George Mason in the News

Posted: February 3, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week.

Saturday, Jan. 28, Washington Post

Local Control of Va. Growth Gains Steam

Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said the issue of controlling growth is now embedded in state politics. ‘Anybody who’s interested in staying in political office has to be onboard on this issue … or at least be on the record as being onboard with this issue,’ he said.”

Sunday, Jan. 29, Associated Press

That’s Cool: It’s What the Kids Are Saying … Still

“‘Cool’ remains the gold standard of slang in the 21st century, as reliable as a blue-chip stock, surviving like few expressions ever in our constantly evolving language. Peter N. Stearns, a social historian at George Mason University and author of the book ‘American Cool,’ said cool exploded in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s because society needed a word to express attitude without anger. ‘We were dealing with a culture that was placing an increasing premium on controlling emotion, particularly anger,’ he said. The hippies in the 1960s used the word to ‘promote the notion that they were relaxed and not angry,’ Stearns said. Since then, he said, the expression has lost some of its strength even as it has grown in usage – especially in advertising. ‘It’s overused to the extent it doesn’t have a great meaning,’ he said. ‘When we say somebody’s looking cool, we don’t have as much sense of meaning as we did 40 years ago. Now we just mean he’s looking good.'”

Monday, Jan. 30,

Diminishing Returns for Outsourcing?

“The other recent study of outsourcing, by Paul A. Strassmann, a professor of information sciences at George Mason University and outspoken critic of the practice, examined the performance during 2003 of 1,100 diversified companies in Standard & Poor’s Compustat database. Strassmann found that those companies in the top half of the top quartile in return on equity (ROE) outsourced work representing less than half of their sales, compared with two-thirds for their counterparts at the bottom. And the gap in ROE was substantial: The top 277 companies generated a median return of 18 percent, while the bottom 277 companies absorbed a loss of 55 percent. Separately, Strassmann has calculated that General Motors’ ROE dropped from 39 percent in 1997 to 10 percent in 2004, even as its outsourcing increased from 68 percent to 75 percent.”

Wednesday, Feb. 1, SmartMoney

Stock Screen: Follow the Leaders

“Consider a new study by Jim Hsieh at George Mason University and Lilian Ng and Qinghai Wang at the University of Wisconsin. They examined the relationship between insiders and analysts, looking at results for thousands of firms between 1994 and 2003. The conclusion, in a nutshell: Follow analysts only when they’re negative (downgrading), and follow insiders only when they’re positive (buying).”

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