College of Social Sciences

Shawn Kantor

L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor of Economic Prosperity and Individual Opportunity


Shawn Kantor, a prize-winning author and former head of the Department of Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has joined the faculty of Florida State University as the L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor of Economic Prosperity and Individual Opportunity. In the new position within the Department of Economics, Kantor will conduct research on markets and the institutions that play an important role in determining economic prosperity and individual opportunity. He will coordinate regional and national symposia to examine and discuss best practices among the states in achieving these goals. He will also integrate students into a research agenda that will provide the intellectual basis of the policy symposia.

For many years, Kantor has conducted research into how economic, political, and legal institutions influence economic development. His current studies examine the impact that research universities such as Florida State have on regional economic growth. Kantor’s many published papers have won awards for outstanding writing and rank him as one of the country’s most acclaimed economics scholars. He is the author of the books Property Rights: The Closing of the Open Range in the Postbellum South and A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Workers’ Compensation (with Price Fishback), which received both the 2000 TIAA-CREF Institute Certificate of Excellence and the Richard Lester Prize for Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations.

Kantor received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1991. Prior to his post at Rensselaer, he was a founding faculty member at the University of California, Merced, serving as the chair of a multidisciplinary department in the social sciences.