Lawrence S. Powell, PhD UALR Insurance Professor UALR College of Business

Lawrence S. Powell, Ph.D.


Former UALR Insurance Professor, UALR College of Business

Operations Consultant and Executive Board Member Arkansas Mutual Insurance Company


Dr. Powell He is an applied financial economist specializing in insurance and risk management. He currently holds the Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services in the Department of Economics & Finance at University of Arkansas-Little Rock.  He earned a Ph.D. in Insurance and Risk Management at the University of Georgia.  Most of his research is focused on the intersection of regulation and markets in the insurance industry.  He has also published research on insurance fraud, insurer operations and insurer capitalization.  Dr. Powell’s work appears in leading academic and practitioner journals including Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance, and Journal of Insurance Regulation, among others. His research has been cited or quoted in nearly all of the major insurance industry practitioner periodicals (Best’s Review, Insurance Journal, et al.).  He also holds a courtesy appointment in the College of Public Health at UAMS, recognizing his collaborative research and teaching efforts with their faculty.  He serves on the board of directors for the Southern Risk and Insurance Association, and is a member of the American Risk and Insurance Association and the Risk Theory Society.  In 2007, the College of Business honored Dr. Powell with the Faculty Excellence Award for Research, and named him the Harper Boyd Professor for that year.  The Boyd Professorship is the College’s highest award indicating outstanding performance in all areas of academe.

Practical Applications:

Dr. Powell interacts often with several segments of the insurance industry and related endeavors.  Since joining the UALR faculty in 2002, he has given invited testimony before legislators at the state and national levels regarding tax policy, underwriting standards, and tort reform.  He is an active member of two national think tanks, the Independent Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and has worked with a handful of similar organizations.  He is currently the director of the Independent Institute’s insurance regulation research project.

In the healthcare field, Dr. Powell has participated in a series of Arkansas programs known as health insurance roundtable groups, proposing public policy to expand health insurance coverage.  He recently designed and estimated a Health Insurance Reform Simulation Model (HIRSM) for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.  The model estimates expected consumer behavior in response to changes in public and private insurance details (e.g. eligibility, price changes).  He also serves as a Board Member and Legislative Chairman for the Arkansas Health Underwriters professional organization.  In the related field of medical malpractice insurance, he has written several public policy analyses for the Physician Insurers Association of America and the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy.

In the legal community, Dr. Powell offers litigation support in circumstances requiring a deep understanding of insurance.  He has prepared testimony on a diverse set of issues in federal and state courts including the definition of insurance, professional standards in the insurance industry, simplifying and untangling complicated economic valuation concerns, and explaining the purpose of legislation in constitutional challenges.  In 2007 he authored a manuscript on federal versus state insurance regulation for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

Finally, Dr. Powell serves our country as an Economic Reviewer for SAFETY Act applications.  The SAFETY Act is a federal Department of Homeland Security program promoting creation of new anti-terrorism technologies by limiting product liability.