College

C O L L E G E  N E W S

Noteworthy

ACCOUNTANCY

In January, Ira Solomon, KPMG Distinguished Professor of Accountancy, received an award from the American Accounting Association Auditing Section, for Chairman of the 1999 Outstanding Auditing Dissertation. The dissertation was written by Jay Rich, a recent graduate of the doctoral program.

Dan Stone, associate professor of accountancy, has joined the editorial board of the International Journal of Accounting Information Systems. With co-authors Ben Wier (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Jim Hunton (University of South Florida), Stone has also recently had two papers accepted for publication in Accounting, Organizations and Society.

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Steven Michael, assistant professor of business administration, was invited to attend the Outstanding Young Scholars in Entrepreneurship Retreat, a three-day meeting sponsored by the Journal of Business Venturing, University of Virginia, and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, and held in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Mike Pratt, assistant professor of business administration, received a Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Journal for his work "Managing the Formation of Virtual Team Categories and Prototypes by Managing Information: A SIT/SCT Perspective." Co-authored with David Brandon, a doctoral student in speech communication at Illinois, the paper was recognized by the academy's Managerial and Cognition Interest Group. Pratt has also recently been named to the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science.

ECONOMICS

Lee J. Alston, professor of economics and political science, has accepted a two-year appointment on the Review Panel for Economics of the National Science Foundation.

Werner Baer, professor of economics, has, together with Joseph Love of the Department of History at Illinois, received a grant of $400,000 from the Hewlett Foundation to promote research and educational exchanges with Brazilian Universities. In December, Baer was also informed that the faculty of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa's, in Lisbon, Portugal, voted unanimously to grant him an honorary degree (Doctor Honoris Causa). The degree, which is the third such honor for Baer, will be presented at a ceremony in Lisbon in May.

Jan Brueckner, IBE Distinguished Professor of Economics, received a $15,000 research award from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy for
a study on "Tax Increment Financing." The study was completed in December.

Kevin Hallock, assistant professor of economics and labor and industrial relations, has been awarded the Albert Rees Prize for the Most Outstanding Princeton Dissertation in Labor Economics in the Past Six Years. The prize was given for his doctoral dissertation, titled "Essays in Empirical Labor Economics." Established in 1997, the prize is presented every two years to a dissertation which must have been published within the preceding six years.

Roger Koenker has received a three-year, $184,919 grant from the National Science Foundation, for funding of his research on quantile regression. Koenker is the William B. McKinley Professor in Economics and Public Utilities at CBA.

Walter McMahon, professor emeritus of economics, has received a Spencer Foundation Grant of $57,500 for research on "Measuring the Returns to Higher Education."

The National Science Foundation has given a $225,000 grant to Larry Neal, professor of economics, and co-investigators Lance David of Cal Tech and Eugene White of Rutgers to fund a three-year study on the development of the microstructure of securities markets. Neal, who is professor of economics and director of the European Union Center on the Illinois campus, is president of the Economic History Association and recently concluded a term as president of the Business History Society.

Elizabeth T. Powers, assistant professor of economics, has been presented with the Arnold O. Beckman Award, which is given by the Research Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for projects of special distinction, special promise, or special resource value. Made in May, the award was given for her project "Child Disability and Maternal Labor Force Participation."

FINANCE

Stephen D'Arcy has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Casualty Actuarial Society. A professor of finance and member of the CBA faculty since 1981, D'Arcy was also recently honored as the John C. Brogan Faculty Scholar in Risk Management and Insurance. 

The Office of Real Estate Research has received a three-year grant totaling $30,000 from the Mortgage Bankers Association, in support of its quarterly publication The Illinois Real Estate Letter.

Appointments

Hamish Gow comes to the Illinois campus with a joint appointment in the Departments of Business Administration and Agricultural and Consumer Economics. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics from Cornell and has also been a research associate for the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Economics at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, where he held a fellowship from the European Union. He did undergraduate work in New Zealand at Otago and Lincoln Universities, graduating from the latter with a bachelor of commerce in accounting and finance. He has taught at the University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slovakia, and has worked in the hospitality and car rental industries, served with the New Zealand Army, and trained as a pilot with the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Gow's teaching and research interests include: behavioral, managerial, and investment decision-making; corporate finance and governance; entrepreneurship; emerging and transition economies; international market entry strategies; and rural financial markets.

Media Spotlight

Gannet News Service cited work by Dan Bernhardt, IBE Distinguished Professor of Economics, in a November 8 article about ATM charges. Research by Bernhardt has shown that over 80 percent of the nation's 300 largest banks set ATM surcharges, with an average fee of $1.35 per transaction. Only about 67 percent of smaller banks impose surcharges, with an average fee of $1.16.

Marianne Ferber, professor emerita of economics, was quoted by The London Free Press in a November 15 article about how women have begun asking for — and getting —more flexible schedules in their jobs. "People of my generation — I'm 76 years old — assumed if you got a job and did it well, you stayed there forever," she observed in the piece, which the Free Press picked up from Knight Ridder. "But today, a well trained young woman says, `If you won't give me the terms I want, I'm going elsewhere.'"

On Sunday, November 21, The New York Times cited a study by finance faculty members Josef Lakonishok and Louis Chan and Theodore Sougiannis, accountancy, in an article on how research spending affects stock value — which is, apparently, not at all. Using data from 1975 to 1995, the study shows that the three-year annualized return from companies spending money on R&D was "statistically indistinguishable" from the return on others. Lakonishok, Chan and Sougiannis did find that, among companies that trade at low price-to-book multiples (and are therefore often considered value stocks), those investing heavily in R&D outperformed those that didn't by nearly 8 percentage points. Times writer Mark Hulbert noted: "Evidently, the stock market fails to recognize that when management of such companies spends big amounts on research, it is a bullish signal."

Work on job frustration by Greg Oldham and Benjamin Gordon, first reported in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, got picked up by The Chronicle of Higher Education for the October 1 issue. Oldham, who is the C. Clinton Spivey Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Gordon, a doctoral candidate in labor and industrial relations, used federally financed surveys from 1992 and 1982 to make the case that people are more apt to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or smoke marijuana when their jobs are a poor match for their cognitive abilities. This appears true both for people who score low on cognitive tests and hold complex jobs, and those who score higher and hold simple jobs. By contrast, Oldham and Gordon found no relationship between cocaine use and a mismatch of workers' cognitive abilities with job demands.

Brian Wansink, who has steadily been garnering attention for the work in his Brands Lab, managed to make a few more media splashes before 1999 finally was over — then went on to a mention in USA Today in 2000. After attracting prime-time attention last April for his work on portion distortion (see InSight, spring 1999), the marketing prof made the front page of the Wall Street Journal on December 2, in an above-the-fold item about his research on "castaways" — comestibles (comprising up to 12 percent of the goods consumers bring home) that never get used and are eventually thrown away. Wansink's seemingly counterintuitive finding is that only around 2 percent of castaways are impulse purchases. The majority — up to 63 percent — are bought for a special event that never comes off. Featured on the academic front in the December issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Wansink's research also enlivened the familiar pages of Champaign's News-Gazette, which ran a photo of the prof surrounded by such esoteric products as Aqua Velva after-shave and Armour's beef brains — in the economy-size can, of course. And on January 10, 2000, this same research garnered the attention of USA Today.