Faculty Research Interests

Scott Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Economics

I am interested in the economics of crime and vice.  In two papers, I show that rising male imprisonment causes an imbalance in the ratio of men to women in the mating market, and via this mechanism, causes Black men with “tastes” for  promiscuity to engage in riskier sexual relations.  I also show that the growth in the prison population tended to increase the number of gonorrhea cases as a result of the increasing concurrency among non-imprisoned men.  More recently, I’ve shifted my interested towards understanding what effect both rising illicit drug use and rising prison populations has had on child welfare outcomes.  In one paper with Greg Rafert, we show that rising meth usage caused a significant increase in foster care caseloads.  Using the AFCARS data, we find that the mechanisms linking meth use to foster care were because of increased parental neglect, parental drug abuse and parental incarceration.  We show that meth use, while it does increase foster care caseloads, does not cause an increase in foster care caseloads due to sexual or physical abuse.  Future projects will continue to investigate the impact of prisons and drug use on child and adult outcomes.  My areas of interest are broad, but are related to one of a few themes:  drug abuse, prison growth, sex and STD health outcomes, and crime
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Tisha Emerson, Associate Professor of Economics

My main research area is in the field of environmental economics. I have special interest in the area of regulatory policy with a focus on analyzing the efficiency and efficacy of current and proposed environmental regulatory policies. I am also interested in the related field of trade and the environment as well as trade more generally. My research in the area of trade focuses on the affects of trade policies on firms and on the environment. Finally, I am also currently engaged in research in the areas of business ethics and economic education. In the area of business ethics, I am interested in changes in ethical perceptions over time and the stimuli for such changes. My economic education research investigates the efficacy of various pedagogical approaches as measured by student achievement.
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Kent Gilbreath, Stevens Professor of Private Enterprise

My current research agenda focuses on issues primarily related to forensic economics and trends in higher education. I have an article entitled "Trends in Starting Salaries of College Graduates 1970-2004" forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Economics published by the American Academy of Economic and Financial Experts. I presented a paper entitled "Trends in Salaries of College Professors by Rank and Academic Discipline: 1974-2005" at a workshop of the American Academy of Economic and Financial Experts and will be submitting papers to journals derived from this research. I am also doing research on other matters related to forensic economics including methodologies for determining lost potential income for illegal immigrants. I am also writing a chapter for a forthcoming book "Baylor at the Crossroads" dealing with higher education issues at Baylor University.
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Steven L. Green, Professor of Economics and Statistics; Department Chair; Graduate Program Director in Economics

My background is in money/macro, but in recent years my research interests have become focused on applied econometric modeling. I am currently working on an econometric model (100+ equations) of Baylor finances and on a project exploring the relationship between the salaries earned by university faculty members and the US News and World Report rankings of their employers.
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Earl L. Grinols, Distinguished Professor of Economics

I am currently engaged in writing my health care book detailing the "Baylor-Swiss-Pauly-Henderson-Grinols" framework. There are related derivative issues that need to be researched. How to replace pharmaceutical patents with a more efficient modern system is one example. Another remaining hurdle has to do with responses to provider market power. As always, I have several other research projects underway in various stages, currently: visitors and crime (graduate student Melissa Staha is working on this with me), economic integration (joint with Giovanni Facchini), and immigration policy.
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James W. Henderson, Ben Williams Professor of Economics

My research is primarily focused on health care issues. I am currently finishing several research projects funded by the Agency for Health Care Policy Research on the economic impact of state-level health insurance regulations. I am on a three-year revision cycle for my book, Health Economics & Policy, 4th edition (Thomson/SouthWestern) and am also working on a health care reform monograph with Earl Grinols. Additional projects include a proposed replacement strategy for pharmaceutical patents and a study on the effects of immigration status on health insurance coverage. Longer term goals include an examination of the impact of physician-owned specialty hospitals on the ability to provide services to the uninsured.
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Thomas M. Kelly, Professor of Economics; Director, Baylor Center for Business and Economic Research

My current research interests focus on urban and regional economic development and policy issues. I am presently working on a model to explain the role of agglomeration economies on absolute divergence versus conditional convergence of average wage income among U.S. metropolitan areas. I also have developed a model to determine the investment return of public subsidies that may be applied to capital development projects. I am working with other professors in the department on regional coordination of health care policy to relieve and balance the burden of indigent health care costs among nonprofit versus for profit regional health care providers. Finally, I am actively involved in evaluating the effectiveness of economic incentives for residential and commercial development in historic downtown districts.
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Joseph A. McKinney, Ben Williams Professor of International Economics

My research is primarily in the international trade policy area. I am currently working on articles related to the United States-European Union trade dispute over biotechnology agricultural products, and the economic issues in the United States-Canada wheat trade dispute. I am nearing completion of an article for an edited volume to be published in the UK on transatlantic economic relations. I am also working on an article for an interdisciplinary journal concerning regional economic integration in the Western Hemisphere. A secondary research stream, on which I am working with a team of Business School colleagues, is looking at the issues of business ethics and entrepreneurship, business ethics and small business, and the relationship between age and ethical attitudes.
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Charles M. North, Associate Professor of Economics

My research has focused in recent years on the economics of religion and on law and economics. In the economics of religion, I have examined the effects that state religion and state regulation of religion have on religious attendance and religious institutions. Also, I have underway several projects that consider possible links between religion and economic growth. In the area of law and economics, I have written several papers on the labor market effects of the employment-at-will doctrine. I am currently working on a project examining the connection between lawyers, judges, and mold insurance prices in Texas.
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John L. Pisciotta, Associate Professor of Economics

My current research agenda has two facets. The first is experiments in teaching economics. I plan to revise submit the article on "Acquisition of Information for Market and Voting Choices." I will develop into an article my experiment used to enhance the teaching profit maximization. I am also exploring the moral and philosophical underpinnings of economics. Particular interests are individualism, utilitarianism and moral relativism.
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David VanHoose, Herman W. Lay Professor of Private Enterprise

David VanHoose's research interests are in domestic and international macroeconomics, monetary economics, and banking. Some of his current research, conducted with Baylor colleague Carl Gwin, examines macroeconomic and industry-level evidence regarding the sticky-price assumption utilized by many modern new Keynesian theories. In another line of research, Professor VanHoose has been investigating factors influencing the interrelationship among openness, sacrifice ratios, and inflation, such as the degree of central bank independence, nominal wage stickiness and centralization, and income-tax progressivity. His recent banking research has explored the effects of capital requirements on the monetary policy transmission mechanism, aggregate loan quality, and the distribution of equity in the banking system. During the past two years, Professor VanHoose has authored or co-authored articles published or accepted in research outlets that include the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, the Journal of International Money and Finance, Open Economies Review, the Journal of Macroeconomics, the European Journal of Political Economy, and the Journal of Banking and Finance.
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