Michael J. Hicks
|Born||August 8, 1962|
|Institution||Ball State University,
Center for Business and Economic Research
|Field||Regional Economics, Macroeconomics|
School or tradition
|New Keynesian economics|
|Alma mater||University of Tennessee (Ph.D., M.A.)
Virginia Military Institute (B.A.)
Michael J. Hicks (born in 1962) is the George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and Professor of Economics at Ball State University.
Early life and military career
Hicks graduated from Langley High School in McLean, Virginia and the Virginia Military Institute. He served as an active duty infantry officer with the 26th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Regiment and Division Tactical and Assault Command Posts of the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). He left active duty as a Captain and served as a reserve officer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Major General Mark Hicks, USAF is his brother.
In 1998, he received a Ph.D. from University of Tennessee. Hicks held academic positions at the University of Tennessee, Marshall University and the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Appalachian coal and environment
Hicks authored several studies of the coal industry and the impact of federal environmental policy on coal production and the West Virginia economy. In a study for the West Virginia Senate, Mark Burton, Cal Kent and Hicks detailed the local economic consequences of types of mining restrictions that were under pending federal litigation in the Southern District of West Virginia. A second study for the Senate estimated potential fiscal effects of these mining restrictions on the state. These studies were used as evidence by the State's defense of Bragg v. Robertson and Kentuckians for the Commenwealth v. Rivenburgh, Federal cases appealed through the 4th District Court of Appeals. Following these studies, Hicks and two other co-authors developed a clean water financing plan for West Virginia which ultimately became the Special Reclamation Fund. This fund was financed by a combination of a 7 cent tax per ton of coal, with a secondary 7 cent phase-out tax. This was designed to provide water treatment funds for abandoned coal mines. This remains the largest state level water treatment trust fund in the United States.
Governor Bob Wise (D) appointed Hicks to the Fund commission, where, after approval by the West Virginia State Senate he served from 2003–2006.
In 2002 Hicks testified in a court case in Boone County, West Virginia that would eventually culminate in one of the most celebrated recent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court Caperton v. Massey. This case became inspiration for the John Grisham Novel "The Appeal."
Burton and Hicks also provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands and Climate Change, regarding the fiscal and economic effects of mining restrictions. This committee meeting also featured an appearance by one of the Backstreet Boys which prompted several committee members to walk out of the hearing. Burton and Hicks also served as consultants to the National Academies of Science review of the economic consequences of the coal slurry spill in eastern Kentucky.
West Virginia Workers' Compensation controversy
A 2001 study co-authored by Hicks found little negative economic consequences of West Virginia's Workers' Compensation rates on the overall economy. This report sparked much criticism from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and unleashed a series of op-Ed pieces and a letter writing campaign to state newspapers. The public debate culminated in an editorial in the Charleston Gazette criticizing the Chamber's attack on the Marshall University research team. However, the chair of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce wrote to Marshall University President Dan Angel, demanding that Dr. Hicks' tenure be revoked as a consequence of this study. Hicks was not tenured at the time. He received tenure in 2004.
Hurricane and flood damages
Mark Burton and Michael Hicks developed models of flood damages from data collected on the Great Flood of 1993. These were used to simulate flood damages on the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers. In September 2005, Burton and Hicks used this model to estimate damages from Hurricane Katrina. Subsequently, both participated in the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force which reviewed the response to the Hurricane. In 2008 Ball State University released studies onfloods in Indiana and Iowa. In 2010 Burton and Hicks were asked by the Army Corps of Engineers to provide an estimate of flood damages for the Pakistan Flood of 2010.
Local government consolidation
Hicks is co-author with Dagney Faulk of a book on local government consolidation. This book developed from work on local government consolidation study teams authored by former Governor Joe Kernan and Supreme court Justice Randy Shepard. The book was published in January 2011. Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels wrote the forward to the book.
In 2011 Faulk and Hicks completed two studies on government consoidlation (local governments and school districts in New Jersey). 
Wal-Mart and local economies
Hicks was an early researcher of Wal-Mart's impact on communities, and since 1999 has published several papers and a book on the economic impact of Walmart. Along with Kristy Wilburn, Hicks published the first econometric study to address the endogeneity of firm location decision related to Wal-Mart. Subsequent to this, Hicks appeared in a November 2005 Global Insight conference on Wal-Mart's impact which received significant national attention. These papers were later published, along with a book. Hicks' work has been frequently cited in the academic literature, media and advocacy groups.
Hicks writes a weekly economics column, which is syndicated in more than two dozen Indiana newspapers,.
Marshall University's Distinguished Artist and Scholar Award (with Mark L. Burton), as well as the Graduate Student Teaching Award at Tennessee's College of Business, and awards from the Air Force Institute of Technology's student association and Ball State's Miller College of Business.
In 2008 the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University received the Association for University Business and Economic Research Award for its Manufacturing Scorecard. In 2009 the Center won a then-unprecedented three awards from AUBER for a research study, county profiles and promotional materials.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers awarded Hicks the Commander's Award for Civilian Service for his efforts in support of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Team (IPET) and Task Force Guardian, Task Force Hope and the New Orleans District following Hurricane Katrina.
Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Battle Stars
- Coal Production Forecasts and Economic Impact Simulations in Southern West Virginia", West Virginia Legislature, Burton, Mark L. Michael J. Hicks and Calvin Kent (2000) A Report to the Joint Committee of Government and Finance, June, 2000 Center for Business and Economic Research, Marshall University
- Burton, Mark L. Michael Hicks and Cal Kent (2001) "The Fiscal Implications of Judicially Imposed Surface Mining Restrictions in West Virginia", West Virginia Legislature, Joint Committee of Government and Finance, June, 2001 Center for Business and Economic Research, Marshall University
- Arch Coal
- Mountaintop removal mining#Economics
- "The West Virginia Clean Water Trust Fund", West Virginia Division of Environmental Resources, November, 2001. (with Marc Simpson and Kristy Wilburn).
- "Risk to the Special Reclamation Fund and Mine Operations in West Virginia" International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, Vol 7 (5) 2006 pp. 739–57.
- “ http://www.jrap-journal.org/pastvolumes/2010/v41/cebula_41_1.pdf
- “ see http://cms.bsu.edu/Academics/CentersandInstitutes/BBR/CurrentStudiesandPublications.aspx
- "The Regional Impact of Wal-Mart Entrance: A Panel Study of the Retail Trade Sector in West Virginia", Review of Regional Studies, 31(3). pp. 305-13. 2001
- "What do we know about Wal-Mart's local impact, and why is it important" Economic Development Journal, Vol 5(3) Summer 2006. pp. 23-31.
- "Transportation Infrastructure, Retail Clustering and Local Public Finance: Evidence from Wal-Mart's Expansion" Regional Economic Development, Vol 2(2) Winter 2006. pp. 100-14.
- Wal-Mart's Impact on Local Revenue and Expenditure Instruments in Ohio, 1988-2003", Atlantic Economic Journal, Vol 35, No. 1, March 2007. pp. 77-95.
- "Job Turnover and Wages in the Retail Sector: The Influence of Wal-Mart" Journal of Private Enterprise, VolXXIII(3). March 2007. pp. 137-60.
- “Estimating Wal-Mart's Impacts in Maryland: a Test of Identification Strategies and Endogeneity Tests" Eastern Economic Journal, vol 33(3), 2008, pp. 56-73.
- “Wal-Mart and Small Business: Boon or Bane?” Review of Regional Studies, 38, 73–83. 2010