Dr. Shawn Kantor is the L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor of Economics and the Director of the L. Charles Hilton Jr. Center for the Study of Economic Prosperity and Individual Opportunity at Florida State University. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA. Prior to his appointment at Florida State University in 2015, Dr. Kantor was a Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona (1990–2004), a Founding Faculty member, Professor, and Chair of the Social Sciences & Management Division at the University of California, Merced (2004–12), and a Professor and Department Head of Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2012–15). He received his Ph.D. in Social Science from the California Institute of Technology.
Dr. Kantor’s award-winning research explores how economic, political, and legal institutions interact to influence the process of economic development. His work has been extensively supported by external grant agencies, primarily the National Science Foundation. His current research examines how knowledge spillovers contribute to regional economic growth, both historically and today. The research seeks to understand how local knowledge production and its producers contribute to long-term regional growth. Past work has explored the transformation of property rights to land in the South after the Civil War, the origins of workers’ compensation in the U.S., and the impact of New Deal spending on a variety of important economic and social outcomes.