Domenici Fellows Program
One of the goals of the Domenici Institute is to lead New Mexico, the borderlands, and the region in providing evidence-based public policy recommendations. To that end, the Institute has developed the Domenici Fellows Program to provide financial support for researchers to conduct specific, directed research in areas of strategic interest to the Institute.
The following New Mexico State University faculty members have been selected as recipients of the Summer 2012 Domenici Fellows Program:
Christopher A. Erickson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business
Dr. Erickson will seek to estimate the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 on local economic development. Because ARRA expenditures are determined exogenous to local economic conditions, the stimulus plan provides a natural experiment to study fiscal policy impact. The spending associated with ARRA represents a relatively unique circumstance in that the expenditure occurred at a time during which the economy was in a sharp contraction and monetary policy was especially accommodating, thus providing a particularly pure test of the use of activist fiscal policy.
About Dr. Erickson:
Dr. Christopher Erickson is an associate professor in the field of economics with specialties in macroeconomics, monetary theory and regional economics. He has further interest in the role of asymmetric information in economic development. Erickson received a bachelor's degree in economics from Willamette University in 1980 and a Ph.D. in economics from Arizona State University in 1989. He joined the faculty of NMSU's College of Business in 1987. Erickson's main teaching interest lies in the area of economic development. Since 1993, he has maintained a forecasting model of the New Mexico economy. Erickson has lectured in Mexico, India and the United States and frequently speaks before civic organizations and business groups.
Julie Steinkopf Rice, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Dr. Steinkopf Rice will examine how a community's assets are being utilized by individuals seeking to start their own business. The approach she will be using differs from a needs-based approach, which focus upon a community's lack of resources and consequently seeks outside assistance to address these needs. She will be conducting interviews throughout Las Cruces to identify the extent to which local assets are being used, with an emphasis upon differences based upon race, ethnicity and gender. Her findings will include both stories from local entrepreneurs, as well as using social network analysis to diagram the use of community assets.
About Dr. Steinkopf Rice:
Dr. Julie Steinkopf Rice joined NMSU's Sociology Department in 2008 after receiving her Ph.D. from Washington State University. Her research interests include economic globalization, alternative trade relations and community-based economic exchanges. Her emphasis within these areas is to examine ways economic exchanges can be made more equitable and sustainable. She has published in a variety of scholarly journals, including Critical Sociology and Sustainable Development.
Harikumar Sankaran, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Finance Department
Violeta Diaz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Finance Department
The U.S.-Mexico border region is in a dire need of improving the strategic infrastructural needs that has resulted from an unprecedented increase in population growth since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in January 1994. Despite the financial assistance provided by the U.S. and Mexico governments through established bi-national agencies such as the North American Development Bank, there is still a need for more innovative financing schemes that have the potential to tap the capital markets. Dr. Sankaran and Dr. Diaz are collaborating with Dr. Salvador Espinosa, assistant professor, School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University, to evaluate bi-national financing mechanisms to address the overall policy initiative of improving the infrastructural needs of the border region.
About Drs. Sankaran and Diaz:
Dr. Harikumar Sankaran is an associate professor of finance and a Wells Fargo Distinguished Professor in the College of Business at NMSU since 2002. He received his Ph.D. from University of Houston in 1987 and started his academic career at the University of Miami, Fla. In 1991, he joined the faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he became a tenured full professor. Sankaran's research areas include agency theory and corporate debt, options and incentives, and market efficiency. His interests include executive compensation, investment incentives and corporate capital structure. Currently, his research is in the investments area of finance, where he is empirically evaluating asset pricing models, extreme correlation and volatility across major indices and the market efficiency around Dow Jones milestones. He has presented his research at several national and international conferences and has received College of Business faculty awards for teaching and research. His research is cited widely and has been published in academic journals such as Journal of Financial Research, Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance and Journal of Business Finance and Accounting.
Dr. Violeta Diaz is an assistant professor and the banking program coordinator in the finance department. Previously, she was an instructor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, and at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Diaz received her doctorate in business administration and finance at the University of Texas-Pan American. Her research interests include financial markets and institutions, banking efficiency, Mexican banking and workers' remittances.
Daniel S. Scheller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Government
Dr. Scheller will examine the effects of merging city and county governments on economic development. This study will attempt to determine if and how government mergers attract new businesses to cities. He will examine merged city-counties with similar counties that do not have merged governments.
About Dr. Scheller:
Dr. Daniel Scheller earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Hanover College in 2005. He completed graduate studies at Florida State University, where he earned a master's degree (2006) and a Ph.D. (2010) in political science. As a graduate student, Scheller was awarded the DeVoe Moore Dissertation Fellowship at Florida State University and the Byron Hanke Fellowship from the Community Associations Institute to study neighborhood and homeowner associations. Scheller joined the NMSU Department of Government in August 2011. His research interests include urban politics and public policy, neighborhood and homeowner associations and their effect on property values and neighborhood development, and home foreclosures.
Larry Tunnell, Ph.D.
Professor, Accounting & Information Systems Department
Anthony V. Popp, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Economics, Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business
The domestic production activities deduction (DPAD) is a tax break for domestic producers that was enacted to provide a tax incentive for manufacturers to locate in the U.S., rather than in other countries. Drs. Tunnell and Popp will investigate various effects of the domestic production activities deduction, including which industries are favored by the DPAD and which states are more affected by the DPAD. In addition, they will evaluate the effectiveness of the DPAD in offsetting unemployment by analyzing whether the states more affected by the DPAD also have higher unemployment rates. Finally, they will examine what the tax treatments of the DPAD for state tax purposes are in the various states and whether the various state tax rates might be affecting the usefulness of the DPAD in those states.
About Drs. Tunnell and Popp:
Dr. Larry Tunnell received his bachelor's and master's in accounting from the University of Texas at Arlington. After working in the tax department of the Dallas office of Ernst and Young, he went on to get his Ph.D. in accounting at Oklahoma State University. He is a co-author of a book on partnership taxation, and is co-author of five continuing education courses for the American Institute of CPAs. He is the author of numerous tax articles in journals such as the Journal of Accountancy and The CPA Journal. After teaching at UTEP for four years, Tunnell began his career at NMSU in 1994. His research interests include the effect of taxation on the decision to offshore production, the effect of taxation on purchase decisions in the automobile industry, tax payment information and levels of unemployment, and tax incentives in the energy industry.
Dr. Anthony "Tony" Popp is a Professor Emeritus of economics in the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business at NMSU. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Coe College, a master's in economics from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in economics from Northern Illinois University. His specialties are in the areas of public finance and public policy. He has worked with numerous New Mexico state agencies and organizations. He is a past co-director of the Policy Analysis Office of the Arrowhead Center, past president of the Association for Borderland Studies, past head of the Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business, and of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute.