Economist, consultant and utilities expert provides real-world insight to Antitrust Law students

Spring semester ended with a dose of first-hand knowledge for students in Dr. Cassandra Copeland’s ECO 423: The Economics of Antitrust Law class.

Dr. Narin Smith, founder of the consulting firm MSR Research and Analytics, visited campus and spoke on the nature of utility generation, transmission, and distribution at Georgia Power as a vertically integrated firm as well as the role of the Georgia Public Service Commission in the process of determining utility rates. She also spoke about her career in economics.

Dr. Smith was previously the executive director at Customer Focused Strategies, and prior to that role, she served as director of market planning at Georgia Power Company.

With more than 23 years of experience in the utility industry within Southern Company and its affiliates as a practicing economist and expert witness in regulatory proceedings, Dr. Smith spoke about her career in economics and offered advice on the job market in the field.

“My goal in this course is to present a variety of economic theories across competition, dominant firm and cartel behavior, statistical measurement of industry structure and performance, strategic pricing, advertising, vertical integration and regulation,” Dr. Copeland said.

“At the end of the semester, we spend time on regulation of markets. A focus is on natural monopoly regulation, and utilities are some of the best examples of this. Dr. Smith helped our students not only understand her work but also her career path. Oglethorpe’s Hammack School is the kind of place where students have an opportunity to hear directly from industry experts and engage in ways that will open doors in their career.”

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