Welcome to Newsroom@ The Boyd Center, the eNewsletter of the Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research in the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

A Note from Our Director

The past six months have brought considerable change to the Boyd Center. 

First, of course, was our naming as the Boyd Center in recognition of Randy and Jenny Boyd and their important investment in the center's work. We continue to be ecstatic about being linked with a family that is the epitome of integrity and entrepreneurship.

Second, is the replacement of Betty Drinnen, who retired after many years of service, and Carrie Baker McCamey, who accepted a new opportunity after being a part of the center for many years. We were sorry to see both talented people leave, but are excited to have Brittany Blair and Lydia McCoy join the team. Each brings unique skills and experiences that make us better.

Our level of achievement is also changing, but continuously for the better. A look through the newsletter demonstrates a sample of what the Boyd Center's faculty and staff have accomplished recently.

Bill Fox
Director, Boyd Center

Boyd Center, WVU to Study Coal Demand in Appalachia

Researchers from the Boyd Center, the Center for Transportation Research in the Tickle College of Engineering and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy are partnering with researchers from West Virginia University to study the consequences of falling coal demand on the Appalachian region.

The research and partnership is being made possible thanks to $349,999 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

"This represents a significant opportunity to draw upon the economic development expertise of the university to address a pressing challenge," said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center and associate director of the Boyd Center. "Partnering with West Virginia University adds to the team's capabilities and places the project in the center of coal country."

The grant is one of 42 awards totaling nearly $28 million from the Obama administration's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative to stimulate economic growth and opportunity in communities that have historically relied on the coal industry.
This year, the POWER initiative has invested $66.3 million in 71 projects to diversify local and regional economies by retraining coal industry workers in 15 states for jobs in agriculture, technology, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and other industries.
The UT and WVU research project also will look at trends in coal production, transportation and coal-based power generation to determine how the coal industry downturn might impact freight rail, barge and truck transportation.
"Some regions of Appalachia are now facing depression-level economic conditions as the demand for coal wanes, and economic conditions can be expected to deteriorate further," Murray said. "We hope that our work allows the people and coal regions of Appalachia to more quickly adapt to the changing economic climate."
The project should be completed in June 2017.
Fox, Murray: 
Tennessee Economy will Continue to Grow

The Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research held its first economic forecasting luncheon in September at the downtown Knoxville Marriott.

Bill Fox, Boyd Center director, and Matt Murray, Boyd Center associate director, told the crowd of nearly 200 business members that Tennessee is in a good fiscal position and its economy is expected to continue to grow in 2017.

According to Fox and Murray, Tennessee is among the top 10 states in the nation in terms of economic momentum and one of the fastest in growth. The state has also consistently grown faster than national averages in job growth over the past several years, while its unemployment rate is now below the national rate. 

Boyd Center Director Bill Fox and Associate Director Matt Murray speak with Commissioner Burn Phillips and members of his staff at the Boyd Center's first economic forecasting luncheon held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Knoxville in September.
Boyd Center Welcomes Enda Hargaden

When he became a teenager, Enda Patrick Hargaden began to wonder about why some countries were richer than others and why the cost of popcorn at the movie theater was so much more than when you buy it at the grocery store.

The curiosity, ultimately, led him into economic research.

"One of the standard questions of economics is how prices get set," he said. "I didn't really see myself as a numbers guy...but I was interested in this important question and how people make decisions."

Hargaden, an assistant professor of economics with the Haslam College of Business, is the newest faculty researcher at the Boyd Center. From Ireland, he earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan in 2016 and previously studied at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

Hargaden's research has looked at whether people evade paying taxes more or less during a recession. The results - tax avoidance goes down in a recession. He is currently researching the effects when there are clashes in the taxing structure between employers and employees in Ireland.

The Boyd Center's research was a big draw for Hargaden.

"The Boyd Center's focus on policy is a huge attraction to any applied economist," he said. "Rather than doing obscure economic theory, the Boyd Center has a focus on real world policy. I'm very interested in applying the insights from economics to real world policy."

He added another plus of the Boyd Center is its research is helping to inform decisions in the state's government.

"People often think that academics are stuck in the ivory tower and there's a lot of truth in that sometimes," he said. "That's simply not true in the Boyd Center. The government does ask for our help and our advice and we do give them cutting edge research that helps them improve policy."

When Hargaden's not gathering and analyzing data, he spends his time playing guitar and soccer. He has also joined the Knoxville Gaelic Athletic Club, which plays the game of hurling - the fastest sport on grass which is similar to lacrosse.
Brittany Blair
Lydia McCoy
New Boyd Center Staff

The Boyd Center would also like to welcome Brittany Blair and Lydia McCoy to its staff.

Blair, the center's Business Manager, joined the staff in May. She moved to Knoxville from Kentucky, where she had served for five years as the Budget Analyst and Deputy Director for the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program in Harlan County. Blair is a native Kentuckian, and attended Western Kentucky University where she received her bachelor's degree in marketing. She is excited to call Tennessee, and especially UT, her new home.    

McCoy, the center's Communications Coordinator, joined the staff in August. Before joining the Boyd Center she was a newspaper reporter for nearly 15 years, working for several publications including the Knoxville News Sentinel, where she covered education and breaking news, and the Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana. Originally from Little Rock, Ark., McCoy received her journalism degree from Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and has a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Left to right: Don Bruce, Boyd Center professor; Bill Fox, Boyd Center director and Lynn Youngs, director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation on the sidelines of the UT vs. Texas A&M football game on Oct. 8.
'Coach Fox'

Boyd Center Director Bill Fox got the opportunity to be an honorary coach for the UT vs. Texas A&M football game in College Station, Texas on Oct. 8. 

