Auburn University’s Barth ranked among top 1% of researchers worldwide

Published: January 12, 2021
Font Size

Article body

A new report released by the Social Science Research Network, an online research repository, has revealed that Jim Barth, the Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance in Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, is among the top 1% of almost 7 million researchers whose publications were downloaded during the past 12 months.

In fact, his co-authored works, “Bank Regulation and Supervision: What Works Best?” and “Rethinking Bank Regulation: Till Angels Govern” (Cambridge University Press and translated into Chinese by China Financial Publishing House), have been cited a combined 5,260 times by peers.

“We constructed an index that tells you how countries are regulating and supervising banks around the world,” Barth said. “We’re the first people in the world to ever do that. You could take those measurements of regulation and supervision and determine what the best way is to regulate and supervise banks around the world to promote economic growth and stability. Our work was conducted under the auspices of the World Bank.

“It’s good to have other academics and researchers at bank regulatory agencies pay attention to my work, which is cited by others in their work. When they download my papers, that means that they are paying more attention than simply having looked and seen a paper written by somebody. People will, subsequently, write their own papers and hopefully use your paper as one of the references. This means they depended, to some degree, on having read and relied on your paper for conducting their own research.” 

For Barth, it’s about impact. 

“Every researcher in every area wants to influence the world in a positive way,” he said. “If you do research that somehow leads to better regulatory policies, perhaps we will avoid another financial crisis, or if there is one it will be less severe, so everything I do is geared to a better understanding and helping promote better-functioning financial systems. That’s the purpose of research. Can we come up with better ways to regulate and supervise our financial systems? If I do things that suggest a better way, not just here but across the world, then I’ve done something important.”

Barth, who co-authored the book, “Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us” (MIT Press 2012 and translated into Chinese by SDX Joint Publishing in Beijing, China, 2014), did so as a response to bank regulators and regulations following the financial crisis of 2008.

“The book is about the role played by the Guardians of Finance—the major financial regulatory institutions—in aiding and abetting the global financial crisis that was an economic and social calamity that has had devastating and lasting effects on the lives of millions of people around the world,” Barth said.

For his research and insight, Barth was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the National Economic Council and U.S. House Committee on Financial Services in 2015 and 2017, as well as do research presentations at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2018 and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors in 2019.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.