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Matthew Peters: Best Student Performance at Economics Conference

Date Published: June 9, 2017

In June, Matthew Peters, B.Comm. student (Honours Economics), won the “Best Student Performance” at CEA 2017, standing out among students from U of T, McMaster, McGill, Queens and nine other schools. He presented a research poster and fielded two hours of Q & A.

Matthew's analysis investigated the low turnout rates in federal and provincial elections and the relation with income inequality in Canada. Examining voter turnout from 1979-2015, Matthew analysed the data for interactions with income inequality, age, marital status and employment rates.

News organizations, citizen groups and pundits have variously attributed Canada's typically low turnout to lack of access, lack of interest, culture shift, the wrong electoral system and most recently, a lack of time and focus that could be resolved with a 'voting holiday'.

Matthew's research indicated that socio-economic factors were not an easy determinant, and they made it both more and less likely that a given citizen would vote. A better predictor was suggested to be the voter's experience in the past. If they perceived their efforts had resulted in action, they were more likely to vote.

Next year, Matthew will begin studies in a Political Economics Master program at Carleton in Ottawa.

Sobey MAE student Pat Marcuccio was also accepted to present his research on the effect of pollution on BMI. According to faculty advisor Dr. Yigit Aydede, both presentations were highly praised and well-attended. Other MAE students also attended the 4-day meeting. 

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