Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Housing, gas, utilities, food, transportation, and most goods and services are more expensive than they were a year ago.
REG MURPHY CENTER
The Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies is dedicated to serving the local community by providing insight and information on economic and public policy issues that are of importance. It serves as a storehouse of data on the local and regional economy.
The center is located in the School of Business and Public Management.
Our publications are the products of research conducted by The Murphy Center faculty. Our research focuses on economic and policy issues that are important to South Georgia. Our publications also include research conducted by College of Coastal Georgia students, whom we encourage to develop research and analytical skills in service of the community. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.
The Murphy Center also conducts special studies upon a client's request. We will work with you to define your research objectives and prepare a proposal for the study to be conducted. Commissioned studies are produced on a fee-for-service basis.
Economic Impact of CarePortal Donations in Glynn County, Georgia
CarePortal is a tool allowing individuals and non-profits to partner with the Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS) to make donations meeting tangible needs of families and children in the child welfare system. These donations serve either to prevent children from entering foster care or to support a current foster or kinship placement.
Reg Murphy is the inaugural holder of the College's endowed Chair of the Brown Family Executive-in-Residence. As the College's first executive-in-residence, Reg Murphy engages students in conversations about work and life experiences, career interests and strategies, networking, and courses and extracurricular activities that can help prepare for various careers. Murphy himself has described the position as "sharer-in-chief."
Murphy's contributions to the College have been substantial. During 2009, he headed a campus-community Athletic Futures Committee that created the vision and strategy for athletics at the College, which had just become a baccalaureate institution. He is a two-time College of Coastal Georgia Foundation Volunteer of the Year award winner (2011, 2014), the moderator of the Coastal Conversations series on campus, and continues his work and advocacy for the College's athletic department as a founding member of the Friends of the Mariners. The College's Murphy-Kuchar Putting Green was named in honor of Murphy and golfer Matt Kuchar, another benefactor of the College's campus sports programs.
Reg Murphy is a great friend of Coastal Georgia, the College of Coastal Georgia, and the College's School of Business and Public Management. A native of Gainesville, Georgia, Mr. Murphy has had a remarkable career in journalism and business, having served as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, president and publisher of the Baltimore Sun, publisher and editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and editor of the Atlanta Constitution.
An avid golfer, Mr. Murphy joined the executive committee of the U.S. Golf Association in 1989, served as vice president of the USGA in 1992, chairman of the Championship Committee in 1993, and president in 1994. He co-chaired the World Amateur Golf Federation in 1994 and captained the U.S. team for the 1998 World Amateur Championship in Santiago, Chili.
The Reg Murphy Center bears Mr. Murphy's name for all he has meant to the community, the College, and the School of Business and Public Management - but even more for the kind of man he is. He is a man of great intellectual honesty, integrity, and humility, and is devoted to serving the community. His name sets the standard for the work we do at the Reg Murphy Center.
The Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies was dedicated on Oct. 8, 2015.
Dr. Don Mathews, Professor of Economics
Affiliated Full-time Faculty:
- Dr. Skip Mounts, Dean of the School of Business and Public Management and Professor of Economics
- Dr. Heather Farley, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Public Policy and Management, and Assistant Professor of Public Management
- Dr. Roscoe Scarborough, Interim Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology
- Dr. Melissa Trussell, Associate Professor of Economics
- Dr. Cliff Sowell, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Berea College
- Dr. Mary Eleanor Wickersham, Professor Emerita of Public Management, Coastal Georgia
The sinking U.S. birth rate has a lot of people worried.
The U.S. birth rate has been sinking sharply since 2007 for no clear reasons.
Talk to people in the leisure and hospitality industry, and they’ll tell you the shrinking population of young people is not the only reason for the on-going worker shortages.
To many observers, the reason is obvious: lots of workers who left the labor force during the covid onslaught haven’t come back.
We’re now two years out from the onset of the Covid pandemic. I’m as eager as anyone to move on from the odious pandemic, but the economics of it bend the mind.
