My research is in cross-disciplinary applications of quantitative methodology. I have worked on projects spanning economics, education, sociology, and, most recently, psychology, and my research has often focused on public policy issues. I have had a continuing interest in the public sector and its influence on individuals and institutions. My concern with this began during my work for my Masters in Social Work, which preceded my Ph.D. in Economics, and focused on social welfare policy.
My current research agenda focuses on the human capital development of children and young adults and their effects on later outcomes, but emphasizes the traditionally non-economic factors that affect this development. My empirical work seeks the understanding of situations that involve unobservable and latent variables using econometric and statistical techniques such as qualitative and limited dependent variable models, structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling.
I am currently the senior researcher through the Texas Schools Project on a Texas legislature-mandated value-added assessment of public schools and districts under the sponsorship of the Texas Comptroller. I am a senior researcher on an NSF grant to investigate neighborhood dynamics relating to external change occurring in south Dallas. In on-going, collaborative work on an NIH-funded grant I am involved in projects investigating the underlying causes of social and physical aggression of elementary and middle school children and, separately, on the influence of friendship on underlying human capital development of behavior. My applied microeconomics research has focused on education, hedonic pricing models, and tax compliance, and includes collaborative research into the reasons behind various earnings patterns found among men and women and across races. I maintain an interest in the motivation of students in the classroom and have collaborative research focusing on measures of success in both reading and math achievement.
I have served on the editorial boards of Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal and on the editorial board of Evaluation Review. I have been the Associate Dean and College Master for the School of Social Sciences and have chaired the University's Information Resources Committee and Committee on Educational Policy. I have published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, Southern Economic Journal, American Journal of Sociology, Structural Equation Modeling, and Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology among others. I teach a wide range of courses including those in public sector economics and econometrics. In addition to my regular faculty assignment in the School of Social Sciences, I am on the Global Leadership Executive MBA faculty. I also serve the University as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative.