Juniors Recognized for Top Undergraduate Paper at Society of Business, Industry, and Economics Conference


MACON ­– Mercer University juniors Tyler Allee and Jonathan Beall won the Cengage Undergraduate Paper Award at the 17th annual academic conference of the Society of Business, Industry, and Economics (SOBIE), April 14-17, in Destin, Florida.

The award recognizes the top undergraduate paper at SOBIE, which is the premier conference in its field for small and regional universities.

Allee, from Rome, and Beall, from McDonough, are both mathematics and economics double-majors with a minor in statistics. Their paper, titled “Trade Wars: Ranking of Nations Based on Trade Protectionism,” applied sports ranking methodology to nations based on their initiation and resolution of anti-dumping investigations.

In doing so, they established a novel way for evaluating the intensity of trade protectionism, which goes beyond the standard approach of looking at average level of tariffs and takes into account use of temporary trade barriers, namely anti-dumping investigations.

Since countries adjudicate anti-dumping investigations internally and such actions are not under the scrutiny of World Trade Organization (WTO), as is the case with tariffs, the authors believe that this method offers significant improvement in measuring variation in trade-protectionist sentiment between countries and within a country over time.

Allee and Beall worked with Dr. Hope McIlwain, associate professor of mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic, associate professor of economics in the Stetson School of Business and Economics, on this project.

The students' research and trip to the conference was supported by a grant from the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism in the business school.

“This paper is a wonderful example of cross-disciplinary collaboration involving Mercer faculty and students, as well as students engaging in research that reaches out to provide solutions for our global economy,” said Dr. Tomic.

SOBIE was founded in 1999 by faculty members at the University of North Alabama. The conference is based on the idea that viable, peer-reviewed research at small colleges and regional universities needs to be recognized. For more information, visit www.una.edu/sobie/.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.