Spears School of Business will host
economists from around the world

Terry Tush
  (April 12, 2013 at 8:36 am)

Economics and Legal Studies in BusinessThe Department of Economics and Legal Studies at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business will host Gretl Conference 2013 this summer in which participants from all around the world will travel to Oklahoma.

The Gretl Conference 2013 is for econometricians who are devoted users and developers of Gretl, an open-source statistical package used worldwide.

The conference is scheduled for June 20-21 in Oklahoma City, and it is the first time the group will be meeting in the United States. The previous two conferences were held in Toruń, Poland (2011) and Bilbao, Spain (2009).

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Center for Applied Economic Research will host 2013 Oklahoma Economic Outlook Conference

Spears School News Staff
  (November 8, 2012 at 8:54 am)

Economic Outlook promotionOklahoma State University’s Center for Applied Economic Research in the Spears School of Business will present the 2013 Oklahoma Economic Outlook Conference on Dec. 5 at the Metro Technology Center Springlake Campus in Oklahoma City.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

“While the housing sector finally shows signs of recovery, the U.S. economy faces significant headwinds,” said Dan Rickman, OSU Regents professor of economics and Oklahoma Gas & Electric Services Chair in Regional Economic Analysis, who will be one of the featured speakers at the conference.

“The impending ‘fiscal cliff’ and slowing global demand pose significant threats to near-term economic growth.  How these events most likely will unfold and affect the U.S. and Oklahoma economies will be addressed during the 2013 OSU Economic Outlook Conference. The conference also will include presentations on how Oklahoma can best position itself for long-term economic prosperity,” said Rickman.

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Soon-to-be SSB graduate Bryan McIntyre
has overcome obstacles to earn his degree

Terry Tush
  (April 30, 2012 at 10:47 am)

Bryan McIntyre

Bryan McIntyre’s route to Gallagher-Iba Arena for Oklahoma State University commencement exercises Saturday has been a little more difficult than that encountered by many of the other nearly 750 Spears School of Business graduates this year.

He’s overcome a series of setbacks since first enrolling at OSU in 2002, but will proudly walk across the stage to accept his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in the Economics Pre-Law program.

The 28-year-old McIntyre is the first to admit it hasn’t been easy. He finished his first year at OSU with a rather underwhelming 0.07 grade-point average, and was suspended (Editor’s note: he now stresses to first-time freshmen the importance of attending class). He tried working in the fast-food restaurant business for several years before deciding to give college another try.

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Spears School student receives Presidential
Innovation and Creativity Scholar award

Terry Tush
  (April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am)

Nina McKosato is congratulated by Jim Fain (left), head of the Spears School's Economics and Legal Studies Department, and OSU President Burns Hargis.

Nina McKosato, a Spears School of Business senior from Stillwater, was one of four Oklahoma State University students to receive the first-ever OSU Presidential Innovation and Creativity Scholar award.

McKosato, an Economics Pre-Law major scheduled to graduate in December, was presented her award by OSU President Burns Hargis. The award recognizes leadership, communication, interaction and quality of work in assisting Oklahoma manufacturers with product innovation projects at OSU’s New Product Development Center.

“We congratulate these high-achieving students for putting what they are learning at Oklahoma State University into practice by providing valuable assistance to Oklahoma manufacturers,” said Hargis. “By working hand-in-hand with client companies to develop solutions, these four students serve as great mentors and role models for incoming student interns. Their work also is helping boost the product lines, revenues, and employment of Oklahoma companies.”

Joining McKosato in receiving the Presidential Innovation and Creativity Scholar awards were Andrew Barth, Nick Langilotti and Tyler Shirk. Barth is an Agricultural Communications junior from Quincy, Wash., while Langilotti is an Aerospace Engineering senior from Anadarko, Okla., and Shirk is an Aerospace Engineering senior from Tulsa.

Three Oklahoma State students excel
at Oklahoma Business Ethics Challenge

Terry Tush
  (November 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm)

A team of three Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business Students placed second in the Oklahoma Student Ethics Challenge, which was held during the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium at Oklahoma Christian University on Oct. 29. Pictured, from left, are the team’s adviser, Andy Urich, and team members Mary Kate Barnthouse, Joe Tobias and Gina Hancock.

