College of Business, Health, and Human Services
Assistant Professor of Economics
Dr. Rhet Smith is an assistant professor of economics in the department of accounting, economics, and finance at UA Little Rock. Smith is noted for his research on applying microeconomic concepts in crime, labor, and health economics being particularly focused on substance abuse and the impacts of cannabis dispensaries in communities, as well as the pure excitement he has in teaching.
Smith has been praised by colleagues for his research on cannabis dispensaries. One example of his dedication to research, was in 2019 he collaboratively collected dispensary location and opening date data for the entire United States, which did not exist at the time, in order to examine the strategic response in direct-to-physician marketing by pharmaceutical firms as cannabis dispensaries entered each particular market. The focus of his research is to examine the impacts of cannabis dispensaries on everything from insurance and public safety to applications in healthcare with the ultimate goal of informing public policy.
Students have also praised Smith for his teaching style and dedication in the classroom. He is often noted for enthusiasm and excitement in the classroom. One student in particular, praised Smith as a mentor highlighting Smith aiding the student in acquiring multiple grants for his topic, which led to the student presenting at an academic conference. He has also served as one of the faculty who sponsor our Finance and Economics Association (FEA) student organization. In this role, Smith has helped connect students with internship and research opportunities.
Smith received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Georgia, a M.A. in economics from Cleveland State University, and a B.S. in business administration from Central Michigan University.