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Senior Daniel Williams (Berwyn, Pa.) is trying to determine whether European hockey players face salary or entry discrimination.

Williams is undertaking a yearlong study in pursuit of departmental honors in economics and business. His adviser for the project is Thomas Bruggink, associate professor of economics and business.

“I am going to use the hockey players’ performance statistics from the past few seasons to predict salary and draft position,” says Williams, a psychology minor. He will study players of European, American, and French Canadian descent who have played three seasons of at least 20 games.

Williams began his research before leaving campus for the summer.

“Most previous studies focused and found some discrimination on French Canadian hockey players versus Anglo Canadians,” says Williams. “Now I believe, at least from the media coverage, that the line between the two Canadians has blurred while Europeans versus the North Americans has become more defined. It appears that European players are paid less for the equal performance of North American players.”

Williams chose this topic because both sports economics and hockey are fairly new areas of study and this gives him the opportunity to do some ground-breaking research.

“The reason for my choice of hockey is that it seems to be such a game of the world, a lot like baseball,” he says. “Unlike baseball, however, it has not really been studied to a great extent. The most challenging aspect of my thesis will be to make sure I’m not just duplicating what’s been done before. I have to stay original and have credible research.”

“The distinguishing opportunity is the originality of the work he will do,” says Bruggink. “No one will have done this before, at least not in the way Dan will do it.”

The mentoring relationship between faculty and student is a key component of an honors thesis at Lafayette.

“I am, of course, happy to work with Professor Bruggink, as he is very qualified,” says Williams. “Few professors can cite themselves when they cite an article for class discussion. I remember he was even cited in my econometrics book. He is one of the experts in his field to be sure.”

Bruggink says that Williams is refreshingly uninhibited about making contributions to class discussions and goes well beyond minimum requirements.

Williams is a member of Investment Club and participates in Newman Association and Hillel society events. He was on Family Weekend Committee 2002, has participated in Lafayette Activities Forum, and was on Freshmen Class Council. He lives on a special residence hall floor called Creating Harmony And Necessary Culture Equality.

Categorized in: Academic News