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L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor


   Department of Economics

   Florida State University


Research Associate

    National Bureau of Economic Research



​Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
M.S., California Institute of Technology
B.A., University of Rochester




Shawn Kantor's current research explores the determinants of regional economic growth.  His most recent work examines the role that knowledge spillovers play in contributing to productivity gains shared more generally in a local area.  One avenue of his research considers the impact that public R&D and research universities have on regional economic growth, both historically and today. 

Shawn Kantor is the author of numerous books and articles and his research has been extensively supported by external granting agencies, primarily the NSF.  His book Politics and Property Rights: The Closing of the Open Range in the Postbellum South (University of Chicago Press, 1998) examines the transformation of property rights to land in the South after the Civil War.  His co-authored book A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation (University of Chicago Press, 2000) analyzes the factors that contributed to the introduction of the first major social insurance program in the United States. The book was awarded the TIAA-CREF Institute Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security and the Richard A. Lester Prize for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations. An article on the political economy of compulsory state workers' compensation insurance systems won the Economic History Association's 1997 Arthur H. Cole Prize for the outstanding article published in the Journal of Economic History.  Dr. Kantor, in collaboration with Price Fishback (University of Arizona) and other co-authors, examined the economic consequences of the New Deal. The research has measured the impact of New Deal spending on a variety of important economic and social outcomes such as retail consumption, migration, infant mortality, building construction and housing values, employment and wages, and crime.  The research has broken important new ground in providing insights into the microeconomic effects of large-scale fiscal policy interventions, such as those that occurred during the New Deal era and during the Great Recession.

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