The October Faculty Colloquium presented by the Center for Public Policy and Administration features this talk by Robert Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute and professor of economics.
Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff wrote a paper in 2010 that has been used to justify austerity policies across the globe. In their study, they show that high public debt is associated with lower economic growth. But UMass economics Ph.D. candidate Thomas Herndon recently discovered that this study contains major mistakes and shortcomings.
Earlier this year, Herdon, Pollin and Professor Michael Ash (economics and public policy) published a critique to the highly influential Reinhart/Rogoff paper, providing further evidence that the dominant austerity policy agenda in the U.S. and Europe is without viable analytic foundations. Building an alternative to austerity needs to begin from two first principles: full employment and building a clean-energy economy.
Pollin’s research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. In his most recent book, Back to Full Employment, Pollin argues that the biggest obstacle to creating a full-employment economy are political, not technical.
Thompson Hall is located at 620 Hicks Way on the UMass Amherst campus.