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Moravian College

Anthony Pirrello

2009-2010 Honors Student

Name: Anthony Pirrello
Honors in: Economics
Hometown: Blairstown, NJ
Major(s): Economics

Title of project: The Determinants of Healthcare Expenditures for Dental Services & Prescription Products

Abstract or brief description:  This thesis examines the determinants of healthcare expenditures for dental and prescription services among adults ages 25-64.  I utilize microeconomic theory in addition to data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to construct an empirical model.  The results of the project provide answers to two key questions.  What influences individuals to consume or not consume dental or prescription services, and, of those who do consume, what influences their level of consumption. 

How did you get interested in your topic?  The topic of health economics is something that had always interested me.  As an Economics major who was applying to medical school I thought pursuing a in this area would be the most interesting.

Do you intend to research your topic further, if so, how?  Yes, as of right now I plan on continuing my research this summer with my advisor Dr. Peter von Allmen to produce a paper for publishing. 

How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors?  Taking on an honors project allowed me to grow not only as a student but as a person.  The amount of work that one takes on with honors far exceeds most classes at Moravian.  Through the continued support of my advisor I applied already learned skills from various economics courses as well as new skills learned during the course of my research to produce an honors worthy paper.  In producing an honors worthy paper I became a better student, able to orient myself to various tasks taking place at the same time.  It is abilities such as this that have not only made me a better student, but has also better prepared me for future endeavors.

How has the department in which you studied prepared you for the future?  The Department of Economics and Business at Moravian College is top notch.  They have done a fantastic job at preparing me for a future in Economics/Business.  They work hard to challenge students allowing them to not only learn the material but to apply it in real ways, tangible to things going on in present time.

What advice do you have for other students interested in honors?  Get in to talk with a Professor as early as you can.  Through conversation you may find out something you didn’t even know you had a real interest in.  My topic was discovered only after many conversations with my advisor, and would not have been able to flourish without his advice, support and guidance.