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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.org/

 

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

 

2016

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

October 25, 2016

Lower interest rates are not the demon of populist claims

Op-Ed

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

In the US and elsewhere, populist politicians nowadays often claim that easy monetary policy is hurting ordinary workers, thereby exacerbating income inequality. But while inequality is a problem, raising interest rates is no way to address it.

To say otherwise is a strange claim for anyone to make, especially populists. After all, low interest rates benefit debtors and hurt creditors, as does the inflation that can be spurred by monetary easing.

 

 

September 23, 2016

Voting for a Better US Political System

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

CAMBRIDGE – The American political train has gone off the rails, and it seems farther than ever from getting back on track. There has been a lot of finger pointing, with commentators blaming issues like gerrymandering, rising economic inequality, the campaign finance system, and unbalanced journalism. But the public cannot address these genuine flaws in the system directly. What they can do is tackle another fundamental problem: low voter turnout.

 

 

August 29, 2016

"Trump Fiscal Follies"

Op-Ed, Financial Adviser

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

This year’s presidential election campaign in the United States is certainly unique. Donald Trump has shaken up the way a campaign is run, how a nominee communicates with voters, and the Republican Party’s platform, with many of his positions deviating from GOP tradition. But, on tax policy, Trump has toed the party line – and that’s not a good thing.

 

 

July 14, 2016

Brexit, Trump, and Globalization’s Have-Nots

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

Two political events that are attracting global attention these days – the vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the United States – have much in common. Just over half of UK voters chose “Brexit,” a result that has cast a long shadow over their country’s political system and economic prospects. Perhaps understanding the parallels between the two campaigns will help US voters avoid taking a similar path in November.

One parallel is that both campaigns were thoroughly underestimated, especially by experts and establishment figures. Just as the possibility of Brexit was initially dismissed, few political elites, Republican and Democratic alike, took seriously Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination.

 

 

June 22, 2016

Are Democrats Really Better for America’s Economy?

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly claimed in recent months that the US economy does much better when a Democrat is in the White House. Coming from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, that probably sounds like political spin. But the truth is that she is absolutely right.

 

 

May 24, 2016

Rediscovering Fiscal Policy at the G7

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

As G7 leaders convene in Ise-Shima, Japan, the global economy’s fragility is a top concern. But instead of focusing on currency wars, the leaders of the major developed economies should be discussing fiscal policy, which under current conditions would be a more powerful tool than monetary policy for boosting economic activity. After all, today, unlike in normal times, the effects of fiscal policy would not be limited by too-high interest rates, inadequate private demand, strict capacity constraints, or excessive inflation.

 

 

April 14, 2016

The Domestic Threat to US Leadership

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

US President Barack Obama has racked up a series of foreign-policy triumphs over the last 12 months. But one that has gained less attention than others was the passage last December of legislation to reform the International Monetary Fund, after five years of obstruction by the US Congress. As the IMF convenes in Washington, DC, for its annual spring meetings on April 15-17, we should pause to savor the importance of this achievement. After all, if the United States had let yet another year go by without ratifying the IMF quota reform, it would have essentially handed over the keys of global economic leadership to China.

 

 

April 13, 2016

The Domestic Threat to US Leadership

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

US President Barack Obama has racked up a series of foreign-policy triumphs over the last 12 months. But one that has gained less attention than others was the passage last December of legislation to reform the International Monetary Fund, after five years of obstruction by the US Congress. As the IMF convenes in Washington, DC, for its annual spring meetings on April 15-17, we should pause to savor the importance of this achievement. After all, if the United States had let yet another year go by without ratifying the IMF quota reform, it would have essentially handed over the keys of global economic leadership to China.

 

 

Getty/Steven Puetzer

March 22, 2016

Reckoning With Inequality

Op-Ed

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

When it comes to the rise in economic inequality since the 1970s in the United States and some other advanced economies, it doesn’t really matter which measure of income distribution we choose: They all show the increase. And, while many competing explanations have been proposed, we do not need to agree about causes to concur on sensible policies to address the problem.

 

 

Spencer Platt

February 24, 2016

Who’s right on direction of U.S. financial reform?

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

Eight years after triggering a crisis that nearly brought down the global financial system, the United States remains plagued by confusion about what reforms are needed to prevent it from happening again. As Americans prepare to choose their next president, a better understanding of the policy changes that would minimize the risk of future crises -- and which politicians are most likely to implement them -- is urgently 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.