Angst over the scarcity of workers is spreading and growing more intense by the day. Employers in all sorts of industries all over the country are having trouble finding workers, even after raising wages.
The U.S. labor force is having a rough time recovering from the pandemic.
Last week’s column on homelessness by my colleague, Professor Roscoe Scarborough, has left me wondering whether homelessness is an intractable problem.
Generally speaking, American workers are well-educated. We got that way through a uniquely American process that began long ago.
Changes of any significance in the median age or racial composition of a population typically require a generation or longer. But there are exceptions.
Plenty of local businesses have raised their wages but are still having difficulty attracting workers. Which means, of course, they haven’t raised their wages enough.
We have been overlooking a major reason why many businesses in the hospitality industry are having difficulty attracting workers at pre-Covid wages.
In 21st Century America, we would expect 20 years to bring significant economic change, even to a small local economy such as Glynn. And it did.
Economists once considered the minimum wage a simple and classic case of bad economic policy.
Supply and demand sounds simple. It rarely is, however, and some cases are quite complex. Consider the minimum wage.
Economists have traditionally considered the minimum wage a bad idea. But in recent years, including this one, a number of economists have come out in favor of the minimum wage.
Here’s a question. Which embodies a greater amount of knowledge — cellphone technology or the price of a gallon of ice cream?
Economics is fundamentally a way of thinking about the choices individual people make.
The U.S. Treasury has released its Final Monthly Statement for fiscal year 2019. The 40 page report details federal receipts and outlays for the fiscal year.
People hold all sorts of beliefs about immigrants. A common belief is that immigrants depress wages and take jobs from U.S.-born workers.
Business growth in 2018 was steady and balanced across most local industries. Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, health care and hospitality all posted increases in employment.
Claims that “Barbarians are at the gate!” are prolific these days. One such claim has it that some barbarians are already within the gate. The barbarians in mind are Chinese imports.
A couple weeks ago, Sen. David Perdue had lunch with the Golden Isles Republican Women.
Honest talk from political partisans about the federal budget situation has always been rare.
Drive west across south Georgia to the Alabama line and, depending on which route you take, you’ll pass through towns such as Homerville, Willacoochee, Hahira, Pavo, Ty Ty, Eldorendo.
“Drain the swamp” and “deconstruct the administrative state” are two stated goals of the rising populist wing of American conservatism.
Labor markets are always slow to recover from recessions, especially nasty recessions. And the last recession, the 2007-2009 recession, was nasty.
Work fashion has changed much over the years, especially office work fashion — fashion for what used to be called “white collar” jobs.
Last Wednesday I had a refreshing and uplifting experience. I attended a Brunswick City Commission meeting.
Listening to certain politicians and their advisors, you might think that trade deficits are very bad for an economy.
Now, I’m a huge fan of our local businesses. I cheer for them every day. But this “shortage of good workers” complaint doesn’t fly.
Kicking back and conversing with a friend or friends over a cold beer or cocktail is a simple, yet great joy. Doing so in the environs of the Golden Isles is an even greater joy.
What happened to construction in Glynn goes a long way in explaining why the recession was so much worse here than in the U.S., Georgia, and many local economies.
Of all the markets in the economy, the labor market is without question the most complex.
I heard “bougie” for the first time this past summer from several of my college students. The students found it humorous that I had never heard the term, but they cut me some slack because I’m old.
Next month marks the 10-year anniversary of the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Not exactly an anniversary to celebrate.
There are certainly more preferable ways to learn economics than suffering a hurricane. But Irma happened, and there are economic lessons that we can learn from it.
Free speech. It is a cornerstone of our Constitution and one of the most important founding values in our country. As with any right in our Constitution, however, it is not absolute.
Public policy decisions are not neutral. Rather, they are loaded with bias, assumptions, and tradeoffs.
Over the course of the last month, associates of the Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies have been exploring the dimensions of homelessness from multiple interdisciplinary perspectives.
Liberty and democracy are fundamental values upon which our country was founded and they remain central to the architecture and function of our government.
