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The O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom was established at SMU in 2008 by William J. "Bill" O'Neil (BBA, '55) and his wife Fay C. O'Neil to study the impact of competitive market forces on freedom and prosperity in the global economy. The center offers training for today's forward-looking individuals who recognize the importance of globalization in changing the business environment in which we are all operating.

O'Neil Center's 2014-15 Annual Report:
The Wealth of Cities
Pursuing Economic Freedom Closer to Home
By W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm

Cities are our greatest economic innovation. History has proven that throngs of people, living and working in close proximity, create a cauldron in which human creativity and ingenuity flourish, speeding up the innovation that fuels new industries and enterprises. To grow and prosper, cities need people and physical infrastructure, for sure, but they also need a political economy of freedom, which offers the best environment for creativity and cooperation. O’Neil Center founding director W. Michael Cox and co-author Richard Alm show the links between economic freedom and the success of America’s metropolitan area economies. Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, we find that more economic freedom is associated with faster GDP growth, higher job creation, lower unemployment, higher wages, less inequality and lower living costs. Although economic freedom works, cities routinely intervene in the local economy with heavy-handed regulations that inhibit business activity and protect existing enterprises.