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Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Summers

Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Website: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lsummer/
Publications: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lsummer/publications.htm

 

 

By Date

 

2014 (continued)

March 16, 2014

"Changing the Tax Code Could Help Curb Inequality"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

The United States may be on course to becoming a “Downton Abbey” economy. There are valid causes for concern about inequality: sharp increases in the share of income going to the top 1 percent of earners, a rising share of income going to profits, stagnant real wages and a rising gap between productivity growth and growth in median family incomes. A generation ago, it could have been asserted that the economy’s overall growth rate was the dominant determinant of growth in middle-class incomes and progress in reducing poverty. This is no longer a plausible claim.

 

 

January 5, 2014

Strategies for Sustainable Growth

Op-Ed, Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Last month I argued that the U.S. and global economies may be in a period of secular stagnation in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, might coincide for some time to come with problematically low real interest rates. Since the start of this century, annual growth in U.S. gross domestic product has averaged less than 1.8 percent. The economy is now operating nearly 10 percent, or more than $1.6 trillion, below what the Congressional Budget Office judged to be its potential path as recently as 2007. And all this is in the face of negative real interest rates for more than five years and extraordinarily easy monetary policies.

 

 

January 5, 2014

"Washington Must Not Settle For Secular Stagnation"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

We may, writes Lawrence Summers, "as I argued last month in the Financial Times, be in a period of 'secular stagnation' in which sluggish growth and output, and employment levels well below potential, might coincide for some time to come with problematically low real interest rates."

 

2013

November 10, 2013

"Give the Obamacare Bug the Correct Treatment"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

As the president has recognised, the failure on the part of his administration to deliver a functioning website that Americans can use to enrol in “Obamacare”, the Affordable Care Act, represents an inexcusable error....One case of over-optimism will ultimately be forgotten and, or, forgiven. Repeated over-optimism should not, and will not, be excused.

 

 

March 18, 2013

"Europe’s Work is Far From Over"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

"Europe’s economic situation is viewed with far less concern than was the case six, 12 or 18 months ago. Policymakers in Europe far prefer engaging the United States on a possible trade and investment agreement to more discussion on financial stability and growth. However, misplaced confidence can be dangerous if it reduces pressure for necessary policy adjustments," warns Lawrence Summers in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

 

 

AP Images

January 21, 2013

"End the Damaging Obsession With Deficit"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

In the two and a half months between the election and this week’s inauguration of President Barack Obama, America’s public policy debate has been focused on prospective budget deficits and what can be done to reduce them. Lawrence Summers writes that while we should address budget deficits, we should "not obsess over it in counterproductive ways – nor lose sight of the jobs and growth deficits that will ultimately have the greatest impact on the way this generation of Americans lives and what they bequeath to the next."

 

2012

December 16, 2012

"How to Fix Costly and Unjust U.S. Tax System"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

"Sooner or later the American tax code will be reformed...," writes former Treasury Secretary and Harvard Kennedy School professor Lawrence Summers. "Raising revenue will be the main motivation, but at a time of sharply increasing economic polarisation, issues of fairness will be prominent too. There are also legitimate concerns about the complexity of current tax rules and their adverse effects on the economy."

 

 

December 5, 2012

"The 'Obama debt' fallacy"

Op-Ed, Reuters

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Lawrence Summers writes about Mike Boskins' response to Summers' Reuters column last week arguing that in a number of areas of economic policy, President Obama has the superior vision.

 

 

October 15, 2012

"The world is stuck in a vicious cycle"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

If the global economy was in trouble before the annual World Bank and IMF meetings in Tokyo last week, it is hard to believe that it is now smooth sailing. Indeed, apart from the modest stimulus provided to the Japanese economy by all the official visitors and the wealthy financial sector hangers on, it is difficult to see what of immediate value was accomplished.

 

 

October 19, 2012

"Britain Risks a Lost Decade Unless it Changes Course"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

Americans can take some comfort in knowing they are rebounding from the 2008 financial collapse faster than their British counterparts, writes Lawrence Summers.  With the U.K. growth rate lagging, Summers says, British leaders face the choice of changing course after four years of failed economic policy, or doubling down on the same aggresive fiscal consolidation that has yet to generate demand or provide the growth needed. 

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.