As part of the honor, Fox participated in the behind the scene activities of the game including touring the athletics facilities, sitting in the quarterback's meeting and meeting Coach Butch Jones. Fox also traveled with the team to Texas and experienced the game from the sidelines.

He was joined by Lynn Youngs, director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Sharing the experience in a university video, Fox said his time as an honorary coach was fascinating and what stood out the most were the people he met.

"We got to spend time with Coach Jones, and obviously he's an amazing guy, but (there is) a whole team of people who are leading this and making things happen in the athletic program," he said.

Fox also noted his tour of the athletic facilities.

"The team room was just amazing when we went in there...I wasn't expecting such a big room," he said. "So absolutely the resources are first class and being operated by first class people."

Follow the link to see the full video of Fox and Youngs' weekend as honorary coaches. Link

Ross Davis and Andy Hait, with the U.S. Census Bureau, stop for a photo with Melissa Stefanini, Tennessee State Data Center director, at this year's annual Data Users Conference in Knoxville.
SDC Data Users Conference a Success

National experts from the U.S. Census Bureau were in Knoxville in November to share information with nearly 100 participants about the upcoming 2020 Census, as well as, new data tools.

The 2016 Data Users Conference, sponsored by the Tennessee State Data Center, took place on Nov. 18 at the downtown Hilton Hotel.

The SDC is the clearinghouse for all state census information. It is housed in the Boyd Center within UT's Haslam College of Business.

Participant's heard from Census and local experts on a number of topics including updates on the census business builder tool, local employment dynamics data tools and the bureau's new interface for data dissemination.

Bill Fox, Boyd Center director, also delivered a state economic overview.

"We were very pleased with the turnout and the attendee engagement with the speakers/topics," said Melissa Stefanini, the data center's director. "We hope all who participated will take the information home and can use it in their respective day to day activities."

 Boyd Center Business Manager Brittany Blair puts the finishing touches on a University of Tennessee-themed Christmas tree that faculty and staff decorated for the East Tennessee Children's Hospital's annual Tiny Trees project. The purpose of the project is to provide little Christmas trees to children's (and teenagers) rooms for the holidays. When the child is discharged, they will get to take the tree home with them.

Holidays from 
the Boyd Center!

In This Issue
Faculty News & Selected Recent Publications
Don Bruce spoke on a panel in September that advised presidential candidates Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on what they should know about business taxes if elected. The panel, part of a conference convened by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 14.
Don Bruce was published in Social Sciences & Medicine in September. His paper, "Do Racial Inequities in Infant Morality Correspond to Variations in Societal Conditions? A Study of State-Level Income Inequality in the United States, 1992-2007," was co-authored with Paul Erwin, with the University of Tennessee and Arjumand Siddiqi and Marcella Jones, both of the University of Toronto, Canada.  
Celeste Carruthers spoke about her research on the Tennessee Promise and the privately funded programs that came before it at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Policy Conference in Pittsburgh in August. She also discussed her research in September at the West Point U.S. Military Academy. Her talk was to the the academy's economics faculty and also included information about adult returns to technical education. 

On Oct. 26, Celeste Carruthers attended the final Community College Convening at the White House complex in Washington, D.C. The invitation-only event highlighted local, state and national programs aimed at increasing affordable access to community college. Attendees included college administrators, policymakers, elected officials, advocates, students and researchers like Carruthers. The event included a reception at the Vice President Joe Biden's residence with remarks by him and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Celeste Carruthers and Umut Ozek, of the American Institutes for Research, published their paper, "Losing HOPE: Financial aid and the line between college and work," in the Economics of Education Review in April.

Celeste Carruthers and Bill Fox were published in the Economics of Education Review journal in August. The paper was entitled "Aid for All: College coaching, financial aid and post-secondary persistence in Tennessee." 

T. Russell Crook had his paper "Entrepreneurial team composition characteristics and new venture performance: A meta-analysis," published in Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. The paper, co-authored with Franz W. Kellermanns of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Linlin Jin and Jing Xi, of the University of China, Kristen Madison, of Mississippi State and Nils D. Kraiczy of the University of Bern, looked at the diversity of top management teams and new venture performance.
Bill Fox, and former University of Tennessee graduate student and now associate professor of Economics at Robert Morris University, Zhou Yang, presented their paper, "Destination Taxation: Road to Economic Success?," at the National Bureau of Economic Research conference in Cambridge, Mass., in May. The paper has also been published in the National Tax Journal.
Bill Fox was the keynote speaker for a conference in Cairo, Egypt hosted by the Minister of Local Government for Egypt in June. Fox highlighted where the country should go with policy transition to a more decentralized government and the benefits of decentralization in his talk.
Bill Fox published the paper "Taxes in E-Commerce Generation," in the International Tax and Public Finance in September. He co-authored the report with David Agrawal of the University of Kentucky.

Leann Luna received the 2016 Best Paper Award by Emerald Publishers for her paper, "Does College Savings Plan Performance Matter?," which was published in Advances in Taxation. Below she is presented the award by Danny Overstreet of Emerald Publishing.

Leann Luna and Matthew Murray published the paper, "State General Business Taxation One More Time: CIT, GRT or VAT?," in the National Tax Journal. The paper examined corporate tax policy in Connecticut.

Boyd Graduate Assistant Jinseong Park presented the paper, "Crowd Control: The Department of Defense 1033 Program and Local Government Spending," at the National Tax Association Conference in Baltimore in November. The paper was co-authored with Don Bruce, Celeste Carruthers, Matthew Harris and Matthew Murray.

For more information about Boyd Center projects and publications, click
Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research | 865-974-5441 | boydcenter@utk.edu | 
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Knoxville, TN 37996-0570