A team of three OSU Spears School of Business students placed second in the Oklahoma Student Ethics Challenge, which was held during the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium at Oklahoma Christian University on Oct. 29.

The team consisted of Spears School undergraduate students Mary Kate Barnthouse, Joe Tobias, and Gina Hancock. They received $1,500 and a trophy as prizes.

Another OSU team also competed in the competition, though they did not place in the top three teams. It was made up Spears School undergraduate students Jimmy Holland, Karla Tankut, Jamie Solberg and Kentiya Orange.

In the competition, the students analyzed hypothetical ethics cases. They squared off against each other in a debate-style format, with one team member going head to head with a student on the opposing team. To prepare for the competition, the Spears School students studied ethical theories and researched their cases. The group met at several different meetings to share their ideas and prepare a solid argument for their case.

“Analyzing and arguing cases is interesting and fun,” said Andy Urich, the teams’ adviser and an associate professor in the Spears School’s Department of Economics and Legal Studies. “The students learn a great deal, acquire presentation skills, learn to think on their feet, and, most importantly, gain confidence in their abilities.”

A group combining the two Spears School teams will get to test their abilities again at the regional competition in San Antonio on Nov. 12. The students attending the upcoming conference include Tobias, Tankut, Solberg and Orange.

“The students and I are thrilled about San Antonio,” Urich said. “We hope to have fun and successful trip!”

For more information about the Oklahoma Student Ethics Challenge, contact Urich by calling 405-744-8619 or sending an email to

OSU graduate named Pittsburg State University College of Business dean

Terry Tush
  (June 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm)

Dr. Paul W. GrimesPittsburg State University recently announced that Paul W. Grimes, who received his doctoral degree in economics from Oklahoma State University, was chosen as the new dean for the Kelce College of Business. Grimes is currently the associate dean for instruction and operations for the College of Business at Mississippi State University.

“Dr. Grimes has a distinguished academic and administrative record, and we believe he is very well suited to lead the Kelce College of Business at this important time in its history,” said Lynette Olson, PSU provost. “His commitment to teaching, research and service is a good match to those same values that are part of the history and culture of the College of Business and the university.”

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OSU research helps guide decision in court ruling

Spears School News Staff
  (February 21, 2011 at 7:00 pm)

Though the relevance of academic papers to real-world situations may often be unclear, research by an Oklahoma State University professor recently was cited in a decision by the Iowa Supreme Court. The court used an article by Griffin Pivateau, assistant professor of legal studies at OSU’s Spears School of Business, to help guide their decision in Feld v. Borkowski, a lawsuit brought by an intramural softball player who was injured by a teammate during a practice session in June 2005.  Continue Reading

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Solid growth projected for state, OKC in 2011

Spears School News Staff
  (December 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm)

TULSA – Oklahoma City and the Sooner State will chart solid growth in gross product and personal income next year, continuing a robust recovery enjoyed this year in advance of national marks, according to 2011 forecast data released Tuesday by Oklahoma State University research economist Russell Evans.

“We will not have forgotten about the recession, but we will legitimately feel better,” said Evans, director of the OSU Spears School of Business Center for Applied Economic Research

“Oklahoma City will maintain the momentum they have and Tulsa will catch up,” he said. “Having been hit harder, Tulsa should recover and rebound a little more aggressively in 2011.” Continue Reading

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Oklahoma legislative panel looks at municipal funding, CAER economist comments

Spears School News Staff
  (November 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm)

Rep. Dan Sullivan, chairman of the task force, said it might be more efficient for to look at giving cities and towns the same authority to form cooperative agreements with other entities that Oklahoma and Tulsa counties already enjoy.

“There shouldn’t be any reason why a city the size of Oklahoma City or a city the size of Hallett can’t do whatever they need to use the taxpayer dollars more effectively,” said Sullivan, R-Tulsa.

Lawton City Manager Larry Mitchell, a task force member, complained that his city and Comanche County cannot work on streets because they are not allowed to under state law.

Sullivan said, “When you have a standoff between a city and a county on repaving a road, all those people are going to suffer.”

Giving cities the ability to seek voter approval to access property tax collections seems to raise more questions, he said.

Concerns about effects on public school reimbursement rates were raised Thursday.

Other suggestions

Suggestions made Thursday to improve the revenue outlook for cities include reinstating penalties for any vendor who willfully or intentionally fails to remit sales tax.

“People need to know there is a penalty,” said Carolyn Stager, executive director of the Oklahoma Municipal League. “It’s a hammer that needs to be there.”

Other suggestions were to encourage legislators to adequately fund the Oklahoma Tax Commission so it can make sure all available revenues owed cities are collected, to review sales tax exemptions and ban future sales tax exemptions, and to eliminate binding arbitrations for employee contract disputes.

The task force will meet again Dec. 13 to approve a final report, with some of its findings planned to be introduced as legislation for the upcoming session that begins in February.

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Area’s jobless rate for September dips slightly

Spears School News Staff
  (November 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm)

Tulsa’s rate has been at 7 percent or higher since May 2009, peaking at 8.1 percent in January and February.

“Any time you’re looking at unemployment rates for metro areas, keep two things in mind. You’re looking at a data series that is not seasonally adjusted and a data series that is generated from a relatively small sample,” said Russell Evans, director of the Center for Applied Economic Research with Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business.

Two separate surveys – a smaller one taken among households and a larger survey taken among business establishments – are used to measure the state’s unemployment rate and determine its number of nonfarm jobs.

Metro Tulsa is about where it was 12 months ago, with “no real significant deterioration or strengthening either way,” Evans said.

According to the smaller, household survey, the state saw a monthly drop of 780 jobs in total employment, which includes self-employed people and agricultural jobs.

The seven-county metro area also saw its labor force – people working or looking for work – and its number of unemployed both drop in September.

Tulsa’s jobless rate remains higher than the state’s other two metro areas. Oklahoma City’s rate was 6.0 percent in September while Lawton’s was 6.1 percent.

Of the nation’s 49 metros with a population of 1 million or more, Oklahoma City’s jobless rate was the second lowest, topped only by Washington, D.C., at 5.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tulsa is about six to nine months behind Oklahoma City in the recovery, Evans said. While Oklahoma City is about 12,000 jobs below its 2008 level, Tulsa is down about 27,000, he said.

The difference between the Tulsa and Oklahoma City rates stems from the business makeup of the two, Evans said. Whereas Tulsa has a large entrepreneur and private sector base, Oklahoma has a large government base.

“Whenever you go through a recession, the government sector jobs are the last ones to go,” he said.

The larger survey for Tulsa shows “a little more strength or a little less weakness,” depending on how one wants to view it, Evans said.

The larger survey taken among businesses shows that the area gained 1,100 nonfarm jobs over the month, giving it a nonfarm employment of 405,800. That figure, however, was down from 406,800 in September 2009.

“It may be that Tulsa’s large business firms are getting back to hiring and that economic activity will lead to small business activity,” Evans said, adding that he thinks Tulsa could see some strength at end of this year, and more strengthening in 2011.

Among individual sectors, employment services were up by 1,100 jobs, or 9.2 percent, from September 2009. Manufacturing was unchanged from August and was down 200 jobs over the year.

Things look as if they’re beginning to turn, and in the fourth quarter the area could see more sustained evidence that it’s pulling out of this recession, Ball said.

Nationwide, unemployment rates were lower in September than a year earlier in 212 of the 372 metros, higher in 143 areas and unchanged in 17, the BLS reported.

El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest rate at 30.4 percent, while Bismarck, N.D., had the lowest at 2.8 percent.

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Ugandan leader to speak to OSU students about African politics

Spears School News Staff
  (October 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm)

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world. The Spears School of Business is dedicated to the original land-grant vision of integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. For more information, call 405-744-5064 or visit

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OSU Department of Economics and Legal Studies receives $50,000 anonymous scholarship donation

Spears School News Staff
  (October 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm)

“Dr. Jerry Lage had an enormous impact on thousands of students over the course of his 41-year career at OSU,” Fain said. “The addition of these funds to the Jerry Lage Memorial Graduate Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide assistance to economics students for years to come. This is a very fitting tribute to a great educator. We would like to thank all of the benefactors to this scholarship fund for their wonderful gifts to our students.”

For more information or to contribute to the Gerald M. Lage Memorial Graduate Endowed Scholarship Fund, please call the Spears School Development Office at 405-385-5607 or email

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world. The Spears School of Business is dedicated to the original land-grant vision of integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. For more information, call 405-744-5064 or visit

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OSU economists comment on August employment report

Spears School News Staff
  (September 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm)

Oklahoma’s jobless rate has been above 6 percent since April 2009. The last time Oklahoma registered a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.0 percent was in December 1987, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. jobless rate was 9.6 percent in August.

“It’s still a mixed report. It’s hard to say exactly what is happening right now, which direction it’s going,” said Lynn Gray, the OESC’s chief economist. “It may be that we’re not seeing a lot of job growth or a lot of job declines. The two surveys are hitting either side of that truth. … It’s really in the middle.”

Two separate surveys – a smaller one taken among households and a larger survey taken among business establishments – are used to measure the state’s unemployment rate and determine its number of nonfarm jobs. While the larger establishment survey is showing growth, the household survey is not.

“Overall, my impression is not an impression of panic,” said Kyle Dean, associate director and research economist with the Center for Applied Economic Research with the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. “It’s sort of mixed signal, a mixed message.

“And I don’t panic over the unemployment rate. It has to do more with discouraged workers leaving and not massive layoffs, if you will. We’re having some decline in manufacturing, but overall employment is growing.”

Patience is the theme, Dean added.

“The economy is recovering. It’s just that we were in a deep hole, and it’s going to take some time to make it out,” he said.

The number of unemployed people grew by 870 in August. The state’s number of unemployed is up about 4,800 people since April, Gray said.

The unemployment rate uptick appears to be largely due to discouraged people leaving the labor force, which dropped by 4,450 people in August. The state’s labor force is down more than 20,700 people from August 2009.

Year over year, however, the actual number of unemployed has remained relatively constant, Dean said. Oklahoma’s number of unemployed totaled 122,480 in August compared with 122,410 in August 2009.

According to the smaller, household survey, the state saw a monthly decline of 5,320 in total employment, which includes self-employed and agricultural jobs.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is still several percentage points lower than the country as a whole, so that needs to be kept in perspective, Gray said.

“If the economy will grow at a little better rate than we’ve seen, this should take care of itself. The jobs should be created,” he said.

Dean said he looks at the larger, establishment survey as more of a leading indicator than the household survey because it provides an estimation of business optimism.

Based on the larger survey, the state gained 1,700 nonfarm jobs over the month, giving it a total of 1,544,800. That represented a gain of 25,100 nonfarm jobs from August 2009.

“If firms continue to hire, then word will spread, and what I would expect to see is people entering the labor force again,” Dean said. “The unemployment rate could tick up, and that might not be a bad thing.”

The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the size of the labor force. Because of this, the unemployment rate can rise even as jobs are gained.

The establishment survey measures part-time as well as full-time workers, and it’s possible that people could be counted twice in the survey if they work one place during the day and another place at night.

But the good news here, Dean said, is that the nonfarm payroll survey is showing an uptick both over the month and over the year. A large decline in government employment is one of the factors keeping that number relatively subdued.

Manufacturing also is down 1.2 percent, or 1,500 jobs, since August 2009. Over the past year, businesses were replenishing their inventories, but that has tapered off recently, and most likely has caused manufacturing demand to also taper off, Dean said.

On the positive side, construction is up 9.5 percent over the year, which largely could be due to federal stimulus expenditures. Dean said he expects that number to edge lower as stimulus spending winds down.

Dean added that he’s encouraged by increased activity in the professional and service sector from a year ago, along with leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and financial activities.

Nationwide, regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in August, according to the BLS.

Twenty-seven states recorded unemployment rate increases; 13 states had decreases and 10 states and the District of Columbia had no rate change, the BLS reported Tuesday.

Nevada again reported the highest unemployment rate at 14.4 percent in August, and North Dakota continued to have the lowest rate at 3.7 percent, according to the BLS.

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OSU economist: Metro Tulsa jobless rate inches up to 7.9 percent

Spears School News Staff
  (August 5, 2010 at 12:44 pm)

Russell Evans, director of the Center for Applied Economic Research at Oklahoma State University, said labor data fluctuations still are not pointing to significant job growth.

“At some point, we would like to see consistent month-over-month increases in the number of people participating in the labor force,” he said.

Evans doesn’t expect the unemployment rate to fall until the middle or second half of 2011.

“We’re still a ways away,” he said. “I think we’ll see improving conditions toward the end of 2010, but it is already the end of July, and the headwinds keep building nationally.

