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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

January 27, 2016

China’s Slowdown

Op-Ed, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

Investors worldwide are closely watching the steep decline in China’s stock market.  The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index is down more than 40% since June 2015.

The reason observers are concerned is not because they themselves are invested: China’s stocks are overwhelmingly held by Chinese themselves.  Rather, many are interpreting it as evidence that China’s economy is going down the tubes.

 

2015

Reuters

December 17, 2015

A Fair, Efficient, and Feasible Climate Agreement

Op-Ed, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

How should one evaluate the agreement reached in Paris this month at the United Nations climate change conference? No sooner was the deal announced on December 12 than the debate erupted.

Some avid environmentalists were disappointed that the agreement did not commit firmly to limiting global warming to 1.5º Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

 

 

December 9, 2015

International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination

Op-Ed, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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

Calls for coordination of macroeconomic policy have made a comeback since the Global Crisis. This column reviews this return of international policy coordination, both in terms of fiscal and monetary policy. It discusses recent developments and considerations in fiscal and monetary policy games, and cautions that most but not all calls for coordination are useful.

 

 

European Press Photo Agency

November 11, 2015

Congress Should Give TPP a Thumbs Up

Op-Ed, The Boston Globe

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

Now that the long-awaited text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement has been released, Congress will have to decide whether to ratify it. It should vote thumbs up.Many who are concerned about labor and environmental issues are fervently opposed to TPP, but they should read the text with an open mind. It seems unlikely that they did so, judging by the speed with which some nongovernmental organizations and others reacted negatively to the document within a few hours of its release last week.

 

 

Nicholas Kamm

October 8, 2015

Why Support the TPP?

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

Agreement among negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents a triumph over long odds. Tremendous political obstacles, both domestic and international, had to be overcome to conclude the deal. And now critics of the TPP’s ratification, particularly in the United States, should read the agreement with an open mind.

 

 

September 21, 2015

September 22 is the 30th Anniversary of the Plaza Accord

Op-Ed

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

Exactly 30 years ago, on September 22, 1985, ministers of the Group of Five countries met at the Plaza Hotel in New York and agreed on a successful initiative to reverse what had been a dangerously overvalued dollar. The Plaza Accord was backed up by intervention in the foreign exchange market. The change in policy had the desired effect over the next few years: bringing down the dollar, reducing the US trade deficit and defusing protectionist pressures.  Many economists think that foreign exchange intervention cannot have effects unless it also changes money supplies.  But the Plaza and a number of subsequent episodes of concerted intervention by the G-7 countries suggest otherwise.

 

 

September 4, 2015

Misinterpreting Chinese Intervention in Financial Markets

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

It is tempting to view economic events in China through a single template: the view that they are driven by government intervention because the authorities haven’t learned to let the market operate.  After all, Mao’s portrait still hangs on the wall and the Communist Party still governs.   But the lens of government intervention has led foreign observers to misinterpret some of the most important developments this year in the foreign exchange market and the stock market.  An instance of such misinterpretations is the confused positions of many American congressmen which have helped bring about the opposite of what they really want from China’s exchange rate.

 

 

August 7, 2015

Gas Taxes and Oil Subsidies: Time to Reform

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

World oil prices have been highly volatile during the last decade. Over the past year they have fallen more than 50%. Should we root for prices to go up, down, or stay the same?   The economic effects of falling oil prices are negative overall for oil-exporting countries, of course, and positive for oil-importing countries. The US is now surprisingly close to energy self-sufficiency, so that the macroeconomic effects roughly net out to zero. But what about effects that are not directly economic? If we care about environmental and other externalities, should we want oil prices to go up or down?  Up, because that will discourage oil consumption?  Or down because that will discourage oil production?

 

 

August 4, 2015

Did China’s regulators exacerbate its recent stock market bubble?

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

The plunge of China’s stock market that has taken place since June 2015 has received a lot of attention.  All the commentary says not only that the Chinese authorities have taken a variety of artificial measures to try to boost the market on the way down but also that they did the same during the huge run-up in stock prices between mid-2014 and mid-2015, when the Shanghai stock exchange composite index more than doubled.  The finger-wagging implications are that the Chinese authorities, particularly the stock market regulator, have not learned how to let the market operate and that they had only themselves to blame for the bubble in the first place.

 

 

July 17, 2015

Only Tsipras Can “Go to China”

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

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

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has the chance to play a role for his country analogous to the roles played by Korean President Kim Dae Jung in 1997 and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2002.  Both of those presidential candidates had been long-time men of the left, with strong ties to labor, and were believed to place little priority on fiscal responsibility or free markets.  Both were elected at a time of economic crisis in their respective countries. Both confronted financial and international constraints in office that had not been especially salient in their minds when they were opposition politicians.  Both were able soon to make the mental and political adjustment to the realities faced by debtor economies.  This flexibility helped both to lead their countries more effectively.

 
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.