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Rik Hafer, Ph.D.

Distinguished Research Professor and

Chair, Department of Economics and Finance

Director, Office of Economic Education and Business Research

SIUE School of Business

Professor Hafer came to SIUE in 1989 after spending 10 years working as a research economist for the St. Louis Federal Reserve in St. Louis. Working at SIUE, he has conducted and published research on monetary policy and financial markets, and interacted with many students at the same time. "I'm both nosy and inquisitive," he said. "I enjoy teaching because I want our students to be nosy, too. That and I really haven't grown up since my college days, either. Students are fun to teach, to talk to and to learn from."

Complicated? No. Unpredictable? Yes. Professor Hafer is analytical, inquisitive, and creative - all at the same time. He's conversational in style and makes his lectures real for students. "I often have them write a weekly paper to explain and apply some economic concept we have discussed in class. I want them to be able to explain economics to their brother or sister. It really gets them to think about what they are learning and how to communicate that knowledge."

He's a noted expert in economics and is often sought out by the local, regional and national media to comment on economic and policy issues. He writes a monthly column in the Illinois Business Journal, and has written for the Wall Street Journal and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was also called upon by SIUE's Chancellor to lead the team that conducted SIUE's 2005 Economic Impact Study.


  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1979
  • M.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1977
  • B.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1975

Research Interests

  • Monetary policy
  • Financial markets
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