Ravi Batra, Economics, Four steps that can help end unemployment and poverty now

Business NH Magazine

Originally Posted: July 17, 2015

More than seven years after the Great Recession began in 2007, many Americans are still struggling to put their economic lives back together. Factors such as low wages, high interest rates on credit cards and a mediocre job market continue to make a lot of families feel like the recovery passed them by, says Dr. Ravi Batra, an economist and author of the new book “End Unemployment Now: How to Eliminate Joblessness, Debt and Poverty Despite Congress.” (www.ravibatra.com)

It doesn’t have to be this way, he says.

“The main cause of our troubles is monopoly capitalism, which is a system dominated by giant companies that charge high prices, pay low wages and extract huge productivity from employees,” says Batra, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. “As a result, supply rises faster than demand and generates layoffs. So the solution lies in breaking up the behemoths and returning to free markets, where many firms engage in price and quality competition.” READ MORE

NFL player and SMU alum, Kelvin Beachum visits campus over Father’s Day weekend

Kelvin Beachum shared his secrets for success as a college student with a group of SMU alumni, staff, faculty and community members last Friday evening at a reception hosted by Lori and Jon Altschuler. The new father returned to campus to kick off Father’s Day weekend and share his journey from Dedman College student to the NFL. He advised all students, and student athletes in particular to stretch and go beyond their comfort zones by getting involved with leadership opportunities on campus. Prayer, planning, position and “paying it forward” all hold special importance to this dynamic offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crowd of Beachum fans enjoyed the one-on-one time with Kelvin and the chance to ask about his experiences both at SMU and in the NFL. Click here for recent media coverage on Kelvin Beachum.

Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Kelvin Beachum with Jon Altschuler ’94, Dedman College Executive Board member
and Lori Altschuler ’92 (hosts of the reception)
Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU
Tony Tillman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director of Student Retention for SMU, Kelvin Beachum and Lori White, Vice President for Student Affairs
KBeachumgroup
Group photo with Kelvin Beachum

 

 

 

Ravi Batra, Economics, 4 Steps That Can Help End Unemployment And Poverty Now

Daily Exchange

Economist Says Monopoly Capitalism Is The Main Cause Of Economic Doldrums

More than seven years after the Great Recession began in 2007, many Americans are still struggling to put their economic lives back together. Factors such as low wages, high interest rates on credit cards and a mediocre job market continue to make a lot of families feel like the recovery passed them by, says Dr. Ravi Batra, an economist and author of the new book “End Unemployment Now: How to Eliminate Joblessness, Debt and Poverty Despite Congress.”

It doesn’t have to be this way, he says.

“The main cause of our troubles is monopoly capitalism, which is a system dominated by giant companies that charge high prices, pay low wages and extract huge productivity from employees,” says Batra, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University.

“As a result, supply rises faster than demand and generates layoffs. So the solution lies in breaking up the behemoths and returning to free markets, where many firms engage in price and quality competition.”

That’s easier said than done, though, because of the political considerations, Batra says. He surmises that any attempt to move legislation through Congress would meet with failure. READ MORE

Dedman College students receive prestigious national fellowships and awards

Congratulations to the Dedman College students awarded prestigious national fellowships and awards during the 2014-15 academic year, including Fulbright Grants and a fellowship to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. These students include:

Fulbright Scholar:

Whitney Goodwin
Michaela Wallerstedt
Kandi Doming

Institute for Responsible Citizenship Scholar:

Garrett Fisher

Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellow:

Tracy Nelson

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Nicole Hartman

READ MORE

 

Brian Stump, Earth Sciences, key speaker at the 18th Honors Convocation

Outstanding achievement honored at SMU’s 2014-15 Awards Extravaganza, Honors Convocation.

Dedman College faculty, staff and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza Monday, April 13.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2015

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 18th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

An expert in seismic wave propagation and earthquake source theory, Stump has become well known in North Texas for his continuing research on the increasing occurrences of small earthquakes that have shaken the area since 2008. In November 2014, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dedman College faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 13.

Receiving the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious honor. Recipients include:

• Jill DeTemple, associate professor of religious studies
• Elizabeth Wheaton, senior lecturer in economics

The Willis M. Tate Award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been involved in student life. Recipients include:

• Jodi Cooley, associate professor of physics
• Stephen Sekula, assistant professor of physics
• Willard Spiegelman, Dwaine E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair in English
• Brian Zoltowski, assistant professor of chemistry

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

• Ian Harris, associate professor of statistical science

Read the full list of award winners.

Cross-Disciplinary Team of Dedman College and Cox Students Competes April 16-18 at Richest and Largest Student Startup Competition

Biolum-Resized-Version 2Congratulations to Edward Allegra! His startup team, BioLum Sciences has been accepted to compete in the world famous Rice Business Plan Competition this weekend, April 16-18. The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. BioLum will compete with over 40 teams from around the world for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. This is the 15th year for the competition.