“I think we’re still 12 months away before we start seeing persistent month-over-month increases in employment and falls in the unemployment rate for the right reasons.”

When the unemployment rate dipped a few months ago, Bob Ball, the economic research manager of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, predicted it could rise again.

But he pointed out that even with the higher rate, some components of the June data show promise. For instance, the Tulsa area’s labor force — made up of people working or looking for work – rose by 1,250 for the month. Also, the area’s total employment, which includes self-employed and agricultural jobs, increased by 670.

The number of unemployed people, however, rose by 580 to total 34,950.

Ball noted that some companies have held off on cutting jobs as long as possible but now must implement layoffs.

“That kind of thing could continue,” he said. “Things are still pretty tight out there in terms of operations, and you do need a line of credit” despite business loans being difficult to obtain.

However, Ball said the Tulsa area is likely to see some job gains by the end of the third quarter.

According to a larger business survey, the metro area lost 900 nonfarm jobs in June, giving it a total of 407,800 jobs. That figure was down 5,700 jobs from a year ago.

“It’s not unusual to have the nonseasonally adjusted rate increase in June,” said Lynn Gray, the OESC’s chief economist. “It’s actually a small change that we’re seeing.”

He speculated that June’s rate increase could be due to an educational impact since the school year ends between May and June.

The Tulsa area’s performance in June was somewhat better than metro Oklahoma City — Tulsa’s jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percent while Oklahoma City’s rose two-tenths.

Still, out of the 49 metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, Oklahoma City’s 6.7 percent rate was the second lowest, topped only the Washington, D.C., metro area with a 6.4 percent rate, according to the BLS.

Out of all the metro areas, El Centro, Calif., had the highest unemployment rate at 27.6 percent, while the rate for Bismarck, N.D., remained the lowest at 3.8 percent.

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Spears School study reveals parenting, not TV watching, affects children’s learning

Spears School News Staff
  (June 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm)

“Our objective isn’t to defend television,” says study co-author Abdul Munasib, an assistant professor of economics at Oklahoma State University. “We simply don’t find that watching more TV is what’s causing kids to do badly.”

Munasib and co-author Samrat Bhattacharya confirm the negative relationship between TV and cognitive scores, but those correlations disappear once such idiosyncrasies as ambition, family structure and household income are considered.

For example, children whose parents aren’t motivated to help them with schoolwork are more likely to watch extra TV and score poorly on tests than children whose parents are ambitious about education. It’s these unobserved characteristics – not the effect of watching TV per se – that colours the results.

“We find that lowering a child’s hours of television isn’t going to be enough to substantively improve test scores,” says Munasib, whose study will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Economics of Education Review. “You have to replace it with something productive, such as learning and reading.”

Media literacy advocate Shari Graydon says the study confirms what conscientious critics have been saying for years.

“Parents who actively engage with their children’s cognitive development have a much stronger impact on developmental outcomes than the amount of screen time a child has,” says Graydon, a director at Media Action in Ottawa. “At the same time, the displacement factor remains an issue for anyone concerned about the broader development of a child.”

This sentiment is shared by Dr. Diane Sacks, a pediatrician for more than 30 years.

“The study itself looks well-done, and it does (establish) that kids can watch television and still have good reading and math skills,” says Sacks, past president of the Canadian Paediatric Society. “But the real issue is what kids aren’t doing when they’re watching TV. Who cares if my kid is the best reader or mathematician on the block if he’s lonely, asocial and obese?”

The most recent data, tracked by BBM Canada between Aug. 31, 2009 and April 4, 2010, finds kids age two to 11 spend an average 21.9 hours per week – or slightly more than three hours a day – in front of the television.

Munasib’s research affirms the significant role of both nature and nurture in these viewing trends, and in academic performance in general.

This finding is welcomed by children’s TV scholar Richard Graham, who feels television has for too long been the whipping boy for parental sins.

“It’s always been easier to blame pop culture than to blame ourselves. This study refutes the populist notion that what the kids are into has to be bad for them,” says Graham, an associate professor and media services librarian at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“It highlights the importance of well-specified research and the need to use contemporary techniques in order to avoid some of the misleading conclusions of earlier TV studies.”

