Human Trafficking Data Conference a huge success

The SMU Human Trafficking Data Research (HTDR) Project Team and volunteers hosted the first-of-its-kind SMU Human Trafficking Data Conference! It was an amazing 2-day event of human trafficking experts working together to learn, ask questions, and network. Researchers, practitioners, law enforcement and governmental officials, nonprofit organizations, data scientists, and other stakeholders met to discuss the quality, availability, and efficacy of human trafficking data.

Work by Recent Alumnus Jesse LaBelle Garners National Attention

We are very proud of our recent alumnus, Jesse LaBelle. He graduated from SMU in 2020 with a BS in Economics with a focus on Mathematics. After graduating from SMU he joined the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, eventually becoming a Senior Research Associate, where he has had a tremendous impact. His work on multinational corporations was featured in the famous podcast – Trade Talks – “How multinationals avoid taxes through technology licensing”. In addition, his work on supply chain disruptions and inflation was cited by the United States White House in the 2024 Economic Report of the President. In Jesse’s words: “Being cited in the CEA report is a tremendous honor and exciting to know that the work we did has some real world policy relevance.”

Jesse is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Economics at Northwestern University, one of the top programs in the world. We wish him the best and look forward to many more great achievements.

Research Article by Professor Roy Forthcoming in Top Economics Journal

Professor Santanu Roy’s recent paper, co-authored with Ayca Kaya, is forthcoming in the American Economic Review. Their paper “Repeated Trading: Transparency and Market Structure” introduces a framework whereby market structure and rent play critical roles in determining whether reliable records of past trading volumes in markets improve efficiency.

The American Economic Review is the flagship journal of the American Economic Association and is one of the most prestigious in the discipline. Congratulations to Professor Roy!

Beth Wheaton-Paramo and team publish in Empirical Economics!

Beth Wheaton-Paramo, team lead for the SMU Human Trafficking Data Research (HTDR) Program, and her colleagues have published a paper in Empirical Economics this month. 

Using data housed in the newly created SMU Human Trafficking Data Warehouse, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Southern Methodist University and University College Dublin used count time series regression modeling to explain the effects of economic factors on the counts on federal sex trafficking-related convictions in the U.S.  This adds to the growing body of research being done within the SMU Human Trafficking Data Research (HTDR) Project. 

 

 

2023–2024 Provost Research Fellowship recipients

The Economics Department wishes to congratulate Professor Klaus Desmet on being selected as a Provost Research Fellowship recipient!

In the fall 2023 semester, the Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Vice Provost for Research and Chief
Innovation Officer and the University Research Council (URC), selected the recipients of this year’s Provost
Research Fellowship – a $15,000 cash prize designed to provide research support to SMU’s outstanding
scholars during the current academic year.
This fellowship was open to current SMU tenured faculty nominated by their dean or by the Faculty Senate.
Nominated faculty were invited to submit research proposals for review and evaluation by the URC, who then
recommended the most meritorious proposals for final selection by the Office of the Provost.
The following are the 2023-2024 Provost Research Fellows:

Alexandra Pavlakis – Professor, Department of Education Policy & Leadership, Simmons School of
Education & Human Development
Klaus Desmet – Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor, Department of
Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
Jennifer Dworak – Associate Director of the SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization and Professor,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
David Taylor – Co-Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Professor, Dedman
School of Law
James Lee – Professor, Perkins School of Theology

Alipio Ferreira receives University Research Council award

Assistant Professor Alipio Ferreira received a 2023-2024 University Research Council award.  URC research grants fund faculty research across the disciplines. Awards are ranked based on the significance of the proposed research, its value to the University and the career development of the proposer. A brief description of Alipio’s research follows.

“Inadequate waste disposal generates significant environmental risks, such as air, soil, and water pollution, with consequences for climate change (through greenhouse gas emissions) and human health (through the spread of diseases). In Peru, as in many low and middle-income countries, numerous waste disposal sites fail to adhere to safety standards, causing soil degradation, pollution, and health hazards for local communities. At the same time, the Peruvian national government lacks the capacity to monitor and enforce regulations. A potential solution to alleviate capacity constraints is to leverage remote-sensed monitoring, using freely available images from Sentinel satellites to inspect waste dumps. This initiative aims to aid the Peruvian national enforcement agency in developing a monitoring tool, enabling remote inspections and assessing their impact on regulatory compliance and environmental quality. The project involves utilizing satellite data to identify non-compliant sites, allowing authorities to communicate with local counterparts and implement necessary sanctions.”

SMU Professor Organizes Econometrics Conference

Professor Tom Fomby recently co-organized the Advances in Econometric (AiE) conference honoring the lifetime contributions of Professor Joon Y. Park. The event took place at Indiana University September 29-30, 2023. AiE is also home to a journal of the same name, which publishes scholarly papers that make use of, and broaden, econometric techniques. Professor Fomby has been a senior co-editor of the journal since 1986.

 

Assistant Professors Alipio Ferreira and Prasanthi Ramakrishnan join Economics Department faculty

    

Prasanthi Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan is a labor economist, with research interests at the intersection of Household Economics, Health Economics and Entrepreneurship. She focuses on different types of inequality in the labor market, either by gender or by race, and aims to understand the mechanisms causing these inequalities using cutting-edge microeconometric methods. Her research agenda explores the importance of incorporating education, marriage, and decisions within the household in analyzing changes to the social security system, a system that treats married and single households differently.  Her agenda also studies differences in gender and race amongst entrepreneurs and to understand policy prescriptions to boost entrepreneurship, as well as incentives to take up health insurance amongst the poor and rich. Read more

Alipio Ferreira

Before joining SMU, Ferreira worked as an environmental consultant in the Finance Department of the São Paulo, Brazil State Government, and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Abul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Toulouse School of Economics, a Master’s degree from Tilburg University, and a Bachelor’s degree from São Paulo School of Economics. Alipio’s research is focused on law enforcement issues in public finance and environmental regulation in developing countries. He is currently studying policies to increase the efficiency of environmental enforcement practices, with the goal of reducing illegal deforestation and improving environmental quality. Read more