Economics Spotlighted Student: Nathan McGinty '23
Nathan's thesis is focused on the relationship between urban trees and crime rates in Seattle, Washington.
As he was planning his campus tours, Seattle, Washington native Nathan McGinty ‘23 was particularly interested in visiting large universities. He made an exception by agreeing to visit one special small liberal arts college to make his Dad happy. Nathan’s father, a graduate from Haverford, talked about his times a lot. Once Nathan got here he was easily swayed to apply early decision and he’s never looked back. Smitten with the beauty of the campus, the open-door one-on-one accessibility to faculty, and Honor Code, it was evident that most schools do not have this level of student engagement.
First semester of his first year Nathan wanted to find out about economics so he took Introduction to Economics with Prof. Timothy Lambie-Hanson. The mathematical problem-solving component and logical thinking rooted in economics intrigued him. He selected classes that paired and blended economics with math, landing on a double major; Economics at Haverford College, and Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College.
Prof. Anne Preston’s Econometrics class introduced the applications of statistics and probability in economics. It proved to be an extremely useful class, where he learned and mastered fundamental regressions and how they’re used in the discipline.
When he took the Junior Research Seminar on Health Economics with Prof. Michael Levere, Nathan applied the work he’d garnered during his Covid gap year working at the US Department of Affairs, Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care. The classroom drove home the socio-economic disparities and economic issues he witnessed during his time at the US Department of Affairs where he published three papers in medical journals focused on veterans care. Prof. Levere’s class also deepened and expanded the clinical analyst work Nathan spearheaded during a summer internship at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he tracked asthma and respiratory illnesses in the emergency room.
Nathan McGinty's thesis is focused on the relationship between urban trees and crime rates in Seattle, Washington. The topic is of ongoing research and debate, with previous studies suggesting that the presence of trees in urban environments has a range of benefits, including improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing rates of asthma and heat-related illnesses. To explore the potential correlation between trees and crime rates, Nathan uses novel spatial data and regression techniques to analyze the relationship between the number of crimes and the number of trees on a block. After controlling for spatial effects, his analysis finds a small but statistically significant positive effect between the number of crimes on a block and the number of trees on a block. Specifically, he finds that a one tree increase on a block is associated with an approximately 4.2% increase in crime. Nathan's research also examines potential mechanisms through which trees may impact crime rates and discusses potential variation in these mechanisms in neighborhoods with different socioeconomic variation.
Supplementing his educational experiences, Nathan played on the Rugby team for two years and is an ongoing member of the Microfinance Consulting Club. He was awarded a Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) internship working at College Together where he contributed to the mission of “redesigning and redefining the very idea of college in Philadelphia”, aimed at “more equitable and accessible college options”.
Post-graduation Nathan will relocate to Madison, Wisconsin to join Epic Systems, a healthcare technology firm, as a technical solutions engineer tasked with software develop and coding. Congratulations Nathan!