Appalachian State University senior economics major Brittany Ramsey and junior economics major Will Blackwood presented economic research at the annual State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURSC) in Durham, NC on November 5, 2016.
The students, who were mentored by Department of Economics Chair John Whitehead, analyzed data from the Blood, Sweat and Gears Bike Race, a strenuous, 90-mile loop in Valle Crucis, NC, 5 miles south of Boone.
Blackwood's poster, "Economic Impact of Prerace Training Rides for Blood, Sweat and Gears," synthesized online survey data conducted after the 2011 to 2016 races, where participants were sent email invitations. Blackwood found that, of the riders who completed the surveys, 218 also participated in training rides prior to the race, and, on average, those who did training rides took 1.5 trips. Using regression analysis, Blackwood and Whitehead found that, as expected, the number of trips decreases with the number of miles that participants had to travel for their training rides. The economic value of these training trips ranged from $500 to $1500 each person.
Ramsey: The economic value of participation in Blood Sweat and Gears ranged from $81 to $162 for each participant.
Ramsey's research, "Travel Cost and Consumer Surplus Analysis of 2016 Blood, Sweat, and Gears Bike Race," used regression analysis to determine the effect of travel costs on whether participants will return the following year. Ramsey and Whitehead found that as travel costs increase, participants are less likely to want to return the following year. The economic value of participation in Blood Sweat and Gears ranged from $81 to $162 for each participant.
The 2016 SNCURSC event was hosted by North Carolina Central University.
Both students' research was supported by Barnes Program Student Research Grants. The Barnes Program provides Walker College of Business students up to $2000 in funding to engage in research with a faculty mentor outside of the normal classroom experience.