In the state of Georgia, we are very familiar with the economic engine that is created by the lumber industry.
Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone, and then suddenly you see them everywhere around town?
My economics colleagues at the Murphy Center have been exploring some of the timely labor market trends we have been seeing in the post-vaccine economy.
Last Thursday the CDC released guidelines, rather abruptly, that suggested that vaccinated individuals no longer needed to wear masks or socially distance in most cases.
When you are watching the weather channel and the forecast calls for temperatures above normal, what does “normal” mean?
I live in a comfortable suburban Brunswick neighborhood. Our neighbors are nice, and we enjoy the area.
Each semester in my Public Policy classes, we begin the term by laying out the basics - how policy is developed and the fundamental phases of the policy cycle.
Hidden beneath a second Presidential impeachment, calls for the censure of a GA Congresswoman, and ongoing Capitol riot aftermath, lies a simmering debate waiting to happen: the removal of the Senate filibuster.
As I am writing this in mid-December, the first 100,000 or so doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Georgia and have begun their deployment to hospitals and long-term care facilities around the state.
In late spring of this year, several articles suggested that the global pandemic, and the drastically reduced travel that accompanied it, might actually help “heal” the earth.
In my last article for this column, I discussed systemic and institutional racism in organizational hiring and urged organizations to be wary of pitfalls such as quotas.
I spent some time last month working with a non-profit organization that has been developing their Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) plan.
I am a millennial. Technically, I am what some people refer to as an “Xennial”; these are individuals in the micro-generation right between gen-X and Millennials who bridge the gap between strictly analog generations and digital generations.
Recently the College of Coastal Georgia introduced a new Bachelor of Science in Data Science degree.
This summer, I have been team teaching a Global Issues class on COVID-19 with a multidisciplinary team of faculty at the College of Coastal Georgia.
We are living in an unprecedented moment in our history: COVID-19, racial tensions and a push for restructuring an anti-racist society, social isolation and distancing, economic gaps and inequities.
This column has been full of COVID-19 analysis over the last couple of months. As academics, it is sort of in our nature to want to analyze something from every possible angle, so forgive us this preoccupation.
In the formulation and implementation of policy, words matter. This is particularly true of environmental policy.
We’ve made it, folks: 2020. And for this political science nerd, that means election season.
Last week, I attended the Green Scene of Coastal Georgia’s monthly Eco-Lecture featuring OCEARCH Founder and Expedition Leader, Chris Fischer.
I recently came across an article in a Savannah newspaper about an exotic lizard that seems to be thriving in south Georgia.
The recent attention to the fires in the Amazon rainforest has given way to discussion, namely on social media, about the extent of the problem and what can be done about it.
1 in 5 high school students are now vaping nicotine using e-cigarettes.
On June 18th, a joint meeting of the Brunswick City and Glynn County Commissioners was held to hear from a representative of the U.S. Census Bureau about the upcoming 2020 census
I recently had the good fortune to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico while on vacation with my family. I’m not sure what I expected when we arrived, but I was surprised nonetheless.
Most students who attend College of Coastal Georgia have an opportunity to participate in one or more service-learning classes.
In Coastal Georgia, we have $1 trillion of our national wealth held in coastal real estate and as a state, agriculture contributes $73 billion annually to our economy.
Efficiency and collaboration are not words that most people associate with the federal bureaucracy.
When I teach labor economics, students and I discuss economic theory and empirical evidence on both sides of the minimum wage debate.
By now, we all are aware of the leaked Supreme Court decision that, should it stand, will reverse Roe vs Wade and allow states to restrict or outlaw abortion.
It is good news that the labor force was less impacted by the pandemic than it may seem on the surface. It is not especially convenient, though, that we cannot just blame our gaps on the pandemic and wait for time to heal all wounds.
A couple weeks ago, the College hosted Georgia Women in Higher Education’s annual conference, and I had the privilege of attending much of it.
