Baylor University Economics Professor Elected to Influential National Bureau of Economic Research

May 8, 2014

Jim West - Baylor University Economics Professor Elected to Influential National Bureau of Economic Research

WACO, TX – Hankamer School of Business economics professor, Dr. Jim West, has been elected to the post of research associate with the NBER's Economics of Education Working Group, chaired currently by Dr. Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University.

A graduate of the University of Denver and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, West came to Baylor in 2011 after extended appointments at Seattle University and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He currently holds Baylor's W.H. Smith Professorship in Economics and recently was named the business school's Robert and Robin Nitsche Outstanding Scholar for 2013.

West has studied the effects of peers, professors and class starting times on academic achievement, and peer effects on physical fitness and classroom cheating. His work has received wide exposure in both professional journals and mass media, and continues to inform educators, economists and policy makers alike.

"This is a great honor," says Dr. Steve Gardner, chairman of the department of economics and Herman Brown Professor of Economics in the Hankamer School. "It signifies the quality and importance of Jim's work."

West was modest in receiving the news of his election, but his appreciation for the work of the NBER is anything but.

"Frankly, I am very surprised and grateful," he says. "Economic research generated within the NBER has a well-deserved reputation for being timely, innovative and creative. In my opinion, the Economics of Education Working Group has dramatically improved the quality and usefulness of education research. I am looking forward to being a part of this group."

West begins serving later this month.

About the National Bureau for Economic Research
Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the NBER is the largest economics research organization in the U.S. and is considered the premier source for accurate, comprehensive and objective economics research. Data from NBER research is used to define and establish such key economic markers as the start and end of recessions and depressions.

The NBER counts among its current and former members no fewer than 22 Nobel laureates. Its Council of Economic Advisors has included many top economists, including the immediate former and current heads of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, respectively. Dr. James Poterba of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology currently serves as NBER president and CEO.

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.