(Ashland, Ore.) — SOU economist Travis Campbell and a co-author from Rutgers University have been recognized by the American Economic Association for writing the best research paper over the past year on LGBTQ+ economics.
The award for Campbell, an assistant professor of economics at SOU, and co-author Yana Rodgers of Rutgers was announced at the AEA’s annual meeting this month in San Antonio, Texas. Their paper, “Conversion therapy, suicidality and running away: An analysis of transgender youth in the U.S.” was nominated for the award from the AEA’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession.
The research paper by Campbell and Rodgers was published last year in the Journal of Health Economics. Their study is based on data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, and found that the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” increases the risk of suicide attempts among transgender youth by 55 percent, and increases the likelihood of running away from home by 128 percent. Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation – or gender identity or expression – to conform with heterosexual norms.
Campbell and Rodgers analyzed data from U.S. Transgender Survey, which is the largest-ever assessment of transgender people with more than 27,700 respondents across the U.S. participating.
Campbell has also authored an article for The Conversation website that summarizes the paper he co-authored with Rodgers, and a few related papers he has written.
Campbell joined the SOU Economics faculty after earning his Ph.D. in economics in 2022 from the University of Massachusetts. His research applies microeconomics to social justice issues, including economic inequalities based on race, gender and sexuality. His classes at SOU include Micro and Macroeconomics, Quantitative Methods and Application, Healthcare Economics, Labor Economics and Gender Issues in Economics.
The AEA’s Committee on the Status of LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Economics Profession presents its award annually to the best paper, published in a peer-reviewed journal or academic press, on topics “especially relevant to or about LGBTQ+ populations.”
The AEA committee was created to help build an economics profession that is open to all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, family status or disability. The committee is based on the belief that a diverse profession encourages the highest quality scholarship.