UMBC Student Entrepreneurship Featured in the Baltimore Sun July Education Supplement

The economics department Student Investment Fund was highlighted in a Baltimore Sun July education supplement article featuring student entrepreneurship at colleges and universities in Maryland. The fund began in 2010: “The primary objective of the fund is to provide participating students an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in security research, valuation of risky assets, asset allocation, and portfolio management, and, in turn, to increase the marketability of UMBC students in industries such as equity research, investment banking, commercial banking and corporate finance,” said Chunming Yuan, an assistant professor of economics and faculty adviser to the program. Student Investment Fund Bradlee Kilgore ’15, economics, is also quoted in the article and participated in the fund as an undergraduate. He is now an associate analyst at T. Rowe Price. “We are able to act as security analysts and portfolio managers, which gives those of us who want a career in the financial industry hands-on experience,” he said. Michael Gardner and Nathan Hefner, founders of NeighborhoodNet, were mentioned in the article for winning the second annual Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition coordinated through the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. They won $5,000 and a membership at Betamore for their software platform that supports community association websites. Michael Leung, a junior computer science major who served as team lead for HueBots, was quoted in a separate article featuring colleges and universities staying ahead of the curve with technology. He talked about how many people at the Microsoft Image Cup were impressed with the UMBC team’s game because it was fully completed while others were still in the development stages. “The judges were blown away and everyone loved it. Even though we did not win first prize, they all know who UMBC is now.” To read more about the HueBots competition, read “Gaming Gets Real,” on the UMBC website. Note: The online version of the Baltimore Sun education supplement is not yet available. 

Dennis Coates, Economics, Provides Perspective on Economic Impact of the Baltimore Orioles

With buzz surrounding last week’s 2015 home opener for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, economics professor Dennis Coates was in the news discussing what the recent success of the team means for business.

Dennis CoatesIn a Baltimore Sun article, Coates shared that if the team weren’t doing so well, money spent in and around Camden Yards would simply be spent in other areas of the city. “All we’ve really seen is a shift from one set of entertainment activities to another,” Coates said. “That’s not creating any big boost to the economy; it’s just moving around.”

Coates added that out of town visitors are what bring new tourism dollars to Baltimore and the team isn’t necessarily a draw to visitors. “The bottom line is it’s good for the Orioles, but it doesn’t do anything significant for the rest of the Baltimore economy,” he said.

In another Baltimore Sun article, Coates discussed the Hilton Baltimore convention center hotel losing $5.6 million last year despite the success of the nearby Orioles. “I don’t have a crystal ball to say whether it will always be a money-loser,” said Coates. “But it’s not a good sign if they can’t do well when the Orioles are doing well.”

To read all recent news coverage involving Coates, see below:
Orioles and sponsors look to ride 2014 success into a new season (Baltimore Sun)
City-owned Hilton lost $5.6 million last year (Baltimore Sun)
Why Baltimore is not likely to land new pro sports teams (Baltimore Business Journal)
Walker, Vos: City, county need to offer more for new arena (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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.

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“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.