SMU Department of Economics

Vast majority of European Union citizens are marginalized by dominance of English language

A new study finds nearly two-thirds of the European Union’s 500 million people are linguistically disenfranchised because they don’t speak English, which is the EU’s most dominant official language.

History has shown that political regimes mandate single languages for efficiency or social control. But limiting linguistic diversity can backfire, says economist Shlomo Weber, Southern Methodist University. Continue reading

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International Monetary Fund: A review of “How Many Languages Do We Need?”

Renowned non-fiction author Henry Hitchings covers SMU economist Shlomo Weber’s new book “How Many Languages Do We Need? The Economics of Linguistic Diversity” (Princeton University Press).

Writing for the International Monetary Fund, Hitchings’ review “Speaking in Tongues” notes that Weber and his co-author, Victor Ginsburgh, have scrupulously researched the costs and benefits of the many languages across the globe. Hitchings, the author of “The Language Wars” and “The Secret Life of Words” among other books, notes that the books most thought-provoking section is the case study of linguistic policy in the European Union. Continue reading

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UPI: Infants: Public insurance better, cheaper

The news wire service United Press International has covered the research of SMU economist Manan Roy, a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor in the SMU Department of Economics.

Roy analyzed new federal data about insured infants to compare public health insurance with private health insurance. Her analysis found that among the insured, infants in low-income families are better off under the nation’s government-funded public health insurance than infants covered by private insurance. Continue reading

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Public health insurance provides insured infants better, less costly care than private plans

In the fierce national debate over a new federal law that requires all Americans to have health insurance, it’s widely assumed that private health insurance can do a better job than public insurance.

But a first-of-its-kind study of newly available government data found just the opposite for infants covered by insurance, says economist Manan Roy in SMU’s Department of Economics. Continue reading

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A mathematical model determines which nations are more stable and which are more likely to break up

Thanks to a new model created by an international research group that includes SMU economist Shlomo Weber, it is now possible to predict which European countries are more likely to become united or which are more likely to break up. It does so by not only considering demographic and economic criteria but, most ingeniously of all, culture and genetics. Continue reading

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Live Strong: How Can Overweight Children Lose Weight Fast?

School%20lunch%20kids1b.jpgThe link between the federal school lunch program and childhood obesity that was uncovered by the research of SMU economist Daniel L. Millimet has been covered by the health articles on the site Live Strong in “How Can Overweight Children Lose Weight Fast?.”

The article notes Millimet’s finding that a la carte options such as ice cream and sodas are readily available to children in the school lunch line.

The research, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government’s National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.
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Study: Antibiotics, instead of emergency surgery, may better treat cases of nonperforating appendicitis

Emergency-sign-400x300.jpgAntibiotics rather than surgery may better treat cases of appendicitis when the appendix hasn’t burst, says a new study from SMU and UT Southwestern Medical School.

The study’s authors say the findings suggest that nonperforating appendicitis may be unrelated to perforating appendicitis, in which the appendix has burst.

Instead, the study found that nonperforating childhood appendicitis, which historically has been treated with emergency surgery, seems to be a disease similar to nonperforating adult diverticulitis, which is often treated with antibiotics.
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Scripps Howard News: SMU’s Millimet on school lunches linked to childhood obesity

School%20lunch%20kids1b.jpgThe link between the federal school lunch program and childhood obesity uncovered by the research of SMU economist Daniel L. Millimet has been reported in The San Angelo Standard-Times in “Study shows obesity has complex origins.”

Writing for the Scrips Howard News Service, reporter Trish Choate quotes Millimet on the research and the link in an article that published Sept. 3 in the Standard-Times. Continue reading

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New analysis weighs lost trade, costs to control invasive species against economic damages

Zmussels%20in%20Maryland%20coastal%20bays1.jpgBiological alien invaders often travel via international trade, prompting trade regulations to stop them. Pesky invaders like Zebra mussels, Asian Longhorned Beetles, Kudzu, Triffid weed and others have wreaked billions of dollars in economic damage, destroying agriculture, harming human health and threatening biodiversity.

Policymakers must balance concerns about the damage and cost of controlling invaders against the economic necessity of free trade, say economists Santanu Roy, Southern Methodist University, and Lars J. Olson, University of Maryland.

In their research, Roy and Olson examine the various conditions policymakers must evaluate to determine the best policies governing invasive species based on sound economics.
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