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Economy in Texas, Oklahoma share link

Spears School News Staff
  (February 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm)

In economic matters, Oklahomans should generally root for Texas  growth, according to a recent study issued by the Oklahoma State University Center for Applied Economic Research.

The study shows the economic performance of Oklahoma  and Texas are linked by “undeniable trade flows” that trigger economic growth in the neighboring state.

The study shows that a hypothetical 1 percent increase in Texas region input, or gross domestic product, would likely result in a .08 percent increase in Oklahoma output. For Oklahoma’s economy, that is the equivalent of $56 million of additional output and 281.73 full-time equivalent jobs with an added payroll of $37 million.

A hypothetical 1 percent increase in the Oklahoma region’s gross domestic product could result in a .04 percent increase in Texas output, the study shows.

That boost to the Texas economy would be the equivalent of $173.7 million of additional output and 877.17 full-time equivalent jobs with an added payroll of $120 million.

Although the gross regional product of the Texas region is roughly 5.6 times more than the gross regional product of the Oklahoma region, the study shows that the interdependency between Oklahoma and Texas flows in both directions.

Kyle Dean, associated director for the OSU Economic Research Center, compared the economic competition between the Oklahoma City and Dallas areas to a sibling rivalry.

“You want your brother to do well, but sometimes you compete against your brother,” he said. “Dallas is like a sibling, I suppose, and we should root for Dallas when it’s appropriate and then sometimes we’re going to compete against Dallas and we should root for ourselves. Hopefully our futures will be brighter together versus the rest of the world.”

Dean said although the competition is healthy, there are many things that the two regions share, such as language, culture and an energy industrial base, and there are areas for cooperation between the two regions. A high-speed rail system is an example of a project where cooperation might benefit both regions, Dean said.

“That could help make our larger megaregion more productive fairly quickly,” he said.

The Interstate 35 corridor stretching from San Antonio through Oklahoma and to Kansas City is one of the nation’s largest megapolitan areas, and is among the fastest-growing, the study shows. As the nation’s population continues to migrate south and west, Dean said infrastructure projects that boost the entire region’s competitiveness will help the area assimilate a growing number of residents and place the region on a better footing with other large population centers worldwide.

Posted In: ECLS

Spears School expert: Cities and states must offer business incentives or risk losing new businesses

Spears School News Staff
  (October 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm)

This article originally was published in the Journal Record. Click here to read the original article.

TULSA – A New Jersey engine developer on Wednesday announced plans for a manufacturing plant in Miami, Okla., to the surprise and consternation of some state economic development officials.

Coates International of Wall Township, N.J., reported signing a joint venture for a $300 million bond offering to start two manufacturing and production facilities, one in Miami and one near its headquarters.

No timetable or method was disclosed for raising the money or launching the plants, which would build two proprietary products, the Coates CSRV Industrial Electric Power Natural Gas Generator and the 18 Wheeler Tractor Trailer Diesel CSRV Engine.

In a press release, the company said it had reached an agreement with the state of Oklahoma enabling it to qualify for up to $750 million in business and tax incentives.

Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Natalie Shirley said no such formal agreement exists.

The benefits quoted by Coates could represent potential savings calculated from sample formulas.

Coates also cited a deal with the state in an April letter to shareholders. That letter claimed the company had finalized an agreement with the Oklahoma secretary of commerce for a potential $787 million incentive package over 10 years.

In 2004, Coates said it had signed a letter of intent with a consortium to build an Oklahoma plant that would produce a spherical rotary-valve internal combustion engine invented by George J. Coates and his son Gregory.

Wednesday’s update addressed something Coates said it lacked in April: startup money. The company’s April report to investors said Oklahoma had not offered such funds, and that company officials intended to discuss that option with state leaders.

Potential misinformation or misconception reflects one danger of offering business incentive packages, said Russell Evans, director of the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business Center for Applied Economic Research.

“I think a certain amount of that is probably inevitable,” he said. “That’s the nature of a city like Oklahoma City, or any city, being in a position of having to take every (expanding business) inquiry seriously. You take them serious and by virtue of taking them serious, there’s always the chance that someone may exploit you.”

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce declined to make any official comment on Wednesday’s press release.

Judee Snodderly, executive director of the Miami Area Economic Development Service, said she was under a confidentiality agreement to not disclose any information.

