Doing research with students
One of my great concerns when I became department chair was how to balance the research I enjoy doing with the administrative demands of my new position. One way I have managed to keep up my research is by relying on undergraduate research assistants. In several cases, these students have contributed so much that they have become full-fledged co-authors.
I have found that involving students in my research has not only provided assistance with data collection and analysis, it has forced me to keep to a schedule in guiding my students. It has also enabled me to engage in informal teaching, introducing the students to theoretical and empirical techniques that will help them with our research and, I hope with their own future work.
I am no stranger to working with students. In the late 1990s, I faced similar time constraints as Director of the Honors Program in the Fox School of Business. Fortunately, my work there brought me into contact with several gifted undergraduates as well as several graduate students who worked for me as graduate assistants. My joint work began in 1999, when Sandra Kowalewski,  then a Ph.D. student in Economics and I published the first of two papers dealing with the impact of free agency on the distribution of salaries in the National Football League.
Soon after, I worked on two papers with undergraduate Honors students. The first, with Yelena Suris and Jennifer Durkin  asked whether big-time football programs helped or hurt women’s sports at those schools. The second, with Irina Pistolet,  also marked my first collaboration with my wife, Eva Marikova Leeds, an economist at Moravian College. It considered the value of naming rights to the businesses that purchase them.
This has led to numerous collaborations with students. Some have been a part of my own research. [5, 7, 8, 9] Others have grown out of my advising students who were awarded undergraduate research grants. [2, 10]
The most recent example is a paper that Eva and I wrote with Lauren Banko,  then a student in Temple’s graduate program. It tests whether women respond worse to setbacks than men do. The experimental literature has found that women get discouraged more easily than men. Using non-experimental data from the men’s and women’s tennis tour, we found mixed evidence of a gender difference.
Now that I am chair, I have multiple projects underway with students. The first grew out of a Summer Honors Research Grant to Ngoc Tram (“Amy”) Nguyen Pham.  We spent the summer of 2017 extending a forthcoming paper that I wrote with Eva and Aaron Harris (a student of Eva’s at Moravian College) on the determinants of pay of football coaches at schools in Power Five conferences, schools like Michigan and Clemson, which compete at the highest, most lucrative level. That paper found that much of the coaches’ pay came from “fixed revenue” sources, such as broadcast rights, which have nothing to do with a given coach’s performance.
Amy and I have extended this work to coaches in the less-well-off Group of Five conferences. We find that a coach’s performance has a strong influence on his pay but has almost no impact on a school’s revenue. Because successful coaches are much more likely to move on to Power Five schools, we conclude that performance affects salaries by increasing a coach’s bargaining power, not his marginal revenue product. Amy will present this paper at the 2018 Eastern Economic Association meetings in Boston.
I have recently begun to work on two additional, non-sports topics with undergraduates. The first, with Han Hong Gia (“Julie”) Pham, uses differences-in-differences techniques to ask whether recent restrictions on women’s health programs in Texas have worsened women’s health outcomes there relative to the rest of the nation. We expect to present this paper at the 2018 Western Economic Association meetings in Vancouver.
The second paper, on which I have just begun working with Jason Chen, is based on the work of Guillaume Vandenbroucke. Vandenbroucke finds that the declaration of war in 1914 led to a large reduction in the French birth rate nine months later. He concludes that the birth rate declined because war represented a diminution of expected lifetime earnings. We will use similar techniques to test whether the fall of Communist regimes in Hungary and Poland in the late 1980s led to an increase in birth rates due to the expected increase in future earnings and utility.
Publications with Students*
 Banko, Lauren, Eva Marikova Leeds, and Michael A. Leeds. 2016. Gender Differences in Response to Setbacks: Evidence from Professional Tennis, Social Science Quarterly, 97(2) June: 161-176.
 Garrett, Amelia and Michael A. Leeds. 2015. The Economics of Community Gardens. Eastern Economic Journal. 41(2), Spring: 200-213.
 Kowalewski, Sandra and Michael A. Leeds. 1999. Free Agency, Salary Caps, and the Distribution of Income in the National Football League. In Current Research in the Economics of Sports, Lawrence Hadley and Elizabeth Gustafson, editors, Westport, CT: Praeger.
 Leeds, Eva Marikova, Michael A. Leeds, and Irina Pistolet. 2007. A Stadium by Any Other Name: The Value of Naming Rights. Journal of Sports Economics, 8(6), December: 581-595.
 Leeds, Michael A. and Sandra Kowaleski. 2001. Winner-Take-All in the NFL: The Impact of Free Agency and the Salary Cap on Skill Position Players. Journal of Sports Economics, 2(3), August: 244-256.
 Leeds, Michael A., Yelena Suris, and Jennifer Durkin. 2004. The Impact of Big-time Football Programs on the Status of Women’s Athletics. In The Economics of Collegiate Sports, John Fizel and Rodney Fort, editors Westport, CT: Praeger: 213-226.
 Leeds, Michael. A. and Elizabeth Wheaton. 2003. The Youth Labor Market in the 1990s. In The School to Work Movement: Origins and Destinations, William J. Stull and Nicholas Sanders, editors, Westport, CT: Praeger: 37-48.
 Leeds, Michael A. and Barbara Erin McCormick. 2006. In John Fizel, editor, Handbook of Sports Economics Research, “Econometric Issues in Sports Economics.” Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe: 221-236.
 Leeds, Michael A., Cristen Miller, and Judith Stull. 2007. Interscholastic Athletics and Investment in Human Capital. Social Science Quarterly, 88(3), September: 729-744.
 Nguyen Pham, Ngoc Tram and Michael A. Leeds. 2018. Movin’ on Up? Determinants of Pay of Mid-Major College Football Coaches. Unpublished Manuscript.
*This includes only coauthors who were Temple undergraduates or graduate students at the time the paper was completed.