Read more about the competing teams:
http://alliance.rice.edu/2015-competing-teams/

About BioLum Sciences:
Biolum Sciences is a smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States. Watch the BioLum 60 second pitch. Comprised of undergraduates, Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds, BioLum Sciences is a Big iDeas start-up that has raised approximately 50K through competitions to date.

Four student projects win recognition (and $5,000) in SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition

Congratulations to Hunter Rice, Edward Allegra and Rax Friman on their winning projects. These Dedman College students were part of four student teams that competed in SMU’s Big iDeas Business Plan Competition.

More on the competition and the projects below:

Four student teams combined winning pitches with solid business plans to earn $5,000 startup grants for their projects through SMU’s Big iDeas program on Jan. 30, 2015.

The four winning teams were chosen from a business plan competition featuring the winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Competition, which took place in October.

The projects were judged by a panel of volunteers from Executives in Action, a Dallas-area organization that helps strengthen North Texas nonprofits by matching them with senior-level executives for pro bono consulting services. The winners:

The projects were judged by a panel of volunteers from Executives in Action, a Dallas-area organization that helps strengthen North Texas nonprofits by matching them with senior-level executives for pro bono consulting services. The winners:

Beyond US Clothing (Hunter Rice and J.P. Buxbaum) – a for-profit clothing company that partners with charities to help underprivileged children in the United States by offering unique T-shirt designs for each partnership and donating a portion of the sales to charities with a focus on children and education.

Biolum Sciences (Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds) – A smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States.

Helpple (Austin Wells and Irisa Ona) – an app that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, ranging from tutoring to moving furniture to getting volunteers.

Out & About (Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard and Raz Friman) – an app that promotes local businesses and organizations by showing its users what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the area.

“The world needs big thinkers to address global challenges. It needs innovators to create solutions. It needs risk-takers to turn solutions into sustainable businesses. And at SMU, Big iDeas makes this happen,” said Engaged Learning Director Susan Kress, whose office also oversees Big iDeas.

The students will spend the next nine months developing their projects. They will present results in October 2015 at Big iDeas Demo Day for a chance to win another $5,000 to continue their work.

READ MORE

• Visit SMU’s Big iDeas website at smu.edu/bigideas

Santanu Roy, Economics, Why Firms Prefer Not to Disclose the Quality of their Products – and How Regulators Might Respond

Royal Economic Society

Media Briefing

Feb. 2015

Rather than explicitly revealing information about the quality of their products and services, many firms prefer to signal quality through the prices they charge, typically working on the assumption that a high price indicates high quality. New research by Maarten Janssen and Santanu Roy provides a new explanation for why firms choose not to disclose quality directly – and explains how prices that are set to signal quality can distort actual buying decisions.

Their study, which is published in the February 2015 issue of the Economic Journal, shows that when firms compete on price, not disclosing product quality voluntarily can soften competition and boost profits. This has an important policy implication for regulators: even if consumers infer all relevant product information from prices (or other actions by firms), there may be a case for imposing mandatory disclosure regulation. Such regulation can reduce market power and the price and consumption distortions resulting from firms’ use of prices to signal product quality.

The researchers begin by noting that in a large number of markets, ranging from educational and health services to consumer goods and financial assets, sellers have important information about the quality of their products. Quality attributes include satisfaction from consuming the product, durability, safety and potential health hazards as well as ethical and environmental attributes. READ MORE

Santanu Roy, Chair, Economics, appointed University Distinguished Professor

Paul Ludden, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs announced the appointment of three new University Distinguished Professors. Congratulations to the following:

Professor Randall Griffin, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts
Professor Suku Nair, Chair, Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
Professor Santanu Roy, Chair, Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

These individuals were nominated by their Deans and recommended for appointment by a Selection Committee comprised of current endowed chairs and UDP’s.

Bernard Weinstein, Economics, Declining Oil Prices Won’t Slow Drilling

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Posted Oct. 21, 2014

WHEELING – Two geology professors do not expect to see a slowdown in Marcellus and Utica shale drilling just because the price of oil dropped from a recent high of $107 per barrel in May to $82.75 Monday.

“Ten years ago, we thought $100 (per barrel) oil would be the end of the world. We adjusted. Now, we’ll adjust to this,” said Bernard Weinstein, a professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, following his Monday speech during the Ohio Trucking Association convention at Oglebay Park.

Weinstein said oil production from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas is powering the U.S. to soon become the world leader in oil production. Some Utica and Marcellus oil production adds to the domestic total, as drillers such as Gulfport Energy, Chesapeake Energy and Rice Energy have recorded oil production in West Virginia and Ohio. READ MORE