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MSU professor named Mercatus Visiting Scholar

MSU News - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 3:53pm
Thomas W. Miller Jr. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Zack Plair

Thomas W. Miller Jr. (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.— A Mississippi State University finance professor has an opportunity for his research to inform public policy decisions on consumer finance.

Thomas W. Miller Jr., holder of the Jack R. Lee Chair in Financial Institutions and Consumer Finance, has been named a Visiting Scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

The Mercatus Center is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. Working with the center’s Financial Markets Working Group, Miller will research small dollar loans for high credit-risk consumers. Specifically, he will research the impact of government regulations on those consumers and lending agencies.

As a Visiting Scholar, Miller said he would join a “network of scholars” whose research is often considered in national and state policy debates.

“Mercatus is known for the integrity of its research,” Miller said. “It isn’t swayed by any viewpoint, but lets the data speak for itself. It’s an exciting opportunity.”

Miller said he spent six weeks of each of the last two summers in residency at Mercatus, which he said opened his eyes to the opportunity of becoming a visiting scholar. With that designation, he hopes to give his classroom students at MSU access to his fellow Mercatus researchers on a variety of financial market-related topics.

Agreeing with Miller, MSU finance department professor and head Michael Highfield noted Miller’s honor as an opportunity for the university, promoting professional development and intellectual growth for faculty and students.

“As the Jack R. Lee Chair of Financial Institutions and Consumer Finance, Dr. Miller’s research on the institutional framework of consumer finance and the role of government regulation thereof has piqued the interest of many individuals in Washington D.C., and I expect further accolades and honors to follow,” Highfield said.

For more information on the Mercatus Center, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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