Posted November 4, 2019 in News

Logan, UT –The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is pleased to announce a $250,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to further research focused on how content moderation policies are affecting user behavior and what responsibilities platforms have concerning misinformation. With this gift, the Center will offer new and innovative policy solutions for both platforms and policymakers.

“We are pleased to partner with  Knight Foundation to tackle one of the most significant public policy issues today,” said Blake Dursteler, Executive Director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State. “Their investment provides critical support to understand misinformation and what both the public and private sectors can do to help solve the problem.”

The research on misinformation will be led by the head of CGO’s Experimental Economic Program and Huntsman School of Business Assistant Professor, Lucas Rentschler, and advised by Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith.

“The Experimental Economics Program will act as a hub for policy-minded experimental research by both facilitating and publicizing research with direct policy applications,” said Rentschler. “Our goal is to both advance and inform policy discussions, while building a community of researchers at Utah State and across the world.”

“When I first started running experiments more than 60 years ago, I could have never imagined the growth we see now,” said Smith. “This new program will place The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University at the forefront of those advancing these cutting-edge techniques. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Frank Caliendo, Academic Director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity and Head of the Department of Economics and Finance in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, said the program will not only conduct cutting-edge experiments, but it will also help students better understand economics by allowing them to participate in the experiments actively.

“This exciting partnership between  Knight Foundation and the Center for Growth and Opportunity represents a fantastic opportunity for students,” said Caliendo. “Learning from Vernon and Lucas in a laboratory environment where they are doing hands-on research and experiments is an incredibly valuable part of their overall experience in the Huntsman School.”

About the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University is an economic research center using innovative techniques to offer actionable, solution-oriented ideas that lead to economic growth and individual opportunity. For more, visit growthopportunity.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.