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Hilton Center Director to Discuss Universities and Economic Growth

Shawn Kantor, director of the Hilton Center and professor of economics, will be a featured panelist at an upcoming discussion of “Place-Based Policies for Shared Economic Growth,” a forum hosted by The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative launched in 2006 by the Brookings Institution.

The forum, taking place September 28, 2018, and webcast at this link, will explore the most effective policy options to foster place-based policies for shared economic growth. Kantor will take part in a round-table discussion: “The Role of Education in Strengthening Regions."

Kantor’s participation grew from a policy proposal he wrote for The Hamilton Project with FSU economics Ph.D. student Jason Baron and Alex Whalley of the University of Calgary. The proposal, “Extending the Reach of Research Universities: A Proposal for Productivity Growth in Lagging Communities,” seeks to shed light on the potential role of research universities as anchor institutions for local economic development.

In the paper, Kantor and his colleagues note the widely held perception that high-tech clusters around the U.S. owe much of their success to neighboring universities. As a result, establishing research universities in lagging communities is increasingly being considered as a potential place-based policy.

The paper proposes that instead of establishing a new research university, lagging communities should focus on transferring productivity-enhancing knowledge to their local employers from existing research universities near their regions.
Kantor will be joined on the panel by Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Louise Fox, chief economist for the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Stephen Smith, professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University.

Kantor has conducted research into how economic, political, and legal institutions influence economic development. His current research examines the impact that research universities such as Florida State have on regional economic growth, both historically and today. By examining the ascendency of the modern American research university over the past 125 years, Kantor's research attempts to measure the broad economic effects of public investments in university knowledge production, especially from a regional perspective.

Kantor wrote a piece on the topic for the 2016 issue of the college’s annual publication, Engage, available at this link, pp. 6-7.