“We cannot release any information at this time, due to the fact that it is strictly confidential,” Coates Executive Secretary Alicia Ansbach said via e-mail. “However, more press releases will be coming soon, so you can keep updated through the releases.”

Analysts said commenting on such problems could damage relations with expanding companies or stop a deal from happening. On the other hand, they said premature discussions of plants that never materialize may damage consumers, either through something as simple as crushed hopes to something far more serious, such as an onlooker or investor who acts on such news.

“I don’t think the larger companies tend to put such feelers out there,” said Tulsa securities analyst M. “Jake” Dollarhide. “They don’t often announce months or years ahead of time on what they intend to happen.”

Evans said the situation reflects the “prisoner’s dilemma game” all cities and states face. Either they offer business incentives that undercut their vital tax bases or they risk losing those businesses altogether.

“It’s absolutely a legitimate fear,” he said, pointing to the Mercury Marine operation Stillwater expects to lose in part over competitive incentives. “Everybody’s playing the correct strategy. But if there was some way to get every community in the United States to get together and not compete against each other anymore, we’d all be better off.”

Posted In: ECLS

Spears School’s Center for Applied Economic Research is now under new leadership

Spears School News Staff
  (August 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm)

This story originally appeared in the Stillwater NewsPress. Click here to read the original story.

The Spears School of Business Center for Applied Economic Research (CAER) at Oklahoma State University is pleased to announce the new leadership team of economists Russell Evans and Kyle Dean.

Evans joined the CAER in May and replaced Mark Snead as CAER director. Evans is an OSU graduate and is returning to the Spears School after spending a year as a faculty member at the University of Tulsa.

Having completed his graduate coursework in 2005, he and Dean formed a private economic consulting firm, Economic Impact Group, LLC, in Edmond, Okla., and they have continued working together ever since.

“I have enjoyed thoroughly the experiences acquired as a small business entrepreneur and hope to bring the same client-oriented approach to the center,” Evans said.

Dean also joined the CAER in May as the associate director and research economist.

He received his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Oklahoma in 1989. After spending 11 years working in telecommunications and networking, Dean came to OSU and earned a doctoral degree in economics. He specializes in economic modeling and regional analysis.

The core objectives of the CAER will be threefold: 1) offer support to state and local agencies consistent with OSU’s mission as a land grant institution, 2) contribute an objective voice to ongoing policy discussions around the state and 3) provide a training ground to young economists interested in applied research.

“While I look forward to an expanded role in the economic development and policy arena, the core offering of CAER will continue to be economic forecasting,” Evans said.

Evans said he is excited about his return to OSU and the future of the CAER.

“Above all, I hope our clients always find a friendly voice and a willing advisor when dealing with the CAER and our staff,” he said.

The Center for Applied Economic Research (CAER) is housed in the Spears School of Business and has a long-standing tradition of applying economic analysis to existing and proposed public policy measures, questions of business and government efficiency and effectiveness, and the issue of regional economic development and forecasting.

The CAER pursues an applied research program developed to contribute to the economic advancement of the state of Oklahoma and provide opportunities for faculty and students to engage in the theoretical analysis of public policy and the empirical estimation and forecasting of economic outcomes.

For more information about the CAER, contact Evans or Dean at 744-7405 or visit the CAER Web site at

Posted In: ECLS

Spears School economist: Energy could power Oklahoma economy through recession

Spears School News Staff
  (February 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm)

This story was originally published in the Oklahoman. Click here to read the original story.

Oklahoma’s energy sector will continue cushioning the state from severe effects of the national recession, an Oklahoma State University economist said Friday.

“Can Oklahoma ignore this recession?” asked Mark C. Snead, director of OSU’s Center for Applied Economic Research. “The answer is if it’s energy-driven, there’s a good, distinct possibility we can.”

Even if national job losses continue to mount for another year and oil and natural gas prices remain low, Oklahoma City likely would suffer only small job losses, Snead said.

“If you can go through the worst economic conditions since 1981-82 with half-a-percent job loss, you are living and working in a great place,” Snead said during a luncheon sponsored by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. “Even another leg downward is not enough, based on our view of the state and the region, to bring you down to national conditions or create crisis conditions.”

Snead said Forbes magazine’s selection of Oklahoma City as the nation’s most recession-proof was “pretty prescient.” The Oklahoma City area’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest among 49 metropolitan areas with 1 million residents, Snead said.

