The EFP team works hard to bring you the latest economic, demographic, and quality of life data for Santa Barbara County and the region. Our department also provides real-world, hands-on training in data analysis and research to undergraduate students from a range of majors, such as economics, computer science, and statistics. Many of our students continue their education in graduate programs or are hired by private firms and government agencies, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Peter Rupert, Ph.D.

Peter Rupert, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Rupert joined the Economic Forecast Project as its executive director in 2010. He is a professor of economics and former Chair of the UCSB Department of Economics. He is Associate Director of the UCSB Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance, founded by Nobel Laureate Finn Kydland. He is an Editor of the European Economic Review and Labour Economics. Prior to joining UCSB, Dr. Rupert spent 12 years as a Senior Economic Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Dr. Rupert has held appointments at the University of Western Ontario, State University of New York at Buffalo, West Virginia University, the University of Southern California, and University of London. Dr. Rupert earned his B.S. from Santa Clara University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at University of Rochester. His areas of specialization include macroeconomics, monetary economics, economics of the criminal justice system, labor, and household economics.

Kenneth Freeland

Kenneth Freeland

Assistant Director

Kenneth joined the Economic Forecast Project in 2011. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating economic impact studies and consulting projects, board and sponsor relations, and EFP finance, administration, and operations.

Thomas Fullagar

Thomas Fullagar

Senior Research Analyst

Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at UC Santa Barbara, specializing in the fields of labor and health economics. He earned a B.A. in economics and philosophy from Kansas State University, and his M.A. in economics from the University of Texas, Austin. Prior to attending UC Santa Barbara, he worked for Welch Consulting.

Sarah Papich

Sarah Papich

Senior Research Analyst

Sarah is a Ph.D. student in economics at UC Santa Barbara, focusing on labor economics, public economics, and health economics. She earned a B.A. in economics and political science from University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently studying the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on fertility, as well as determinants of female and total labor force participation across countries.

Research Interns

Berkiel Molinard

Research Analyst

Majors: Economics, Philosophy, Statistics and Data Science (Triple Major - Class of 2022)

Rhys Tracy

Research Analyst

Major: Computer Science (M.S. Program)

Haotian Xia

Research Analyst

Major: Computer Science (Class of 2023)

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