18 (mentor: Katy Rouse) and Adam Wanstall ’18 (mentor: Brandon Sheridan) with honorable mentions for their theses.

Nicole Filippo,
5/15/2018 8:40 PM