Ph.D. candidate Austin Landini is one of many scholars who came to CSU because of our strengths in regional economics. As a student here, Austin has worked closely with Dr. Stephan Weiler within the Regional Economics Development Institute (REDI@CSU) to explore the relationship between demographic change and local community economic health, with an intent to inform policy that combats poverty at the local level.

During his time at CSU, Austin has distinguished himself through both research and teaching. His honors include the prestigious Charles Tiebout Prize, awarded by the Western Regional Science Association for the best graduate student paper (2021); a dissertation fellowship (2021); and CSU’s ODE Best Graduate Paper award (2018). Additionally, he contributed to the course designs for ECON 101 Economics of Social Issues, ECON 306 Intermediate Economics, and ECON 372 History of Economic Thought, including hybrid and online delivery formats.

When he finishes his degree this summer, Austin will move into a postdoctoral research position at the University of Missouri, housed within the Department of Applied Social Science. This position will allow Austin to continue studying small business formation and entrepreneurship, geodemographic patterns in investment risk preference, and the relationship between demographic change and local voting outcomes.

Quick Facts


Ph.D. Economics, Colorado State University (ant. 2022)

M.S. Economics, Auburn University (2014)

B.B.A. Economics, University of Iowa (2012)

DissertationThree Studies on the Impact of Demographic Change on Local Economic Outcomes

Advisors: Professors Anita Pena and Stephan Weiler

Fields: Regional economics, public economics

In His Own Words

What inspired you to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics? 

I have been inspired by conversations with insightful individuals outside of Economics who think about similar problems using different techniques. I aim to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the study of demographics and economic opportunity. 

Why did you choose CSU for your Ph.D. in Economics?

I was familiar with Fort Collins since we had family friends living here growing up. I knew that this would be a great place to live and work. I was also attracted to the heterodox nature of the program and the variety of research being undertaken by our faculty. 

What has been the best part of your experience as a graduate student in ECON? 

The best part about CSU Econ has been the people! The faculty are generally approachable and easy to talk to. I’ve enjoyed our get-togethers after Friday seminars. The grad students do a great job of planning get-togethers and trying to include as many people as possible so that it is a welcoming place for new students to study.