Author: Raquel Frye

RESI Welcomes Todd Metcalfe

The Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University (RESI) welcomed Todd Metcalfe as senior economist last month. Todd brings a diverse background and experience in economic and policy analysis to his current role. Most recently he worked on an econometric study to calculate the changes in generation due to fuel switching resulting from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). From these changes he was able to estimate the health benefits of RGGI. “Todd’s background and expertise in environmental policy and economics really enhances our team’s ability to do innovative and complex analysis for our projects,” said Rachel Frye, managing...

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#StudentExperience: Karter Seamonson

We are back with another #StudentExperience blog post, where we highlight the hardworking students who work within the Division of Innovation and Applied Research at Towson University. Karter is a senior studying economics at Towson University. He has been supporting the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) as a research intern. In his role, he provides research for various projects, including researching the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). “I gathered various economic data for each MSA and found data for each MSA’s NFL team (if they had one),” said Karter. “It was rewarding to create a large excel spreadsheet...

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The Economics of Company Culture

Ah, company culture. It seems to be one of those fiercely contested topics in the business community, particularly because it’s so difficult to quantify and define. MIT Sloan School of Management Professor E. H. Schein defines company culture as: “The set of shared, taken-for-granted implicit assumptions that a group holds and that determines how it perceives, thinks about, and reacts to its various environments.” Most people do agree that company culture can have a strong influence on a company’s economic performance. Organizational psychologists have been studying the effects of companies that thrive on cut-throat, high-pressure environments to drive their...

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#StudentExperience: Sean Placide

We are back with another #StudentExperience blog post, where we highlight the hardworking students who work within the Division of Innovation and Applied Research at Towson University. Sean is a senior studying project management and business analysis at Towson University. He has been supporting the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) as a research intern performing research, data analysis, and writing in support of client deliverables. He also provides database maintenance on economic and demographic data; organizes, prepares, and enters data from a variety of sources/entities; and supports RESI’s full-time staff with data/research tasks for diverse projects. “The biggest thing...

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The Zombie Economy

A couple months back, I wrote about the 20th Annual Economic Outlook Conference (EOC) hosted by the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University. Now that this year’s EOC has passed, I want to update you on some of the highlights. The theme, Conscious Capitalism: The Economics of Doing Good, seemed to really resonate with many of our attendees, and that was really reassuring for me. Having the opportunity to hear about companies and company structures that do not just focus on profits was a fresh way to think about corporate America. I really hope it’s a trend...

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2015 Economic Outlook Conference — Conscious Capitalism: The Economics of Doing Good

Things are starting to heat up around the RESI office as preparations are underway for this year’s Economic Outlook Conference (EOC), which will take place at Towson University on November 17. This year’s EOC theme is “Conscious Capitalism: The Economics of Doing Good.” I thought that the blog would be a perfect platform to touch on the topic prior to the event. What Is Conscious Capitalism? You may be already wondering, “What exactly is Conscious Capitalism?” The tagline on the Conscious Capitalism website states that “Conscious Capitalism exists to elevate humanity.” Well then, that certainly is a tall order....

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College Affordability: An Encouraging Tale

Most of the time when articles are written about college affordability, they tend to focus on the negative aspects. Given the surplus of bad information, this is not entirely surprising. As a glass half-full type of person, I thought it was due time for some uplifting information. Two weeks ago, Stanford made an exciting announcement. The University said that tuition would be entirely free for students whose parents make less than $125,000 per year (this was $25,000 higher than the previous threshold). The school also announced that room and board would be free for students whose parents make less...

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The 2014 EOC Conference: It’s Five O’clock Somewhere

We are once again busy preparing for this year’s Economic Outlook Conference. In past blog posts, I’ve written about all the work it takes to put together the outlook presentation and the extremely important part that students play in helping us put the event together. This year marks the ninth conference that I have been a part of. However, this year’s conference has the special distinction of being my very favorite one yet. I feel as though I have to preface that statement by saying that it has nothing to do with the conference-sponsored happy hour we hosted two weeks ago. In fact, this year’s theme, “The Economic Impact of Craft Brewing in Maryland,” is proving to be even more interesting than I expected. In preparation for the event, we have been learning a little more about the craft brewing industry. For example, there’s a big decision to make when deciding whether or not to can or bottle the brew. There’s also a difficult trademark process, and cease and desist letters are commonplace. These are just a few of the topics that the panel will be covering. I’ve also learned that there are jobs such as Chief Economist at the National Beer Wholesalers Association (Where did I go wrong in my career?). This year’s speakers are a diverse group of individuals with varied knowledge in the industry. We have...

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Hosting The Olympic Games: Is it Worth the Investment?

The winter and summer Olympic Games encompass significant work on behalf of the host cities. Before the Olympic Games begin, construction activity and preparation occur years in advance. One of the most frequently asked question once the Games are done is, “does the time and money invested to host the Olympic Games really benefit the host country?” One can assume that, aside from the pride gained in hosting, countries are expecting some benefit from their investment. The 2014 winter Olympic Games were hosted in Sochi, Russia, home to 343,000 citizens. This year’s host country invested significantly in the opening...

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The Minimum Wage Debate

As the legislative session marches on, Maryland lawmakers and supporters are proposing to raise the minimum wage.  A number of bills have been introduced that increase the minimum wage to as high as $12.50 per hour.  At the current minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, a full-time worker would bring home approximately $15,000 a year—well below the poverty line of $23,050 for a family of four that is currently set by the federal government. The minimum wage is one of the topics that economists most like to debate and theorize about. For instance, the traditional model of economics explains that, in a market where supply and demand maximize employment, an artificial increase in the wage rate (such as an increase of minimum wage) will reduce employment. Alternatively, other theories posit that increased wages translate to more spending and therefore more demand for goods services—driving the demand for employment upward. Other theories look at it from the supply side of the equation. The belief is that, when workers are earning better wages, they will be encouraged to work harder and be more productive. The extra cost incurred by businesses for higher rates will be offset by increased productivity and output. The ultimate impact will vary since labor markets each have their unique characteristics. The true impact of wage increases will vary by geographic location, type of industry, and labor...

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