Pollin to Examine Alternatives to Austerity Economics

October 2, 2013

Professor Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute will discuss “Austerity Economics is Bad Economics. What are the Alternatives?” on Monday, Oct. 7 at noon in 620 Thompson.

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 obstacles to creating a full-employment economy are political, not technical.

Earlier this year, Pollin published a paper with professor Michael Ash and doctoral student Thomas Herndon analyzing the findings of Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in their 2010 paper, “Growth in a Time of Debt.” The challenged piece, which shows that high national debt leads to less economic growth, has been used as a model to justify austerity economics in political economic policy all over the world.  When Herndon, a Ph.D. candidate in economics discovered major mistakes and flaws in the research, he and the two professors objected to its premise in a paper called, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff.” Their findings quickly attracted worldwide attention and put Herndon in the media spotlight.

Pollin’s talk, part of the CPPA Faculty Colloquium series, is open to the public and brown bag lunches are welcome.