Tag Archives: business

Why the UK’s Brexit vote should matter to Americans

By Terrence Guay

On June 23, citizens of the United Kingdom will go to the polls to vote on whether their country will remain a member of the European Union. While the outcome will have the greatest impact on residents of Europe, it will also affect the U.S. as well.

And with the latest polls putting the “leave” campaign ahead of those for remaining in the EU, it’s essential that Americans understand just what’s at stake if a “Brexit” were to occur — and why we’re having this debate in the first place.

As a scholar of international business who views European integration as a successful, albeit messy, experiment in peace-building, I appreciate the frustration many in the U.K. have with the way the EU sometimes operates. But is that enough to justify leaving it?

Continue reading Why the UK’s Brexit vote should matter to Americans

Focus on research: March Madness is the avid sports fan’s (and sports marketer’s) dream

By Wayne S. DeSarbo and Chris McKeon

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Centre Daily Times as an installment of the paper’s Focus on Research column. Focus on Research highlights  research projects and topics being explored across all disciplines at Penn State. Each column features the work of a different researcher.

Everyone knows that the March Madness “Big Dance” equals big hype; but for sports marketers, this yearly NCAA basketball tournament equals big opportunity. For the sport’s most loyal fans, watching the 40 minutes of play on the court is just a small portion of their interest and need for interaction with their favorite team — and that team’s brand. Conversely, the sports industry — like any business — depends principally on these heavily involved consumers, in this case, the fans.

It is crystal clear that the most important aspect to the sporting industry is the fans that buy tickets to attend the games, purchase merchandise and memorabilia from their favorite teams, and consume media to passionately follow their favorite team or sport. In 2015, this pulled in approximately $500 billion in the U.S. and $1.5 trillion for sports industries worldwide, according to Plunkett Research Ltd.  Continue reading Focus on research: March Madness is the avid sports fan’s (and sports marketer’s) dream

The mall is on fire!

We need a better way to help the banking industry and its regulators make decisions based on sound information and avert another near-collapse of global financial system, says John Lietchy, marketing professor in Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, in the April 12 issue of Nature.

To make his point more understandable to the non-specialist, Liechty compares the global financial system to a shopping mall that requires customers to buy tickets in order to enter and exit the mall. A statistical model can be built to track and predict door traffic – when and where and how many shoppers enter and exit the mall. But what happens if a store in the mall catches fire and shoppers rush for the exits and the ticket-takers are overwhelmed? A fire in the mall, Liechty says, is analogous to a credit-confidence crisis, when banks are unwilling to make loans or accept collateral in exchange for securing debts.

The models now in use, he says, are fine for measuring risk when financial markets act conventionally, i.e., when the mall is operating normally. But current models lack crucial data — about the interconnectivity between financial houses, for example, and the capacity of markets to execute trades — that undermines their reliability in times of crisis, i.e., when the mall catches fire.

The question is, can new scientific models be constructed that predict shopper behavior (how banks and other financiers will act) when a fire (a credit-confidence crisis) breaks out? Liechty offers some interesting thoughts.

Liechty knows his way around banks and their regulators. The Office of Financial Research, a new federal oversight agency established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, grew from an idea that he outlined at a February 2009 conference on financial risk.