Rik Hafer, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Economics and the Environment. Hafer is also a faculty member in the Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Lindenwood University, serving as Professor of Economics.
After receiving a Ph.D., Hafer joined the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Upon rising to Research Officer, Rik left the Fed in 1989 to become Professor of Economics at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. While at SIUE he held several positions, including Director of the Office of Economic Education and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance. In 2007, Hafer was promoted to Distinguished Research Professor of Economics and Finance.
Hafer has taught at several universities, including Washington University in St. Louis and Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He also has been an instructor in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, served as a Consultant to the Central Bank of the Philippines, was a Research Fellow with the Institute of Urban Research at SIUE, and served as a Visiting Scholar with the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis. Until recently, he was also a Research Fellow with the Show-Me Institute in St. Louis.
Hafer has published over 100 academic articles, several books on monetary policy and financial markets, and a principles of economics text. His research has covered many fields other than monetary economics, including the link between economic freedom and economic growth, and more recently the role of education in explaining why some countries and states grow faster than others. He also has written over 150 commentaries which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Illinois, and St. Louis Business Journals.
Dr. Hafer received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1975) his Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1977, 1979).