Social Sciences Forum: Surnames and Social Mobility: Why So Much Persistence of Status Across Generations? (9/8)

Gregory ClarkSocial Sciences Forum
Gregory Clark, professor of economics, University of California-Davis 
Wednesday, September 9 | 4 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor 

How much of our fate is tied to the status of our parents and grandparents? Using a novel technique–tracking family names over generations to measure social mobility across countries and periods—renowned economic historian Gregory Clark argues that social mobility rates are lower than conventionally estimated, do not vary across societies, and are resistant to social policies.

Sponsored by the Department of Economics. 

Christelle Viauroux, Economics, Finds that Mandatory Life Jacket Use Could Reduce Recreational Boating Deaths by 80 Percent

Christelle ViaurouxA new study by Christelle Viauroux, an associate professor of economics, found that requiring recreational boat operators to wear life jackets would increase the odds of surviving a boating accident by 80 percent. Viauroux conducted the study with Ali Gungor of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Standards Evaluation and Analysis Division and the findings were published in Risk Analysis.

The researchers used data from 2008 to 2011 from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) and compared life jacket use to other factors affecting fatalities in recreational boating.

A major goal of the research was to assess the impact of a mandatory life jacket policy on the recreational boating fatality rate. “However, such a major and controversial policy cannot be implemented without a thorough investigation of life jacket effectiveness. A lot of the work focusing on reducing recreational boating fatalities lacked the availability of life jacket use data,” the authors wrote in their published findings.

The research recently received news coverage in U.S. News Health. The story noted that from 2008 to 2011, making life jacket use mandatory would have likely led to a 20 percent increase in life jacket use by recreational boaters and “the researchers estimated the increased life jacket use would have saved more than 1,700 boaters and more than 1,200 drowning victims.” Read “Mandatory life jacket laws could reduce boating deaths” in U.S. News.

Read more about Christelle Viauroux’s research and a press release announcing the findings of the study.

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.

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.