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Department of Economics

University of Mississippi

Former Federal Reserve Economist Thomas Garrett Joins Faculty

Thomas A. Garrett

Thomas A. Garrett photo by Nathan Latil/UM Communications

While the troubled national economy is not as far along in the recovery process as many had hoped, a UM faculty member says its downward spiral is definitely over and the future is brighter.

Thomas A. Garrett, a former assistant vice president and research economist in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is a new associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Mississippi. With 15 years in the field, he possesses a wealth of knowledge about the economy’s condition and useful insights about where it is headed.

“We have a long way to go before we return to ‘normal’ levels of economic activity and employment,” Garrett said. ‘I don’t see significant improvement in economic growth and employment in the near future. Until the uncertainty facing businesses and consumers fades, I don’t think we are going to see much change.”

While uncertainty about future economic conditions, policies, and costs is causing many businesses to hold off on expanding and hiring, there are signs that the housing market is doing better than in the previous few years, Garrett said. “The economy is certainly doing better than a few years ago,” he said.

Garrett was a welcome addition to the economics department, said Jon Moen, chair and professor of economics. “Dr. Garrett brings a lot of research and knowledge about regional economics and issues related to government policy to the Department of Economics. He has created a new course on urban economics. His research and teaching skills will greatly enhance the department’s reputation.”

Garrett holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and master’s and doctoral degrees from West Virginia University. Before joining the Federal Reserve Bank in 2002, he was an adjunct assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, assistant professor at Kansas State University, and a postdoctoral fellow at West Virginia University.

Garrett’s research areas are state and local public finance, state lotteries, casino gambling, public choice, and applied microeconomics.