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Jeffrey Frankel

Mailing address

Littauer 217
Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
79 JFK St.
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Website

Jeffrey Frankel

James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

Contact:
Telephone: (617)-496-3834
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: jeffrey_frankel@harvard.edu
Website: http://belferfrankel.wordpress.com/

 

Experience

Jeffrey Frankel is James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth. He was appointed to the Council of Economic Advisers by President Clinton in 1996, and subsequently confirmed by the Senate. His responsibilities as Member included international economics, macroeconomics, and the environment. He left the Council in March 1999. Before moving east, he was Professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, having joined the faculty in 1979. He directs the National Bureau of Economic Research program in International Finance and Macroeconomics. Past appointments include the Brookings Institution, Federal Reserve Board, Institute for International Economics, International Monetary Fund, University of Michigan and Yale. His research interests include international finance, monetary policy, regional blocs, East Asia and global climate change. His recent publications include "Does Trade Cause Growth?" in the American Economic Review, 1999, and Regional Trading Blocs, 1997. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1974, and received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1978.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

Lars Christopher

November 2014

"A Pre-Lima Scorecard for Evaluating which Countries are Doing Their Fair Share in Pledged Carbon Cuts"

Policy Brief

By Valentina Bosetti and Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

The authors explore a novel approach to evaluating the ambition and fairness of countries' voluntary pledges to reduce emissions. This approach could facilitate negotiations at the upcoming UN climate conference in Lima—and the broader process leading to a new 2015 international climate agreement.

 

 

February 27, 2014

"Market Mechanisms for Regulation: Cap-and-trade and Obamacare"

Op-Ed, Vox

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

Market-based mechanisms such as cap-and-trade can tackle externality problems more efficiently than command-and-control regulations. However, the United States and, to a lesser degree, Europe have retreated from cap-and-trade in recent years. This column explores parallels between market-based environmental regulation and market-based health-insurance reform. The author argues that in practice, the alternative to market-based regulation is not an absence of regulation, but rather the return of inefficient mandates and subsidies.

 

2013

March 13, 2013

"The Economist's Stone"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

This year marks the 100th anniversaries of two distinct institutional innovations in American economic policy: the introduction of the federal income tax and the establishment of the Federal Reserve. "They are worth commemorating," writes Jeffrey Frankel, "if only because we are at risk of forgetting what we have learned since then."

 

2012

September 6, 2012

"Obamacare Champions Personal Responsibility. The States that Hate it Don't"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard Kennedy School, argues that the Affordable Care Act does not discourage personal responsibility as its detractors assert, but rather replaces practices that have done so up until now.

 

2011

September 2011

"Sustainable Cooperation in Global Climate Policy: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Build on Copenhagen and Cancun"

Discussion Paper

By Valentina Bosetti and Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

In pursuit of a workable successor to the Kyoto Protocol, this study offers a framework of formulas that produces precise numerical targets for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, in all regions of the world in all decades of this century....Firms, consumers, and researchers base their current decisions to invest in plant and equipment, consumer durables, or new technological possibilities on the expected future price of carbon: If government commitments are not credible from the start, then they will not raise the expected future carbon price.

 

2010

AP Photo

Spring 2010

"Scholars' Views Vary on Copenhagen Successes"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, Kelly Sims Gallagher, Member of the Board and Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

"Belfer Center participants in the 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (UNFCCC) agreed that while the summit did not produce the treaty most wanted, it did make some significant progress. They disagree, however, on how much. Professors Jeffrey FrankelKelly Sims Gallagher, and Robert Stavins, all members of the Belfer Center Board of Directors, offer their takeaways from the event."

 

2009

September 2009

"Global Climate Policy Architecture and Political Feasibility: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Attain 460 PPM CO2 Concentrations"

Discussion Paper

By Valentina Bosetti and Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

This paper offers a framework of formulas that produce precise numerical targets for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in all regions of the world in all decades of this century. The formulas are based on pragmatic judgments about what is possible politically. The reason for this approach is the authors' belief that many of the usual science-based, ethics-based, and economics-based paths are not politically viable. It is not credible that successor governments will be able to abide by the commitments that today’s leaders make, if those commitments would be costly.

 

 

July 2009

"How Do We Know This is Not Another Great Depression? Lessons for Policymakers from the 1930s"

Policy Memo

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

The current economic crisis is fundamentally different from those we have experienced in recent past. The proximate causes of previous recessions (1980-2 and 1990-91) were increases in interest rates in response to inflation. This time around, however, low interest rates and loose monetary policy during the period 2003-2005 had contributed to a bubble in asset prices, rather than to inflation. This – coupled with an underestimation of risk in our financial system, failures of corporate governance, and excessive debt by both households and government – caused the crisis of 2007-09.

 

 

AP Photo

July 18, 2009

"How to Set Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets for All Countries"

Op-Ed, Vox

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

Is a credible multilateral climate change agreement feasible? This column says that such global cooperation is necessary and attempts to address the political hurdles. The proposed emissions reduction plan develops formulas to cap atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide at 500 ppm while obeying political constraints regarding cost, fairness, and timing.

 

 

Belfer Center Photo

Summer 2009

"A Proposed Global Climate Policy Architecture"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

A Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet in Copenhagen in December to try to decide a successor regime to the Kyoto Protocol.  This study offers a proposal that builds on the foundations of Kyoto, in that it accepts the framework of national targets for emissions and tradable permits. But it attempts to solve the most serious deficiencies of that agreement: the need for long-term targets, the absence of participation by the United States and developing countries, and the incentive for countries to fail to abide by their commitments. Although there are many ideas to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the existing proposals are typically based on just one or two out of the following three factors: science (e.g., capping global concentrations at 450 ppm) or equity (equal emissions per capita across countries) or economics (weighing the economic costs of aggressive short-term cuts against the long-term environmental benefits). The plan for emissions reductions proposed in this paper is more practical because it is based heavily on politics, in addition to those three considerations.

 

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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 Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.