America's Future Foundation hosted a friendly debate on public subsidies and stadiums on Tuesday night at the downtown Georgia Pacific building. Economists Dr. Bruce Seaman of Georgia State University and Dr. Victor Matheson of the College of the Holy Cross argued the pros and cons.
AFF decided to hold the forum because of the current political climate surrounding the Braves and Falcon stadium. The debate was not specifically focused on the Braves and Falcon stadiums, but more of a general discussion on the economics of stadiums and taxpayer subsidies.
A former staff economist and consultant for the Federal Trade Commission, Dr. Bruce Seaman serves as a consultant in private antitrust, business contractual dispute and civil tort cases. His research includes models of arts industry funding, price discrimination (including legal implications), private and public school choice, cost-benefit analysis and economic impact methodologies, international trade in cultural goods, local tax incidence and exportability, and the effects of illegal behaviors. His articles have appeared in such journals as American Economic Review, Journal of Socioeconomics, Public Finance Quarterly, Journal of Behavioral Economics, Utah Law Review and Journal of Cultural Economics. He serves as an associate professor of economics at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Victor Matheson, associate professor of economics at Holy Cross, earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his B.A. from St. Olaf College. Matheson specializes in sports economics, specifically the economic impact of "mega-sporting events" on host cities; public finance; the economics of lotteries and gambling; and natural resource economics. In particular, his sports economics research, which dispels the notion that major events (such as the Olympics, World Series and Super Bowl) equal large economic dividends for host cities have made him a widely sought-after expert. He has provided expert commentary to several media outlets including Forbes Magazine, Time Magazine Europe, ESPN Magazine, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek Online, The Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Bloomberg Television, American Public Media's Marketplace, and MSNBC.com, among others.
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