Dr. Maria Koumenta

Senior Research Affiliate


Maria Koumenta is an Assistant Professor of Labor Economics at Queen Mary, University of London. She is an expert on occupational regulation, currently leading the research on this topic in the EU and UK. Her work explores the characteristics and prevalence of occupational regulation, analyses its impact on labour market outcomes such as earnings, skills, employment, migration and service quality. She has led various projects funded by the UK government and the European Commission and has provided testimony and policy advice to various UK government departments (UK Treasury, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Policy, Department of Health), UK Parliamentary Committees, and officials at the European Commission. She was awarded her PhD from the London School of Economics, where she also worked as a researcher at the Centre for Economic Performance.

Dr. Robert Thornton

Senior Research Affiliate


Robert Thornton is MacFarlane Professor of Economics (emeritus) at Lehigh University. His research includes many articles and books in the areas of labor economics (particularly occupational licensing, labor market discrimination, and unions and collective bargaining) and forensic economics. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois after working as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Sussex (UK), University College Dublin (Ireland), and University College Galway (Ireland). He also served as chairman of Lehigh’s Department of Economics, as Lehigh’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA, as university ombudsman, and as president of the National Association of Forensic Economics. On the less serious side, he is the author of the Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations (Sourcebooks 2004, and Barnes and Noble Books 2005).

Dr. Bobby Chung

Research Affiliate


Bobby is a labor economist. He received his Ph.D in Economics at Clemson University. He is now a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). He is also a network member of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group. Bobby's recent work includes social network, teacher licensing, and real estate licensing.

Dr. Darwyyn Deyo

Research Affiliate


Darwyyn Deyo is an Assistant Professor of Economics at San Jose State University who teaches law and economics and labor economics. She is also an Affiliate Research Fellow with the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute. She has researched the impact of occupational licensing on service quality, the labor supply of criminals, and topics in health economics such as the impact of tort reform and the Affordable Care Act on health care utilization. She has published in such journals as the Journal of Private Enterprise, the Journal of Economics and Finance Education, the American Journal of Managed Care, and the Journal of the American College of Radiology. She earned a Doctorate in Economics and a Masters in Economics from George Mason University. She is also an alumni of Saint Mary’s College of California where she earned a dual Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in International Area Studies. She previously worked as a Research Fellow with the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute and was an affiliate scholar with the Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research at George Mason University. Before beginning her doctorate, she worked as a journalist covering political news out of Pennsylvania. She is also co-founder of the Finance and Economics Women’s Network, which supports undergraduate students in those disciplines.

Dr. Sriparna Ghosh

Research Affiliate


Dr. Ghosh is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash. As an applied microeconomists with a focus on public, health, and entrepreneurship economics, her research focuses on understanding access and barriers within labor markets and economic wellbeing. Dr. Ghosh's current research projects investigate the effect of occupational licensing and certificate of need policies in understanding the relationship between public policy and health outcomes. Dr. Ghosh was recently awarded a new investigator research grant from the American Association of University Women to support my research on entrepreneurship in developing countries.

Dr. Brian Meehan

Research Affiliate


Dr. Brian Meehan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Berry College. Brian earned his PhD in economics from Florida State University. He earned his MA in economics from Central Michigan University and his BS in economics from Northern Michigan University. His research interests include law and economics, occupational licensing, and public choice. He has published in academic journals including: Public Choice, The International Review of Law and Economics, and Applied Economics. Much of his work focuses on the impact of occupational licensing on labor markets and crime. He has also published policy reports on occupational licensing for the Archbridge Institute and an op-ed appearing in The Hill.

Dr. Shishir Shakya

Research Affiliate


Dr. Shakya is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a Research Fellow of the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation at West Virginia University. Dr. Shakya an applied economist specializing in healthcare provider labor, licensing, and regulation markets. Dr. Shakya is passionate about finding solutions that improve healthcare access and quality at reduced costs. Dr. Shakya uses various applied econometric, spatial, and policy evaluation techniques and supplement my empirical knowledge with the practice of technology-driven methods such as data-scrapping, big data, predictive, and causal machine learning approaches. Dr. Shakya has been published in numerous peer-reviewed academic journals, including the World Development, Annals of Regional Science, Energy Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Spatial Economic Analysis, Applied Economics Letters, Journal of Labor Research, and others. Dr. Shakya has taught Regional Economics, Economic Analysis of Big Data, Principles of Economics, Macroeconomics, Managerial Economics, Business Data Visualization, and Elementary Business & Economic Statistics.

Dr. Noah Trudeau

Research Affiliate


Dr. Noah Trudeau is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Saint Francis University. His research specializes in occupational regulation, with a specific focus on the intersection of economic history and the study of barriers created through regulatory action. He contributes to maintaining an index of occupational licensing stringency in the United States. When not working on regulatory studies, Noah studies and contributes to pedagogy for the economics classroom by designing new methods for encouraging student engagement. Dr. Trudeau earned Ph.D. in Economics from West Virginia University.

Dr. Tingting Zhang

Research Affiliate


Tingting Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies and Analytics at the Girard School of Business, Merrimack College. She has joined The School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 2021. She earned a Doctorate in Industrial Relations and Human Resources and a Masters in Economics from the University of Toronto in Canada. She also holds a Bachelor in Economics from the University of British Columbia in Canada and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Shandong University in China. Her research focuses on various training and development mechanisms both within and outside organizations, such as occupational regulation and the emergence of nondegree credentials, shape individuals’ career outcomes, especially marginalized groups such as women and immigrants. Tingtings’s research has appeared in such journals as International Migration Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, International Journal of Training and Development, and Canadian Public Policy.

Ilya Kukaev

Student Affiliate


Ilya Kukaev is a PhD candidate in Economics at Lehigh University with research interest in Labor Economics and Macro-Labor topics. His research covers areas of occupational regulation and immigration. In particular, he studies effects of linguistic assimilation on growth in native employment; effects of occupational regulation on unemployment duration as well as occupational regulation of highly regulated occupations on labor supply. In his free time he enjoys ice skating.