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Faculty & Staff

 Kathleen  Thomas, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Georgia State University, Economics
  • MA, The University of Alabama, Economics
  • BS, Birmingham-Southern College, Economics


Dr. M. Kathleen Thomas is the Department Head of Finance and Economics at Mississippi State University and a Professor of Economics. She specializes in public finance and education policy. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, Dr. Thomas was a researcher with the Texas Schools Project at The University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Thomas’ research has been published in numerous peer reviewed journals including Economics Letters, Social Choice and Welfare, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Cultural Economics, and Economics of Education Review. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Thomas earned her Ph.D. in economics from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in 2000.

Recent Publications

  • "Giving to Poverty Relief Charities: The Impact of Beliefs and Misperceptions Toward Income Redistribution in a Real Donation Experiment", with R. Andrew Luccasen and P. Grossman, Social Choice and Welfare, 2017, vol. 49, no. 2, p 387-409.
  • "The Effects of Algebra and Geometry Skills on Performance in High School Economics", with Brent A. Evans and John R. Swinton, Perspectives on Economic Education Research, 2015, vol. 9, no. 2, p 54-64.
  • "Monetary incentives versus class credit: Evidence from a large classroom trust experiment", with R. Andrew Luccasen, Economics Letters, 2014, vol. 123, p 232-235.

Recent Presentations

  • "Designing and Implementing Program Evaluations in Arts Education: The Case of Little Kids Rock", with Kristin Klopfenstein and Prinyanka Singh, 85th Annual Meeting of the Southern Economic Association, New Orleans, 2015.
  • "Designing and implementing program evaluations in arts education: The case of Little Kids Rock", 7th Conference on Cultural and Media Economics, Paris, France, 2015.
  • "Arts Education and the High School Dropout Problem", 84th Annual Meeting of the Southern Economic Association, Atlanta, GA, 2014.