Economics professor Scott Farrow is co-author and co-editor, with Richard Zerbe, Jr., of the new book, Principles and Standards for Benefit-Cost Analysis (Edward Elgar Publishing 2013). The book website notes:
Benefit–cost analysis informs which policies or programs most benefit society when implemented by governments and institutions around the world. This volume brings together leading researchers and practitioners to recommend strategies and standards to improve the consistency and credibility of such analyses, assisting analysts of all types in achieving a greater uniformity of practice.
Reviewer John D. Graham of Indiana University writes, “This book is a superb textbook treatment of benefit-cost analysis. It is well designed for students in public policy, public administration, public health, social work, environmental affairs, law and business.”
NBC Chicago’s politics blog “The Ward Room” recently posted an opinion piece affirming Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to refuse to provide public money for a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field. The writer, Edward McClelland, cited research by UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates that found pro sports reduce a city’s per capita income by putting entertainment dollars into the hands of athletes and team owners who live outside the area rather than local businesses around the stadium.
Coates wrote, “money paid to players does not circulate as widely or abundantly as it would were it paid to people with less wealth and more attachment to the city.” Read the article to learn more.
“How much do the Tampa Bay Rays boost their local economy?” asks the Tampa Bay Times. In arguments for building a new stadium, St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster estimates the team’s local economic impact at $100 million a year, but experts, including UMBC economics professor Dennis Coates, question the assumption that stadiums have a notable economic benefit to their home cities.
Coates explains that when a couple spends $100 for dinner and a movie, much of that money goes to waiters, ticket takers and other local workers and suppliers, who in turn spend their paychecks on rent and food, creating a positive ripple effect in the local economy. In contrast, argues Coates, “Spending that goes on inside a stadium tends to flow into the pockets of a relatively few, high-income individuals who live a large portion of the year outside the city,” so much of the money spent inside stadiums actually flows out of the cities where they are located.
Dean Edward Montgomery of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University will present the talk “Mr. Chips Goes to Detroit: Participating in the Auto Industry Rescue” at UMBC on Tuesday, April 2, as part of the Spring 2013 Social Sciences Forum Lecture series.
Dr. Montgomery served as a member of President Obama’s Auto Task Force and as Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. He will use his talk to discuss the economics and political considerations involved in the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler and efforts to rebuild communities reliant upon the auto industry.
This event is co-sponsored by the departments of public policy and economics. It will be held in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor, at 4:00 p.m. on April 2. All are welcome to attend!
A new Governing magazine article examines a recent study by UMBC professors T.H. Gindling (economics) and Marvin Mandell (public policy) on the economic impact of Maryland’s Dream Act, which extended in-county/in-state tuition at local community colleges and public universities to undocumented immigrants who graduate from Maryland high schools and meet other requirements.
The article notes that 13 states have similar “tuition equity” laws in place and more than a dozen additional states are considering proposals for them. “As state lawmakers think about offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants,” suggests J.B. Wogan, “the UMBC study could offer a model for weighing long-term net benefits and costs.”
Summarizing Gindling and Mandell’s report, Wogan writes, “For government at all levels, the total impact would be a net gain of $39.6 million. For society as a whole, they estimate a total economic benefit of $63.6 million.”
See the website of UMBC’s Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) for the original working paper: “Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act.” Coverage of the study has previously appeared on NPR, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Baltimore Sun and other news outlets.
Following the Ravens’ Super Bowl win, the team will increase ticket prices at M&T Bank Stadium, reports the Baltimore Sun. Season ticket holders will see an average price increase of 10%, plus a $5 parking rate increase.
UMBC sports economist Dennis Coates notes, “In the grand scheme of ticket price changes, I’m not sure that a 10 percent is particularly a big one. But it doesn’t make it any easier for the average fan to pay an extra 10 percent. We’re still in a relatively sluggish economy and there are a lot of people whose income hasn’t changed a whole lot.” However, Coates suggests, compared with 20-30% ticket price increases that some franchises have tried, particularly after building new stadiums, the 10% raise is more modest, and fans might be more willing to accept it following the Super Bowl victory.
A new Bloomberg Businessweek article sheds light on tax subsidies that benefit college athletic programs, including hundreds of millions in funding for stadium construction and sports departments’ exemptions from taxes on ticket, television and other income generated by their stadiums.
UMBC’s Dennis Coates, professor of economics, argues that college sports may not be the best use of tax exemptions. “When one thinks of charity, they don’t think of charity flowing to the head football coach of a big state university.” Questioning municipal financing for stadiums Coates notes, “Using the borrowing power of the state and tax-exempt interest to build stadiums for sporting events isn’t the real purpose of the university, either.”
A new Sports On Earth commentary by Patrick Hruby quotes UMBC professor Dennis Coates, economics, in arguing that eliminating “sports welfare” among college and professional sports teams and owners would provide an “easy, overdue fix to the nation’s fiscal woes.”
Coates believes more money would be available to indebted cities with professional teams and stadiums if athletes kept their money in the communities where they play, instead of the southern California or south Florida areas where they often live. “If that same money was spent on a movie, dinner, bowling, the theater, a locally-owned bar, tips for bartenders and waitresses, all of that money predominantly stays within that community,” says Coates.
Coates also commented in the Baltimore Sun on the Colonial Athletic Association’s decision to award Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena the men’s basketball conference tournament for 2014-2016. Coates thinks it’s too soon to tell how the tournament will fare in Baltimore, but speculates that the city could lose money putting on the tournament instead of turning a profit.
In the wake of Maryland’s vote for Question 4, UMBC professors T.H. Gindling (economics) and Marvin Mandell (public policy) recently discussed their study, “Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act” on NBC Washington news. Their interview highlights the net positive economic impact that each incoming class of undocumented students would have, due to factors such as decreased incarceration rates (and thus lower incarceration costs) for college versus high school graduates.
Donald F. Norris, professor and chairman of UMBC’s Department of Public Policy, commented on Maryland’s passage of both Question 6 (approving same-sex marriage rights) and Question 7 (approving gambling expansion). Of Question 7 he remarked, “Frankly, I’m surprised that it passed statewide,” suggesting that voters might have been swayed by the promise of using increased gambling revenues to boost education funding.
Laura Hussey, assistant professor of political science, told Patch that Gov. O’Malley’s vocal leadership style might have encouraged voters to turn out for the issues he supports. “It’s only recently that we’ve seen Democratic leaders take strong stances on issues like the Dream Act,” Hussey said. “Eventually, some of their voters are going to follow behind them.”