Your career can be your opportunity to multiply your passion. I tell my students that their purpose lies at the intersection of their passion and their productivity.
I need a break. I try not to wish my life away, but for a few months now, I have been looking forward to these December holidays. I am tired. I am tired in a way I have never experienced before.
The Department of Education classifies a student as homeless if they “lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” In Glynn County, many of our homeless students are living in hotels or camping trailers.
The standard, modern take on market economics is that markets generate efficient outcomes when players behave in their own self-interest. It is no surprise, then, that American conservatives, with their individualistic morality, are often the loudest opponents of government regulation of markets.
These delays are concerning because of the trauma they cause to children and families, but they are also concerning because of the tremendous financial cost to the state of keeping a child in foster care.
What I find interesting is how these two American ideals—freedom of men and freedom of markets— have interacted over the years. While many Americans would die defending both concepts, I would argue that, in fact, the two cannot coexist without compromise.
There’s a hard question I find myself pondering and discussing over and over these days—why do some important jobs pay so much less than other important jobs?
If all of the traditional assumptions of labor market theory hold, I agree completely with Dr. Mathews. But, what if they don’t? What if participants in a labor market do not follow the rules assumed by the theory?
If you regularly read this paper, spend much time downtown, or stay engaged in local gossip rings, you no doubt have read or heard the newest complaint from local business owners: We are struggling to hire enough workers because of the federal government’s stimulus payments to individuals.
Many of you, though, will have taken at least one course in economics, either at the high school level or above. And if you think back on those courses, chances are almost all of your economics professors had something in common—they weren’t black.
Last month, I used this space to write about the multiplier effect associated with government spending. Theoretically, each dollar spent by the government—or anyone else, for that matter—is multiplied in its impact on the economy.
The income and wealth inequality in Glynn County is not a surprise to anyone who has spent much time here. But, it is troubling to many.
Although women’s history month is now behind us, I have decided to devote one more week to summarizing the contributions of a couple more economics heroes who are also women.
In January of this year, the annual conference of the American Economics Association (AEA) was held in Atlanta, and I had the privilege of attending
The week before classes start is a busy one for professors. There are syllabi to write, course websites to update, lessons to plan, and last-minute advisees to direct.
This month, as I have continued thinking about how our values shape economic policy, I am reminded of a statement shared with me by Brunswick’s Economic and Community Development Director, Travis Stegall.
A couple weeks ago, Travis Stegall, Brunswick’s Economic and Community Development Director, stopped by the college to give a talk to the students in my economic development course.
Professors are often confronted with skepticism of students and find ourselves answering some version of the question, “What’s the point?”
I recently attended a conference where Chi Man Yip, a doctoral student at University of Calgary, presented a paper called Search Relativity, which he has coauthored with Ying Tung Chan of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.
It’s an exciting week in the Golden Isles. Kids are out of school, Memorial Day has passed and vacation season is in full swing.
I have taken and taught a lot of economics courses, and I have had opportunities to be part of a lot of really cool economics research in the last decade. But, the last month has provided me with one of the greatest economics lessons of my life. Two kids moved into my house.
Our problem is not that we do not have access to an educated and motivated workforce, but that we do not offer sufficient incentives for those workers to settle here. Many of our brightest students go away for college, and if they return, it’s to retire.
Recently many of us crowded around televisions or streaming devices to watch as the Philadelphia Eagles topped the New England Patriots in one of our country’s most significant economic events of the year.
To understand this view of inequality, it is important to recognize a key characteristic of wealth and poverty: They are dynamic
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the vast demographic and economic divide between Brunswick and St. Simons Island, and I promised a follow-up to address how we should respond to the data
Marathoners will tell you that pacing in the first four miles is crucial to how well one will finish the race.
Discrimination is a dirty word. Rarely a day passes in which we are not confronted with news of alleged discrimination in employment, law enforcement, or some other setting.
With such similarities to low-income countries, there are things we can learn about ourselves by looking to the literature on economics and policy in developing countries.