Oklahoma did not lose jobs during severe national recessions in the mid 1970s and early 1980s. Only after the oil prices collapsed in 1982 did major job losses occur in Oklahoma.

“What was the difference? It was an energy cycle.” Snead said.

On the down side, the area’s housing market has slowed while unemployment has grown and the energy sector retrenched. Oklahoma City’s manufacturing sector remains weak, Snead said.

While Oklahoma City should experience no job losses this year, a larger risk exists for job losses in 2010, Snead said. However, if energy prices rebound even a small amount, the state is poised “to start humming again,” he said.

Snead’s 2009 forecast for Oklahoma City includes 0.2 percent job growth, a 4.5 percent rise in taxable retail sales and a 3.6 percent hike in nominal personal income.

Job growth, retail sales and other metrics show Oklahoma has not yet been hard hit by the national recession that has been underway for more than a year, Snead said.

“This is a severe recession,” he said. “It’s going to be a big one.”

The chief economist for JPMorgan Private Client Services, also speaking Friday in Oklahoma City, said his group is advising clients to invest in oil, credit and some gold.

Low oil prices reflect the worldwide economic slump, Chan said, but strong fiscal and monetary stimulus should reverse that trend. JPMorgan is advising its private clients to buy exposure to oil when spot prices dip below $40 a barrel, Chan said.

Chan is forecasting positive economic growth in the third quarter of this year.

Posted In: ECLS

Jobs loss data doubted: Tulsa’s economic outlook may be rosier than current numbers indicate

Spears School News Staff
  (December 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm)

Story originally published in the Tulsa World. Click here to read the original story.

TULSA – Mark Snead of Oklahoma State University says that while the official forecast for Tulsa is a 0.2 percent decrease in jobs in 2009, it actually could turn out to be a gain of 0.2 percent.

In March 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting a significant change in arts, education and hospitality jobs. In the next revision, last March, the numbers got even worse.

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Posted In: ECLS

J.P. Morgan economist parallels Spears School economist’s economic forecast

Spears School News Staff
  (December 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm)

Originally published in the Journal Record. Click here to read the original story.

TULSA – Noted J.P. Morgan chief economist Anthony Chan said the national recession could bottom out within six to nine months – paralleling forecasts by Oklahoma State University economist Mark Snead, who based his positive state, Oklahoma City and Tulsa outlooks on a projected 2009 turnaround.

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Posted In: ECLS

Two ECLS students selected as 2008 Oklahoma State University Outstanding Seniors

Spears School News Staff
  (October 22, 2008 at 2:04 pm)

Economics and Legal Studies in Business students Matthew Carter and Aaron Wilson received the Oklahoma State University Outstanding Senior Award in 2008. The OSU Alumni Association presents the Outstanding Senior Awards to students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service to campus and community and have brought distinction to Oklahoma State University.

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Posted In: ECLS

Bimini Mortgage Management, Inc. Announces Management Promotions

Spears School News Staff
  (May 16, 2008 at 9:52 am)

VERO BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 29, 2005–Bimini Mortgage Management, Inc. (NYSE:BMM), a real estate investment trust that invests primarily in residential mortgage-related securities, today announced management promotions. George H. Haas IV (age 29) has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Head of Mortgage Research and Trading. Amber K. Luedke, CPA, (age 28) has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Treasurer.

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Posted In: ECLS

MSU economics researcher honored for career achievements

Spears School News Staff
  (May 16, 2008 at 9:49 am)

STARKVILLE, Miss.–A Mississippi State professor and administrator travels to Texas early next month to formally receive a national tribute for his contributions to economic education research.

Paul W. Grimes, head of the university’s finance and economics department, is the National Council on Economic Education’s 2005 selection for its Henry H. Villard Research Award.

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Posted In: ECLS

OSU alumnus insists education important to his success

Spears School News Staff
  (June 27, 2003 at 12:00 am)

Some years ago, Dr. Edwin G. Gutierrez quit his job and earned his doctorate at Oklahoma State University against the advice of his supervisors in the corporate world. Over the course of his career, he has grown accustomed to refusing such well-intended advice in order to get the educational background he felt was necessary to expand his job opportunities.

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Posted In: ECLS