Experts

Economic Policy Experts

Dean, College of Business and William G. Karnes Professor of Finance
Expertise: Economic Policy

Jeffrey Brown is a nationally known expert on retirement policy and serves as associate director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Retirement Research Center. Brown's research focuses on public and private insurance markets, pensions and retirement savings plans. He once served as a senior economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Robert C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business
Expertise: Economic Policy

Jon Davis was appointed interim director of IGPA in July 2017 and began his service the following month. Prior to joining the institute, Davis served as head of the nationally acclaimed Department of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2012-2017 and continues to hold the Robert C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business as a professor of accountancy. He is a CPA and he worked at Deloitte, Haskins and Sells in tax before pursuing his Ph.D. Degree at University of Arizona.

Gutgsell Professor of Finance
Expertise: Economic Policy

Don Fullerton researches energy and environmental policy issues, including household garbage and recycling behavior, air and water quality regulation, and climate change policy.  He studies the economic effects of these regulations including their cost effectiveness, the distribution of their burdens, and the interactions between environmental policy and other tax policy. He also has done extensive research on taxation issues including the economic incidence and investment incentive effects of the corporate income tax and other federal and state taxes.

Professor Emeritus
Expertise: Economic Policy

J. Fred Giertz is a professor emeritus in the Department of Economics at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of the University of Illinois Flash Index, a monthly indicator of the condition of the state’s economy and is an expert on taxation and the Midwest economy. Giertz has served as interim director of IGPA twice since joining the institute’s faculty in 1980. 

Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

George Gross' major research activities are in power system analysis, economics, and control and electric utility regulatory policy. He has a keen interest in the interdisciplinary aspects of these areas. Gross has numerous publications in international refereed journals and has lectured at many universities around the world. Gross has introduced new courses into the curriculum and has organized national annual conferences on regulatory issues.

Professor Emeritus
Expertise: Economic Policy

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings' major research efforts are directed toward modeling of urban, regional and interregional economic systems. Much of this work is based on a set of econometric-input-output models that have been developed for several metropolitan areas and states in the United States as well as several regions in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Japan. Hewings heads the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL).

Professor

Robert Kaestner researches health economics and has devoted much of his study to the impact of health policy on health outcomes. He is a professor in the Department of Economics in Chicago and holds affiliate positions with the National Bureau of Economic Research, Urban Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 

Anthony T. Lo Sasso is an economist whose research spans several dimensions of health economics and health services research. Lo Sasso is keenly interested in how government policies affect private sector decisions. Lo Sasso has studied the impact of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program on uninsurance among children and the extent to which public coverage “crowded out” private coverage. In addition, he has examined how community rating provisions affected individual health insurance coverage and uninsurance.

Associate Professor

Darren Lubotsky’s research falls within two broad areas: the American labor market and the health and cognitive development of children. Some of his recent projects study the impact of rising health insurance premiums on public-sector compensation, the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on employment, and the economic status of immigrants in the United States.

James J. Stukel Presidential Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

David F. Merriman's major area of study is state and local public finance. Merriman directs The Fiscal Futures Project, which created and maintains of a comprehensive and consistently defined measure of the Illinois state budget.  He has published extensively about the effect of tax increment finance policy on local economic growth and the determinants of tobacco tax avoidance. He has also studied Walmart’s impact on urban economic development. His most recent research concerns state and local business taxation.

Associate Professor

Elizabeth T. Powers has conducted research on the incentive effects of public insurance programs, the effects of child health on maternal labor supply, employment effects of the minimum wage, and the caregiver labor market. Ongoing research projects are in the areas of children’s cognitive development, U.S.-Mexican migration, child support policy, work disability and the Disability Insurance program, and long-term care facilities.

Assistant Professor

Julian Reif is an assistant professor in the Department of Finance at the College of Business in Urbana-Champaign and has been part of the IGPA faculty since 2012. He researches health care economics and spends time on environmental policy and the effect of taxation on environmental and climate policy. He is co-leader of IGPA's Climate Change policy initiative, and also holds a position as a research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Professor Emeritus and Vice President Emeritus
Expertise: Economic Policy

Robert Resek is professor emeritus of economics at Urbana-Champaign. He served as the University’s vice president for academic affairs, the university’s chief academic officer, from 1988-1995. His research has foced on technical progress, investment behavior, risk analysis and regional economics. Resek is a past president of the Association of University Business and Economic Research.

Associate Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

Kathy Baylis is an associate professor in the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. She joined the department after several years as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she remains an adjunct faculty. She earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2003, where she specialized in international agricultural policy and trade. Her current research evaluates agriculture, food and conservation policy in developing countries and the United States.

Assistant Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

Tatyana Deryugina’s research interests are in the fields of environmental economics, public finance, and behavioral economics. She has expertise in key environmental problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, natural disasters, and the effect of policies that address these issues on businesses and other social entities.

Associate Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

Joshua Drucker is an Associate Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests center around processes of regional economic development and transformation. Recent projects include examining the role of industrial competition within regional economies, analyzing the contributions of anchor institutions to economic performance and resilience, and investigating innovation districts as an urban economic development strategy.

Assistant Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

Richard Funderburg is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield. Funderburg’s research centers on the ability and limitations of state and local economic development policy to entice private businesses to locate, start up, or expand within the region and the fiscal and budget consequences of public efforts.

Assistant Professor
Expertise: Economic Policy

Megan Konar conducts policy-relevant research that focuses on the intersection of water, food, and trade. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from hydrology, environmental science, and economics. To conduct this research, Konar applies a range of quantitative tools, such as modeling, network analysis, and econometrics. Konar's research is motivated by questions such as: How does trade link water and food systems across scales? How will climate and socio-economic shocks impact global food trade and its associated embodied water resources?

Professor and Faculty Fellow, Great Cities Institute
Expertise: Economic Policy

Rachel Weber is a professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she conducts research in economic development, real estate, and public finance. She has expertise in the areas of urban and regional economic development, public finance, municipal government law, planning theory, andreal estate. She has conducted extensive research on the impact of changes in capital markets on urban economies and the built environment.