Social Sciences Forum: Data and Discipline: Sampling the Science of Economic Turnaround (2/12)

Peter Blair HenryOn Thursday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m., Peter Blair Henry, Dean of New York University’s Stern School of Business, will present the Social Sciences Forum “Data and Discipline: Sampling the Science of Economic Turnaround.” The event will be held in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

The mathematical underpinnings of the “dismal science” can yield surprising results with the power to impact millions of lives around the globe. Using examples from his book, Turnaround: Third World Lessons for First World Growth, Peter Blair Henry discusses how scientific analysis of economic policy experiments can determine which policies, implemented under what conditions, create the most value for the greatest number of people. For more information, click here.

Sponsored by the Department of Economics.

Dennis Coates, Economics, in The Buffalo News

Dennis CoatesAs the discussion continues surrounding a potential new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, an article published January 24 in The Buffalo News examines the possible economic impact of a major sports and entertainment district in the city’s downtown.

Economics Professor Dennis Coates was interviewed for the article and shared that new stadiums don’t necessarily generate job growth and economic development: “If the argument is being put forward that there’s going to be ancillary benefits and job growth discount all of that completely. There’s no evidence that they ever happen,” said Coates. “What I and many others have found is that using stadiums with the intent of them being economic-development tools is not effective.”

Coates added that new stadiums tend not to spur economic growth, but rather shift it from one end of town to another with patrons simply doing business elsewhere: “They’re not actually doing more economic activity than they used to,” said Coates, a Western New York native. “They’re just doing it elsewhere.”

To read the full article “Spinoff of downtown stadium depends on ‘destination’ appeal,” click here.

UMBC Welcomed Into CFA Institute University Recognition Program

UMBC has become the latest university to be welcomed into the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Recognition Program. The B.S. in Financial Economics program has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provides students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams. This program sets up students well to obtain the CFA designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.

Entry into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that UMBC’s B.S. in Financial Economics curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA examinations. Through participation in this program, UMBC is eligible to receive a limited number of student scholarships for the CFA Program each year.

Public Policy bldng.

“Students in these programs study the Candidate Body of Knowledge, which includes the core knowledge, skills, and abilities identified by practitioners worldwide as essential for successful practice,” said Charles Appeadu, PhD, CFA, Head of University Relations at CFA Institute. “By mastering the fundamentals of the CFA Program as well as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, these future investment professionals gain a strong foundation that helps prepare them well to join the growing CFA Institute community dedicated to promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”

Economics Professor Douglas Lamdin, who put together the application package for the program, commented that “UMBC students who graduate with the B.S. in Financial Economics and go on to complete the requirements needed to achieve the CFA charterholder designation are in high-level positions in the financial services industry. We hope that participation in the CFA University Recognition Program will spur growth in the number of our graduates who achieve similar success.”

For more information about the CFA Institute University Recognition Program, including a list of other participating universities, click here.

Douglas Lamdin, Economics, in Pew Research Center News

Doug LamdinAn article published December 16 by the Pew Research Center examines the relationship between lower gas prices and consumer confidence in the economy. The article cites research by Douglas Lamdin, professor of economics, and Mark Johnson, a professor at Loyola University Maryland. Their research found a negative relationship between changes in gas prices and their impact on consumer sentiment. The excerpt from the Pew Research Center article can be found below:

“[The Pew Research Center] plotted the monthly consumer-sentiment index against the monthly average price of regular gas (adjusted for inflation) and found a moderately strong negative correlation — that is, consumer sentiment rose as pump prices fell. That aligns with previous research: For example, a 2012 paper from two researchers at Loyola University Maryland and the University of Maryland Baltimore County not only found an inverse correlation between gas prices and consumer sentiment, but used causality testing to conclude that price changes predicted sentiment changes and not the other way around.”

To read the full article in Pew Research Center news titled “Do lower gas prices make for confident consumers, click here.

Dennis Coates, Economics, in Capital New York

Dennis CoatesIn a recent article published in Capital New York, Economics Professor Dennis Coates discussed the economic impact of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, home to the New Jersey Nets. The article described how businesses within and immediately surrounding Barclays have been benefiting from the Nets recent move from North Jersey to Brooklyn, but Coates described how it’s unclear that the arena’s impact on business is a sign of economic growth.

“Did people not eat dinner before the Barclays Center?” said Coates. “Did they not go out to restaurants before the Barclays Center? They did, just not there.”

He added, “if the eating and drinking happens inside the stadium instead of outside, you’re taking money from moderate income business and giving to wealthy owners. If you think that’s a good idea, you’re going to be happy with the outcome.”

To read the full article titled “The Barclays effect,” click here.

Dennis Coates, Economics, in City Paper

Baltimore’s City Paper published an article on November 25 that examined the city’s current public construction boom, which by some estimates may exceed $10 billion, comparable to what was spent nationally by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.

Dennis Coates

Economics Professor Dennis Coates was interviewed for the article and explained that the public projects would likely increase the local economic growth rate by close to 15 percent.

“It is certainly a construction jobs program, and I would contend it will affect growth positively, though precisely how much, especially in the short term, is questionable,” he said. “Avoiding broken water mains and the problems those cause is enormously beneficial, even if there is negligible impact on growth. The mayor’s office is not publicizing this, so in that sense it is invisible, but when water-main work is under way, that will be very visible.”

To read the full article titled “Baltimore’s New Deal: WPA-level spending has the power to remake the city, but much of it might be going away,” click here.

Tim Gindling, Economics, Interviewed in World Bank Jobs and Development Blog

Tim Gindling, economics, was interviewed for the World Bank Development and Employment blog about his work on self-employment in the developing world.

Gindling joined Gary Fields from Cornell University and David Margolis from the University of Paris in an interview focused on why self-employment is so prevalent in developing economies, and what governments could do to improve the standard of living of self-employed workers in those economies.

Click here to read “A Better Life for the Developing World’s Self-Employed.”