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University of West Florida Haas Center hires new research economists

The Haas Center at the University of West Florida has hired three economists – Dr. Kalyan “Kal” Chakraborty, John Hartman and Dr. Aigbokhai “Aig” Unuigbe – to bolster its continuing research efforts.

“The team of economists will enhance the existing services and should open up several new research opportunities for the Haas Center,” said Zach Jenkins, director of the Haas Center. “Kal’s expertise in regional economics – with a special interest in education and recreational economics – is a natural fit with our core services. John and Aig are just beginning their careers as economists, and their training in health economics and econometrics will allow the Haas Center to understand how health plays a role in Northwest Florida’s economy.”

A native of India, Chakraborty joins the team as an associate director and senior research scientist. Chakraborty’s research interests are in applied microeconomics, regional economics, resource and recreational economics, economics of public education, and economics of biotechnology and policy. He earned a doctorate in economics from Utah State University and a Master of Science in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Nevada. At the Haas Center, Chakraborty will study the economic impact of new biking trails in Northwest Florida, the economic impact of water-based outdoor recreation in the state of Florida and the quality of pre-K education in Northwest Florida.

After graduating from UWF in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, John Hartman attended the University of South Florida, where he is currently in the process of finishing his dissertation for a doctoral degree in economics. His current research focuses on health preferences, childhood health and the economics of the wine industry.

Research scientist Dr. Aig Unuigbe received a doctoral degree in economics from the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he was also a lecturer in economics and graduate researcher. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University in Kansas. At the Haas Center, he will be conducting economic research related to the labor market, as well as the health care, tourism and business sectors.

For more information about the Haas Center, visit haas.uwf.edu.