I think to get our collective heads around this, I should start at the end. Bitcoin is one form of digital money and the blockchain is a digital ledger. Clear? Now, let’s start at the beginning.
James Carville, as head of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, made famous the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’. His purpose was to keep campaign workers, volunteers and probably even Bill Clinton focused on what mattered to the campaign at the time ----- the state of the economy.
They are here to prepare to receive a gift, a gift of a new path for their lives that offers them more choices compared to the number of choices offered on the path they are now on. They come to college to prepare for a world with more choices.
Readers of ‘From the Murphy Center’ know that new firms – those under 6 years of age – are the source of all net job growth in the United States economy.
My next two contributions to this Murphy Center space will deal with local entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship in our community and at the College.
Some of you may remember when MacBooks came in white plastic casing. If you do, I suspect like me, you are really old.
I don’t know about my colleagues at the Murphy Center, but I have found over my professional career that everyone has an opinion about economics and no one has an opinion about physics.
January 2019 not only brought the start of spring semester at the college with renewed expressions of hope by our student-scholars, it also marked the seating of a new Congress
One of the things you learn about in the economics of consumer behavior and the theory of the firm is product differentiation.
A few weeks ago in this space I talked about my personal perceptions of the interaction of the college with the community and the community with the college. I referred to this interaction as the “strategic commitments.”
When I came in March 2011 to interview for the dean’s position in the school, two things — which I call today the Strategic Commitments — were obvious.
Tariffs continue to be in the news. Not only are they being used as leverage to create new trade relationships, they are also being used as an instrument of foreign policy.
Should Supreme Court justices be strict constitutional constructionists or should justices interpret the Constitution taking into account changes in our culture and values?
I’m from Orchard Street. Are you? I have been told that over one in three Americans are from Orchard Street. Curious?
One of the many unanticipated benefits of writing under “From the Murphy Center” has been the enhanced connection with our community.
On May 4, the Chamber of Commerce had its annual State of Manufacturing lunch. It was great to celebrate manufacturing in the Golden Isles and to recognize the 70 years that Georgia Pacific has been in our community.
The interesting thing is that while economists teach about the importance of entrepreneurs to our market economy, economists have done little research into what entrepreneurs actually do. So, what was I to teach?
One of the most important lessons a student of business must learn, and one of the most difficult to teach, is that while it is good to know data, it is far more important to understand the underlying process that generates the data.
In doing research, one always hopes to find an original question — one touched by no one else. Here we can clearly search for an original answer.
Economics is a data driven social science. It is a social science because economists are trying to understand why people do what they do. It is data driven because economists hardly ever agree on anything.
These meetings have been going on for 18 months so it is time to tell the citizens of the Golden Isles what we have learned about our Brunswick entrepreneurs.
Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Housing, gas, utilities, food, transportation, and most goods and services are more expensive than they were a year ago.
The nation is still reeling from the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Being a parent is a full-time job, but it doesn’t pay. Giving birth and the associated recovery time forces mothers to take time away from paid work.
I got married a few weeks ago. As a responsible academic, I did my research on marriage before saying, “I do.” It turns out that, in many ways, my experiences are representative of the state of marriage in the U.S.
Over 104,000 Americans are dying a year from overdoses. The spread of fentanyl is the major cause of recent overdose deaths, but overdose deaths were trending upward before the pandemic.
Welcome to day 668 of “15 days to slow the spread.” Lockdowns and other prohibitions on social life related to COVID-19 have been implemented to reduce virus transmission and alleviate strain on our healthcare system.
Over the past month, associates of the Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies have examined many aspects of homelessness from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
The CDC’s eviction moratorium has ended. The cost of housing keeps going up. The prices of goods and services are rising due to inflation. For many, homelessness is coming for the holidays.
Many Georgians have strong opinions about mask mandates. Wearing face-coverings during a pandemic reflects concern for protecting high-risk populations: the elderly, the immunocompromised, essential workers, and the unvaccinated.
For more information relevant to our community, follow us on Twitter @RegMurphyCenter.