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Visiting Scholar Seeks Greater Connections

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Sudhir K. Thakur may have a background in geography — he has a master’s and doctorate in the field — but his teaching focus is all business. He is interested in a field called ‘regional science,’ which integrates three disciplines, economics, geography and planning, and he has academic qualifications in all three.

The visiting associate professor from Sacramento State joined Cal State Fullerton this fall, and in the spring will teach real estate development, a course that hasn’t been taught on campus for many years, as well as an urban economics course, which he hopes will spark some economics students to consider a future in real estate.

“I love Cal State Fullerton … it’s a great institution,” says Thakur. “Coming here provided me with not only an opportunity to teach on this campus, but also to develop networks with Fullerton faculty. I look forward to a year of academic exchange.”

Thakur, acting associate director of Cal State Fullerton’s Real Estate and Land Use Institute, studies regional economics and regional structure, using statistics and input-output analysis at different geographical scales. He has applied a fundamental economic structure (FES) approach to India and Chile for identifying and predicting their regional economic structure.

“Over time, what economic activities will drive the national and regional economic economies?” he says. Such an economic analysis can show patterns, which can define a structure that allows prediction of growth and change within an entire country. “It will help governments plan for the future.”

Real estate is an example of a sector that can be studied for clues to a country’s future economic growth. “It’s hugely complex and can have an impact on the local, regional and national economy, from hiring to its percent share of GDP. It can be very volatile,” he explains.

Thakur has co-edited five books — most recently the two-volume “Spatial Diversity and Dynamics in Resources and Urban Development” from Springer — and authored numerous book chapters and articles based on his research on regional economic structure utilizing FES approach.