UNA Pressroom

Economics, Quantitative Methods Professors Discuss Wealth, Presidential Performance

Apr. 13, 2012

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, Ala. - University of North Alabama Professor of Economics Jim F. Couch and Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods Philip A. Burton have written an opinion-editorial piece discussing the subject of wealth in relation to presidential performance. UNA economics majors Michael Hoehn and Maghan Youngblood worked with Couch and Burton on the study. The opinion-editorial piece looks at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's substantial wealth-which Couch and Burton estimate is approximately $200 million. Romney's wealth has caused some voters to question whether or not he is a good choice for the U.S. presidency because they believe his wealth would prevent him from understanding the problems faced by average citizens. Couch and Burton compare the rankings of the net worth of previous presidents to the various rankings of chief executive effectiveness to determine if wealth has any relation to performance. They said that performance rankings are more subjective than wealth rankings, which were a factor in why they chose to use them. They look at some from both liberal and conservative perspectives. Based on Couch and Burton's research findings, they believe that Romney could be a successful or unsuccessful president, but that his own personal wealth would likely have no effect on his presidential performance if he were to be elected later this year. To read and/or publish the full op-ed piece, email Couch at jfcouch@una.edu or Burton at pburton@una.edu.