The regular seminar series features the work of Division economists, visiting scholars, and invited guests.
Economic History Association Prizes and Awards
Many other division professional staff support the goals of the individual economists and the Division as a whole. The St. Louis Review became the first Federal Reserve publication to become an academic-style journal. Since , this peer-reviewed publication has featured research and commentary by world-renowned economists including John Taylor , Ben Bernanke , and Christina Romer. Homer Jones is also known for the guiding principle that everyone should be able to access data the same way a professional researcher can.
He instituted popular weekly and monthly data publications that were mailed to subscribers. A Business Week article about the St. Louis Fed described the process as follows:. From to , the Research Division was led by Anatol "Ted" Balbach, who expanded influence of the Review , enhanced databases and data publications, and launched a visiting scholar program that attracted leading economists from around the world. Our customer support agent will call you back within 15 minutes.
Christina D. Romer
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Estimated Price:. Summers drinks many Diet Cokes a day, and he was badly in need of one.
He got up, his shirttails peeking out from underneath his jacket, and shuffled over to a counter at the side of the room in search of a caffeinated beverage. All he found was an empty glass, which he carried back to his seat. The manufacturers took turns explaining their plight. Wes Smith, of E. She moved the bottle closer to him, smiling. He shifted his weight in his chair.
He made jerky, shaking motions with his head. He ran a hand through his hair. Still, by the time Mario Sciberras, of Saline Lectronics, was speaking about what he would do with one of the new loans, Summers was asleep. This is something of a habit: he has fallen asleep in two public meetings—and, reportedly, one private meeting—with the President this year.
He is so aware of the prickly caricature that has built up about him over the years that he now often speaks in a tone of exaggerated politeness, burying his barbs underneath a torrent of deferential phrases. Still, he does not let bad arguments slip by uncontested. According to White House colleagues, in economic meetings in the Oval Office Summers can rarely resist challenging or correcting others, even Obama.
The meeting in Detroit was no different. And then, like a machine gun on a rotating turret, he went around the table one by one and questioned every claim he had just heard. Summers was equally doubtful of the idea that fairness required the government to bail out every struggling industry. He also took exception to the idea, voiced by several people in the meeting, that intervening in manufacturing was as imperative as stabilizing the financial industry. Finally, he turned to Ned Staebler.
Granholm seemed to hold her breath as Summers prepared to deliver his verdict on the new program. Summers had remained neutral during the primaries last year. But he began briefing Obama during daily conference calls after the Lehman Brothers collapse, a moment when a subtle power shift took place in the campaign, away from the political advisers who were helping Obama get elected and toward the policy wonks he would need to help him navigate the recession.
Summers became the hub of this new economic team, one that has made a series of crisis decisions that may prove more consequential than anything else that Obama does in his Presidency. Summers was born in in New Haven, Connecticut, where he lived until he was five. His parents were both economists, and his father taught at Yale, but the family moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia so that he could take a teaching job at the University of Pennsylvania. His father once set up a bidding system to distribute TV-watching times.
When his parents went out in the evening, they often gave Larry a math problem to work on. If they forgot, his mother has recalled, he would rush out the door after them and demand one. Of all the social sciences, the economics profession prides itself on being the most relevant to real-world problems, and Summers was attracted to the links between academic work and public policy. In retrospect, it was a sort of hubristic moment in the economics profession. But what I absorbed was this sense that you could have these huge achievements, and you could do these things that were good for people, and be engaged in the world and in policy, and be doing it in the kind of mathematical and scientific way of thinking that I had always been hugely drawn to.
Larry Summers and the White House economic team.
Raiffa explained how, when faced with a real-world decision, one could use probabilities to quantify even the most difficult choices. Summers graduated from high school a year early, and was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He thought of majoring in math but decided to stick with the family business of economics.
He had a lot to live up to: the previous year, , Paul Samuelson, a former Kennedy adviser, who revolutionized economics by making it a more rigorous and math-based discipline, won the Nobel Prize; in , Kenneth Arrow won it, for his work on the general-economic-equilibrium theory. I came to believe in the power of systems analysis. At that time, economics was being transformed by the computer, which suddenly made enormous data sets readily accessible.
The right way to think about that was that somebody was out of work for eight months. But in the employment data it showed up as two three-month spells of unemployment, which caused people to conclude that most unemployment is due to people who are out of work only for a short time. So why three years to get his Ph. Summers published prolifically and had an army of research assistants who now populate the upper ranks of the profession. Even in the culture of ferocious debate that characterized the economics departments of M.
Graduate students like me gravitated to him specifically for that reason. And, oh my God, Larry put everybody else to shame. He was vicious among economists. Summers told me that, as a graduate student, he first studied claims, made famous by economists at the University of Chicago, that financial markets are always rational and self-correcting. Look around. His concerns about rising deficits and his calls for raising taxes made him a hero to congressional Democrats. Feldstein was marginalized, and returned to Harvard in After the experience, Reagan threatened to abolish the C.
Sound theory based on evidence is surely our best protection against such quackery. By the time Summers returned to Cambridge, he was becoming a star in his profession.
The Boston Globe ran a fourteen-page profile of him in Whereas in economic, statistical, or mathematical kinds of things, I can think of lots of questions. Summers became one of his top economic advisers. The campaign was a revelation to him. It was played according to a set of political rules, and the more emphatic explanation of the neoclassical model was probably not the best way to be helpful.
But it also made me aware, in a way that had not totally been the case before, that there was a lot more to public policy than estimating a parameter. The urtext of economic policymaking in the Obama White House is a fifty-seven-page memo to the President, prepared in late November and early December of last year, by Summers and his deputy, Jason Furman.
It has a five-page executive summary, and forty pages of comprehensive discussion about nearly every economic and budgetary issue that the new President would face in his first months in office—the stimulus, TARP , housing policy, the state of the automobile industry, the deficit, potential budget savings, regulatory reform.
An eleven-page appendix details recommendations for items to be included in the stimulus bill that Obama proposed in his first weeks in office. Others, like Lee Sachs, a former Bear Stearns executive and Clinton Treasury official, who was an expert on the financial crisis and who later joined Geithner at Treasury, were brought in via teleconference. Summers led the meeting like an orchestra conductor, directing the other economic advisers, each of whom made a presentation.
She had drafted a crucial section of the memo which included an economic forecast and projections about the impact of a fiscal stimulus. Romer was well suited for the job; an economic historian, she was a close student of Washington policymaking during downturns. One of her key papers as an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, where she had spent the previous twenty years, showed that, contrary to popular belief, Franklin D. She found that monetary policy was the key factor.
When faced with a severe recession, she believed in overwhelming force.
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