Amanda Ross, assistant professor of economics, came to WVU's College of Business and Economics last fall. Having grown up in Rochester, N.Y., she said she is adjusting to life in a smaller city. In fact, she likes Morgantown, especially the entertainment, shows and cultural events.
Ross earned her master's degree and Ph.D. at Syracuse University. She earned an undergraduate degree from Binghamton University in economics and political science in 2006. Her research interests are urban economics, public finance, real estate economics and the economics of crime.
In fact, her doctoral dissertation grew out of a discussion with her father, Tom Ross, a police officer in Rochester, N.Y., for 20 years.
He is not a fan of the crime-prevention program Neighborhood Watch. He contends that rather than stopping criminal activity, the program simply causes crimes to "go somewhere else," as Dr. Ross puts it. This piqued her interest, and in her dissertation paper she chose to examine whether tough sentencing for violent crimes in one area reduced crime there but caused a concurrent increase in crimes nearby where the tougher sentencing did not take place. It did, by nearly 9 percent.
Ross is currently working on a paper that looks at whether housing vouchers drive up prices for unsubsidized housing in large U.S. cities.
She has published recently in the Journal of Urban Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics and Real Estate Economics.
Ross is teaching a large introduction to micro economics class and believes she is making progress. "I have the students talking to me now," she commented, "after the pepperoni roll demonstration on diminishing marginal utility."
In this demonstration, sometimes involving pepperoni rolls, bananas or other comestibles, a student is invited to eat as many as he or she wishes. After each one, the student is asked to describe his or her satisfaction level and the value of eating yet another. In every case, the value of eating another decreases.
She has been playing soccer since she was a youngster, and in her spare time, Ross is a soccer referee for professional teams. She recently refereed a game for the Pittsburgh River Hounds.