Brashear Research Prize

The Brashear Research Prize competition promotes literacy and scholarship in economics by celebrating undergraduate research projects. The program is open to all undergraduates at Appalachian State University. 


The Brashear Research Prize was established in 1992 and intended to “promote literacy and scholarship in economics” through a competitive essay competition. The current progam continues to reward excellence in scholarly research papers, and has evolved to honor other forms of communicating research, including student research presentations at venues on and off campus. 

The Brashear Research Prize competition promotes intellectual curiosity and enhances critical-thinking, analytical, writing, and presentation skills. Students will benefit by gaining more interaction with economics faculty outside the classroom, gaining a better understanding of research methods, and enhancing their resume.


A committee consisting of three faculty members from the Department of Economics evaluates all submissions and determines the winners and financial awards.


Spring 2024 Details and Guidelines


Previous Awards


  • Adam Houston - Winner for Best Undergraduate Paper in Economics. Title: "Recruiting Competitive Imbalances between NCAA Power Five and
    NCAA Non-Power Five Universities"
  • Abby Moore - Runner-up for Best Undergraduate Paper in Economics.  Title: "The Effect of Global Supply Chain Fluctuations on Small Businesses"
  • Craig McFarland - Winner for Graduate Student Prize for Best Paper in Economics. Title: "The Role of Football Win Percentage on College Applications for Power Five and Group of Five Schools"


  • Sarah Brodin - Paper "The Occurrence of Corrective Actions at Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Regulated Hazardous Waste Sites"Lewis Pappas  - Paper "Beyond the Binary: How Does Gender Nonconformity Impact Income"Brent Johnson  -  Presentation "Beyond the Binary: How Does Gender Nonconformity Impact Income"


  • Logan Decker -Paper “Road Salt, Lake Quality and Home Values." 
  • Caleb Garuio - Presentation“The Effect of Pandemic Precautions on NFL Ticket Consumption.” 


  • Stephen Justice. "A Slippery Slope: A Hedonic Value Study of Landslide Risk and Economic Costs in Watauga County"


  • Myles Grady (with Luis Rangel), "Economic Impact of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in Wester North Carolina"
  • Jessica Robinson, "The Effect of International Trade on Food Security"
  • Kali Smith, "Environmental Gentrification in Brownfield Redevelopment in Charlotte, NC"


  • Mikayla Gibbes, "The Spanish Bullfight: An Analysis of Spectator Behavior"
  • Parker Redding, "Intangible Benefits of Division I Intercollegiate Athletic Success"


  • Brant Armstrong, “Does the consumption of red meat cause heart disease?”
  • Weston Goldberg, “Explaining migration patterns among counties of North Carolina” 
  • A.J. Herrin, “The effect of NFL performance measures on economic well-being variables”
  • Matthew Kay, “Correlation of 911 call volume per capita in North Carolina counties to external factors” 
  • Andreanna Ruscio, “The impact of obesity rates on economic growth” 
  • Benjamin J. Sullivan, “The effect of evergreen loss on property values in Watauga County, NC” 
  • Andrew Thurlow, “Steroid use and its impact on Major League Baseball” 
  • Samuel Welch, “The price of rice in China:  the effect that the rice price has on GDP growth” 
  • Ariana Welsh, “Improving the economic system of a third world village” 
  • Trey Worley, “The economics of specialty coffee prices:  effects of quality in Latin America”


  • Lorenzo Hernandez, "Will the Price of Freshwater Increase in The United States?"
  • Ned Hulseman, "A Study of the Causes of Income Inequality and Review of the Varying Evidence?"
  • Elizabeth Indermaur, "David Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage; Its Development and Implications"
  • Mark Jacobs, "The Physiocrats"
  • Jabari Myles, "Quality of Government Effects on Perception of Levels of Corruption in the Public Sector"
  • Travis Poplin, "Predicting NFL game outcomes with Fantasy League Data"
  • Garrett Simmons, "Vintage guitars: An analysis of vintage guitar characteristics and their effects on current auction prices"
  • Andrew Smith, "Using Tour Data to Predict Enrollment at Appalachian State"
  • Theodore Thibodeau, "An Analysis of Economic Inequality"
  • Evan Truxton, "The Effect of State Taxation and Expenditures on Economic Growth"


  • Robyn Cramer, "Willingness to Pay for a National Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard"
  • Joshua Gorsuch, "Do Expected Outcomes of Elections Influence Customer Spending?"
  • Caroline Harris, "Internal Characteristics Influencing Tertiary Emigration Rules"
  • Logan Hemric, "Do Economics Majors Perform Better in BSG Online?"
  • Brandon Lee, "Immigration in the United States: An Economic Analysis of the Effects on High School Completion"
  • Allison Martin, "Examining Income Inequality and Economic Growth in the United States 1957-2010"
  • Adam Murr, "Brownfield Redevelopment's Impact on Home Values in Greensboro North Carolina"
  • Kevin Patel, "An Econometric Examination of Carbon Emissions in the United States"
  • Kiefer Smith, "The Effect of Being a High-Usage Oil Nation on National GDP"


