Economics & Statistics

Why firms prefer not to disclose product quality — and how regulators might respond

SMU, Santanu Roy, Economic Journal, price signaling, regulationRather 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 has an important policy implication for regulators: there may be a case for imposing mandatory disclosure. Continue reading

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CoinDesk: Research — Over $11 Million Lost in Bitcoin Scams Since 2011

Bitcoin, SMU, scammers, $11 million, Moore, VasekWith cryptocurrency Bitcoin increasingly popular for digital world transactions, the digital currency news site CoinDesk covered the research of SMU Bitcoin experts Marie Vasek and Tyler W. Moore, both in SMU’s Computer Science and Engineering Department.

The study found that fraudulent schemes have scammed at least $11 million in Bitcoin deposits from unsuspecting cyber customers over the past four years. Continue reading

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Data-driven assessment ranks U.S. Metropolitan Areas by arts and cultural assets

SMU, NCAR, arts vibrancy, top cities, rankingNCAR, SMU’s National Center for Arts Research, today released its first annual Arts Vibrancy Index.

The index ranks more than 900 communities across the country. Vibrancy is measured as the level of supply, demand and government support for arts and culture on a per capita basis. The report highlights the top 20 large markets and top 20 medium and small markets. NCAR provides rank scores on all measures for every U.S. county on the interactive heat map.

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Bitcoin scams steal at least $11 million in virtual deposits from unsuspecting customers

bitcoin, fraud, scams, SMU, Tyler MooreAt least $11 million in bitcoin deposits have been stolen from unsuspecting cyber customers over the past four years, according to new cyber security research from Southern Methodist University.

Bitcoin is the digital world’s most popular virtual currency. In the first empirical study of its kind, SMU researchers found that hucksters use schemes that pose as legitimate web-based financial outlets to lure customers and heist deposits. Continue reading

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KERA: Bitcoin — Behind The Cryptocurrency Curtain

Bitcoin, KERA, Tyler Moore, SMU, ponzi schemeKERA Public Radio journalist Justin Martin tapped the expertise of SMU Bitcoin and cybersecurity expert Tyler W. Moore, an assistant professor of computer science in the Lyle School of Engineering.

An expert on the digital currency Bitcoin, Moore’s expertise draws in part on his research surrounding Bitcoin, the exchanges that trade in the currency and patterns of online usage. One of Moore’s studies found that online money exchanges that trade hard currency for the rapidly emerging cyber money have a 45 percent chance of failing — often taking their customers’ money with them. Continue reading

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The Economist: Goldilocks nationalism

Economist, SMU, Economics, Klaus DesmetThe Economist’s “Free Exchange” column covered the research of SMU economist Klaus Desmet as part of a larger examination of the ideal size of nations from an economic perspective and within the context of Scotland’s recent vote on the question of independence.

The article, “Goldilocks nationalism,” published Sept. 27.
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The Atlantic: Can a Nation’s Soil Explain Its Economic Fortunes?

Omer Ozak, SMU, agriculture, soil, economicsJournalist Joe Pinsker with The Atlantic covered the research of SMU economist Ömer Özak about the association between cultures that value long-term payoffs and their ancient history of successful crop yields.

Pinsker’s story, “Can a Nation’s Soil Explain Its Economic Fortunes?” published Sept. 17. Continue reading

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Dallas Morning News: Until bitcoin has oversight, it’s a volatile uncertainty

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles. (Credit: Associated Press)Journalist Will Deener with The Dallas Morning News tapped the expertise of SMU Bitcoin and cybersecurity expert Tyler W. Moore, an assistant professor of computer science in the Lyle School of Engineering.

Moore’s expertise draws in part on his research that found that online money exchanges that trade hard currency for the rapidly emerging cyber money known as Bitcoin have a 45 percent chance of failing — often taking their customers’ money with them. Continue reading

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Women have made strides for equality in society, but gender gap still exists in art museum directorships

SMU, Cox, Gender Gap, MuseumsThe Association of Art Museum Directors and the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University have released findings from a research study designed to understand the gender gap in art museum directorships and to explore potential factors to help the association’s member institutions advance toward greater gender equality. Continue reading

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