My name is Ross Hanig and I am an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Pamplin School of Business. I chose to go into economics because of a class I took on environmental economics when I was an undergraduate student.
At the time, I was studying environmental policy and kept learning about more and more problems. It was frustrating.
Now, I look at economics as a discipline in which we try to better understand how people respond to incentives, and use that knowledge to develop better policies within organizations and in politics.
My current research interests include behavioral economics, development economics, human rights, regional economics, and environmental and resource economics.
I earned my Ph.D. in Agricultural and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
My philosophy teacher (Mr.Dill) gave me some very good advice when I was an undergraduate: “Find something you like to do, that you’re good at, and that someone’s willing to pay you for”. There’s a decent amount of research that finds that passions are often fleeting, yet we often base our life goals on them. But finding something you’re good at—something you have an aptitude for—and like doing, that becomes self-reinforcing and often turns into a passion.
I’d have my 20-year old self read the book, “How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less,” by Georgetown University Computer Science Prof. Cal Newport. In hindsight, I studied so inefficiently when I was an undergraduate and even in my graduate studies. I could have done better while doing less work.
I see so many students now studying so much, pulling so many late nights and getting so stressed. This has been the single most effective resource I’ve been able to steer my students towards to help them achieve a more even work-life balance while improving academically.
When I am not thinking about economics, I like to cook. I make home cured and smoked bacon (I used to be a vegetarian). My wife and I make our cat raw food from scratch using Mary’s Free Range Chickens and a bunch of supplements. In true Portland fashion, a friend of ours who has written two dog food cookbooks spent a whole weekend with us developing a nutritionally sound recipe for our cat, consulting sources from the National Research Council. We’re those people.
If you have any questions for me, about anything at all, please come see me or drop me an email.