  • Chris Ashley, "Modeling Life Expectancy: Insights through Panel Data"
  • Luke Henry, "Work Week and Life Satisfaction"
  • Kendall McNeill, "Does Increasing The Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?"
  • Alexander G. Schiller, "The Effect of Per-Capita Trade on Income in Mexico between 1993 and 2013: A Regression and In-Sample Forecast Analysis"
  • Jake Wujastyk, "Factors Affecting Solar Projects Located in Different Areas of the United States"


  • Zachary Adams, "Development of Education in Appalachia and Economic Repercussions"
  • Jeffrey Artley, "National Nominal Debt's Effect on the Indebted Country's Inflation Rate"
  • Christopher Ashley, "United States Public University Veteran Population"
  • Travis Ashley, "The Net Economic Value of Multiple Parking Locations at the Valle Country Fair: A Polychotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Approach"
  • Michael Bulmer, "The Effects of Adverse Winter Weather on Freshman Retention Rates in the Southern Appalachian Region"
  • David Diaz, "The Effect of Civil Wars on Economic Growth"
  • Armon Geranmayeh, "State Failure and Its Impact on World Violence"
  • Joshua Gorsuch, "Developments in the Brazilian Macroeconomy 1990-2012"
  • Stephanie Hodges, "Economic, Societal, and Regulatory Factors Affecting Gun Violence in the United States"
  • Timothy Hyde, "Working with the Behemoth: The Effects of Free Trade with the United States on Smaller Economies"
  • Michael Johnson, "The Influence of Driving on the Averaged High School Graduation Rate"
  • Andrew Kinney, "Mobile Telecommunication's Effect on Output, Welfare, and Productivity Growth"
  • Travis Ott, "The Effect of Income Taxes on the Unemployment Rate"
  • Kyle Shanaberger, "Allocation of Stimulus Funds to Congressional Districts: Was it Politically Motivated?"
  • Linsey Smith, "Effects of Fatigue on Pilot Decision Making"
  • James Frank Thomas, "Substance Use Sexual Debut and High School GPAs"
  • Carter Wong, "India's Elaborate Economic System"


  • Bradley Cooksen, "The Economic Benefits of Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park"
  • William Mautz, "Forecasting Total Public Debt"
  • Austin Wagner, "Predicting Congressional Elections with Economic Indicators"
  • Paul Krause, "Does the Presence of Alternative Education Affect Students' Performance?"
  • Joshua Gorsuch, "An Examination of Corruption and Interaction Effects as Determinants of FDI"
  • Brad Triplett, "An Analysis of the Importation, Exportation, and Consumption of Wine in the Modern Globalized World"
  • Michael Crawford, "Economic Effects of Discrimination"


  • Elizabeth Marquardt, "Mountain Home Music: A Combined Revealed-Stated Preference Study with a Test of Predictive Validity"
  • James Rutherford, "Estimating the Determinants of the Value of Morgan Silver Dollars"
  • Aaron Wallace, "Valuing the Economic Impact of Greenway Trails in Western North Carolina"
  • Matt Dawson, "Customer Satisfaction and Retention Analysis for the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center"
  • Jeff Frazer, "Perception versus Reality: An Empirical Review of the Corruption Perception Index"


  • Steven Oliverio, "National Brand or Store Brand: Are They Really Substitutes?"
  • Amanda Airington, "Brand Loyalty"
  • Tyler Froelich, Travis Johnson, Sean Lawler, and Mark Wilson, "Voluntary Contributions Mechanism"
  • Dominique Deshommes, "The Caribbean Basin Initiative: Impact on Two Developing Economies"
  • Matt McMahon, "Price Dispersion - A Study of the U.S. Gasoline Market"
  • Ross Rebhan, "A study of the relationship between Natural Disaster's and Economic Growth: The Endogenous Growth Theory, The Law of Unintended Consequences"
  • Shawn Rider, "Hofstede Index – UAI and Economic Growth During a Global Recession."
  • Andrew Borgna, "The Wal-Mart Effect"
  • Chad Ross, "Automobile Insurance and Traffic Fatalities."
  • Catherine Wood, "Examining Winners and Losers – A Surry County Globalization Study"


Biography of John Brashear

John Hibbs Brashear was born in Youngstown, Ohio, where he graduated from South High School in 1934. After attending the University of Florida at Gainesville for two years, he worked at the City Trust and Savings Bank in Youngstown. During this time he completed a course of study at the American Institute of Banking in Youngstown.

Professor Brashear joined the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in the European theatre in the field artillery. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was honorably discharged in January 1946.

After leaving the service, Professor Brashear resumed his studies at the University of Florida, where he was elected to membership in Beta Gamma Sigma. He was also a member of Delta Chi, a social fraternity. He received the B.A. degree in Business administration in 1943 and his M.A. in 1950.

In 1951, Professor Brashear joined the Economics Department of Elon College, North Carolina, where he chaired the department for five years. In the summer of 1955, he was awarded a faculty research grant at Duke University. In 1956, he became a member of the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, while he continued his academic studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1967, he became a member of the Economics Department at Appalachian State University, from which he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1980.

On the Appalachian campus, he was chairman of the Faculty Senate, chairman of the College of Business Building Committee, and served on many other committees.

Professor Brashear was a member of the American Association of University Professors, the Southern Economic Association, the Southern Finance Association, and the North Carolina Education Association.