The College of Business faculty research diverse subjects to make an impact on Nevada
Ron Lembke, Marketing
Updating QR coding with a labeling standard giving consumers consistenet access to company or product information
"In the past, companies used QR codes to give customers a simple way to access websites or to store product batch or lot code information. These codes contained information consumers may want to know, but unfortunately, there was no consistent way to access this information, as each company has its own system.
"Regular one-dimensional barcodes on products store 12-digit identification numbers that companies use to track the products, but they don't help shoppers learn more about the products. Two-dimensional barcodes on a product, such as QR codes, could provide much more information to a user such as links to download a manual, call customer support or buy accessories for a product. These 2D barcodes can also store information about a batch or date code, so consumers can easily find out if their lettuce was part of a recall or if medication has expired.
"This standard has been approved by MHI, the body entrusted with certifying barcode standards by the American National Standards Institute. The MHI approval means that this new standard is available for use by companies around the world. I serve as the Chair of the Standards Committee of the Reverse Logistics Association and have written the standard with input from leaders in the PC, electronics and retailing industries."
Sankar Mukhopadhyay, Economics
Increasing healthcare efficiency in Nevada Health Insurance Exchange
"Total expenditure on healthcare is about $3.3 trillion in the U.S., which is about 18 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. The rapidly rising cost of healthcare is a predominant economic and political issue.
"Concerns about health insurance exchange market stability has generated interest in strategies for shifting financial responsibility for unusually high-cost individuals out of the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) market. We provide data-driven evidence on the potential effectiveness of a major policy that is being discussed in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate.
"Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, high-risk pools (HRP) provided health insurance directly to high-risk individuals.
"Of the 35 states that operated HRPs, 24 closed these programs from 2014 to 2016. State policy changes (namely closure of HRPs during this period) created variation in plan premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expenditure levels.
"Using a number of econometric methods, we estimate the impacts of state decisions to close HRPs on plan premiums, deductibles and MOOP expenditure levels.
"Our estimates suggest that closure of HRP leads to 7.7 percent increase in plan premium, 40.6 percent increase in plan deductible and 24.4 percent increase in MOOP in Silver plans. We hope that our research will provide policy makers with information they need to make these decisions."
Co-Reasearchers: Jeanne Wendel, professor, and Miaomiao Zou, Ph.D. graduate of economics
Kim Rollins, Economics
Identifies how changes in mountain snowpack affects water allocation and agriculture in the arid west
"We have recently been awarded a 4.9-million-dollar U.S. Department of Agriculture research grant in order to study the effects of snowpack change on water rights for agricultural production in the Western United States.
"Mountain snowpack provides a significant source of water for the arid region and provides natural storage and controls time of water releases. Earlier snowmelt has been found to generate less available water for agricultural producers with senior water rights and more available water for junior non-agricultural water rights holders due to the peak flows happening sooner than the infrastructure expects.
"We are working to develop methods for anticipating changes in mountain snowpack, evaluate the ability of existing and alternative water laws and regulations to respond to these changes, assess short and long run impacts on agriculture and food production and design a collaborative framework to enhance participation of diverse interests to address these changes.
"Our goal is to improve ability to adapt to fluctuations in water availability from changing mountain snowpack to manage agricultural risk, as well as improve individual and collective policy decision making concerning water allocation and agriculture in the arid western states and elsewhere, leading to more resilient food systems."
Co-Researcher: Loretta Singletary, professor, interdisciplinary outrach liaison with the department of economics and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Frederick Steinmann, Nevada Leadership Program
Helping communities in Nevada, California, Idaho and Wyoming to develop exonomic development strategic plans
"The Nevada Leadership Program serves as a template for other business schools throughout the United States as to the role business schools can serve in offering professional development, training programs and assistance to local communities to engage in strategic organizational and economic development planning.
"As part of the University Center for Economic Development, the Nevada Leadership Program provides ‘nuts and bolts' education and training in the areas of planning, economic development, public policy and public administration to locally elected and appointed officials, government executives, business and community leaders and members of the public throughout Nevada.
"Since 2013, Nevada Leadership Program has delivered workshops throughout the state as part of the Program's efforts to extend the expertise of College and University faculty beyond the confines of the main campus as part of the University's land-grant mission.
"These efforts are part of the College's long tradition of serving Nevada's communities through high-quality applied research. While working with elected and appointed officials, government executives and members of the private sector in every one of Nevada's counties, I am always impressed with the level of commitment and dedication to improving their community that each one of them brings to every workshop."