Feb. 13, 2020Print | PDF
The Department of Economics in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics has awarded the Fall 2019 Peter Sinclair Undergraduate Research Prize to Christian Pandoff for his paper “Testing the Parity of Cash and Derivatives Pricing for Global Credit Markets”.
The cash prize is given to an undergraduate economics student who has written and submitted an outstanding research paper. Pandoff’s winning research paper focuses on measuring potential inefficiencies in financial markets.
Pandoff, an Economics and Financial Management student, is also a pitcher for Laurier’s Varsity baseball team – provincial championship winners for the last two years.
The paper proposes that the credit-default swap (CDS) provides an easy way to trade credit risk and that its pricing should be reflective of corporate bond spreads under efficient market conditions. His results supported three conclusions. First, a clear relationship exists between CDS premia and corporate credit spreads as they move closely with each other over time. Second, deviations from their shared long-run trend can be justified by higher levels of credit risk during the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis. Finally, CDS premia appear to become partially range-bound in the extended years following the crisis.
“I had the opportunity to take a course in economic time-series forecasting (EC 315) with Dr. Wing Chan during my third year,” said Pandoff, who is currently working at Scotiabank as a sales and trading intern analyst on the foreign exchange desk. “This really opened my eyes to econometric methodology and its application to topics in finance. Research on credit markets is important to me and the world because it draws connections between macroeconomic dynamics and the broader stability of the global financial system. Issues which emerge in this space affect everyone to an extent – as was the most extreme case during the financial crisis in which significant contributions of U.S. taxpayers were required to keep the largest institutions afloat.”
Before Laurier, he attended St. Michael’s College School in Toronto. Pandoff is set to graduate from the Lazaridis Economics and Financial Management program in August 2020 and wants to return to sales and trading to work on a team that focuses on helping clients navigate the complexities of global markets. He received the Ontario University Athletics’ Academic Achievement Award in 2018.
Two students received prizes as runners-up, including Dinesh Birdi for his paper, “Measuring the Impact of the Unemployment Rate on Crime Rates in Canada”, which is an empirical analysis using Canadian data to study the links between unemployment rates and crime rates over the past 30 years.
Matthew Iesulauro was the other runner-up for his paper “Consumer Sentiment and Equity Performance: Does Perception Manifest in Prices”, which used U.S. data to study the relationship between measures of consumer attitudes and stock market performance.
Finalists receiving an honourable mention:
“Collectively, the submissions received were excellent and demonstrate the learning within the program and the breadth of topics that are of interest to our students, including finance, innovation, crime, education and the environment,” said Ken Jackson, associate chair of the Department of Economics, who coordinated the prize for Fall 2019. “I would also like to thank the Economics department faculty members who supported these students in writing their papers and to the faculty panel that adjudicated the submissions.”
The prize is named in honour of Peter Sinclair, a long-time faculty member and former undergraduate program director in the Economics department who passed away in May 2015.
“Peter’s long-standing dedication to our students and the undergraduate Economics program makes this prize a natural extension of his legacy at Laurier,” said Jackson.
Submissions for the Winter 2020 prize close early April. Students interested in submitting an economics research paper are asked to contact Ken Jackson.