Lawrence Murphy Smith


Lawrence Murphy SmithLawrence Murphy Smith (PhD) is a Professor of Accounting in the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He teaches at the RELLIS Campus. His academic record includes numerous journal articles, research grants, books, academic conference presentations, and awards for teaching and research. His work has been cited in various news media, including National Public Radio, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. His work is among the most downloaded, with over 76,000 article-downloads on Social Science Research Network ( His work is highly cited, with over 4,000 citations per Google Scholar. Among his awards are the Outstanding Educator Award from the Texas Society of CPAs and the Outstanding International Accounting Educator Award from the American Accounting Association International Accounting Section.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Relationship of Internet Activity to Income Inequality and Life Satisfaction

Prior research shows that the internet has enhanced information dissemination and facilitated economic development. However, the impact of the internet is not evenly distributed among countries or within countries of the world. While the internet facilitates an increase in economic activity, the economic reward from that activity is not evenly distributed to all segments of a society, which leads to income inequality. If income inequality is perceived as excessive, that may cause the population’s life satisfaction to go downward. Findings indicate a negative relationship between internet usage and income inequality, but a positive relationship between internet usage and life satisfaction. Thus, decreases in income inequality and increases in happiness are both associated with increases in internet usage.

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Relationship of Internet Activity to Economic and Social Metrics

This paper provides a multinational analysis of the relationship of internet activity to economic and social metrics. Analyses were made of 129 countries, all those with complete data for internet usage, economic activity, economic freedom, gender equality, and social progress. The internet facilitates economic development in myriad ways, such as businesses can efficiently offer their goods and services online. Findings indicate that countries with higher levels of Internet usage are associated with significantly higher levels of economic activity, Economic freedom gives citizens the right to control their own labor and property. Countries with higher levels of internet usage are associated with significantly higher levels of economic freedom. Gender equality and social progress are valuable components of a vibrant economy. Findings of this study show that countries having higher levels of internet usage are associated with significantly higher levels of gender equality and social progress.

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Relationship of Economic Freedom to Economic Performance, Gender Equality, and Social Progress

This study examines the relationship of economic freedom, as measured by the Economic Freedom Index, to economic performance (GDP), gender equality, and social progress. Prior research suggests that business activity is more robust in societies that are more economically free with lower government involvement. Modern business firms must do more than just make a financial profit; firms must also be good corporate citizens and demonstrate corporate social responsibility, such as by advancing gender equality and general social progress. Business managers play key roles in their firms’ advancing corporate social responsibility. Findings of this study indicate that higher levels of economic freedom are significantly positively related to the social factors of gender equality and social progress, important issues to socially responsible business firms.

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