recently published study of economic education research productivity
ranks The University of Southern Mississippi’s economics department
in the top 100 of universities worldwide.
Southern Miss tied for 86th place with Boston University
and Florida State University, among others, in the study that ranked
416 institutions based on their economics departments’ contributions
to the Journal of Economic Education (JEE), a leading economics
Vanderbilt University in Nashville is the top-ranked
school in the study based on the number of articles published, followed
by the University of Nebraska and Purdue University.
Melody Lo and Sunny Wong, both assistant professors
of economics at Southern Miss, authored the study “Ranking
Institutions Based on Economic Education Scholarship” that
is included in the new book Shaping the Learning Curve: Essays on
Economic Education, edited by Frank Mixon, professor of economics
at Southern Miss.
The researchers examined more than 950 articles published
in 114 issues of the JEE, starting from the first issue in 1969
and ending with the third issue of the 35th volume in 2004. They
computed rankings based on the number of articles published as well
as the number of pages devoted to the articles.
According to Lo and Wong, this study constructs a
new ranking of economics departments worldwide, based on the department’s
contributions to knowledge about teaching economics.
“We use the research contribution to
economic education literature as a proxy for teaching innovation
(in economics). Much of the research in economic education is related
to the effectiveness and innovations in economic teaching. As such,
we assume that schools with greater contributions to the economic
education literature have a comparative advantage in teaching economics,”
said Lo and Wong in their study.
The Lo-Wong study is one of 11 chapters in the book
that is published by iUniverse. Four other chapters are also authored
by Southern Miss professors, including Mixon. The book is targeted
to teachers at the high school and collegiate level and is divided
into three sections: research, teaching and content, and the sociology
of economic education.
Other Southern Miss authors and their chapters include
- “Have You Seen the New Econ Prof?
Beauty, Teaching, and Occupational Choice in Higher Education,”
by Trellis Green, Frank Mixon and Len Trevino (Washington State
- “Teaching Economic Development as
a Part of International Economics: A Survey of Methods and a Suggested
Pedagogy,” by W. Charles Sawyer and Richard L. Sprinkle
(University of Texas-El Paso)
- “Intraindustry Trade: A More Intuitive
Metric,” by H. Tyrone Black
- “Bracketology 101: Using Sports to
Apply Probabilistic Concepts from Elementary Econometrics,”
by Frank Mixon and Michael Withers (Mississippi State University)
“We have individuals in the field at
Southern Miss who have added to what we know about the delivery
of economic education. They have been productive in researching
methods of teaching and ideas to improve instruction in economics,”
said Mixon, who also serves on the board of editors for the Journal
of Economics and Finance Education.
“In the past several years, the scholarship
of teaching economics has become more of a focus in the discipline,
and our college economists have stayed current with this trend.
The level of expertise we have in the College of Business is a contributing
factor in our recent launch of the Center for Economic Education,”
said Dr. Harold Doty, dean.