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Martin Feldstein

George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

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

Contact:
Telephone: 617-868-3900
Email: mfeldstein@harvard.edu
Website: http://www.nber.org/feldstein

 

Experience

Martin Feldstein is the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He served as President and CEO of the NBER from 1977-82 and 1984-2008. He continues as a Research Associate of the NBER. The NBER is a private, nonprofit research organization that has specialized for more than 80 years in producing nonpartisan studies of the American economy. From 1982 through 1984, Martin Feldstein was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and President Reagan's chief economic adviser. He served as President of the American Economic Association in 2004. In 2006, President Bush appointed him to be a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to be a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Dr. Feldstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a Fellow of the National Association of Business Economics. He is a Trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Group of 30, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council of Academic Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute. Dr. Feldstein has received honorary doctorates from several universities and is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1977, he received the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association, a prize awarded every two years to the economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to economic science. He is the author of more than 300 research articles in economics. Dr. Feldstein has been a director of several public corporations. He is also an economic adviser to several businesses and government organizations in the United States and abroad. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Martin Feldstein is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University. He was born in New York City in 1939. His wife, Kathleen, is also an economist. The Feldsteins have two married daughters.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

March 31, 2014

"A Healthy Path to Chinese Consumption Growth"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

"China’s economic policymakers want to shift the country’s production away from exports and heavy industry, and to increase the share of consumption in GDP. A relatively simple institutional change to encourage health-care insurance could do much to promote the latter goal," writes Martin Feldstein.

 

 

March 31, 2014

"The Fed's Missing Guidance"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Janet Yellen, like Ben Bernanke before her, believes that the Federal Reserve should communicate the reasons for its current policies and the strategy of its future policy actions. And so we have been told the basic plans are for gradually reducing the volume of large-scale asset purchases, and for keeping short-term interest rates low -- "for some time," as she said in her speech on Monday -- in order to stimulate employment and raise the inflation rate toward 2%.

 

 

February 28, 2014

Saving Retirement

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

"Public pension programs around the world are in financial trouble. Because of continuing increases in life expectancy," writes Martin Feldstein, "the number of eligible retirees is rising more rapidly than the tax revenue available to finance benefits."

 

 

January 31, 2014

"The Future of American Growth"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

The near-term outlook for the US economy has improved, owing to the sharp increase in household wealth in 2013, together with the end of the fiscal drag caused by the increase in tax rates in 2012. The United States now has a chance to raise real (inflation-adjusted) per capita GDP faster than the feeble 1.7% average rate recorded during the four years since growth resumed in the summer of 2009.

 

 

January 7, 2014

Martin Feldstein: Looking up in 2014?

Op-Ed, Business Standard

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

For the past six years, I have been sceptical about the standard optimistic forecasts of the pace of the United States' economic in the year ahead. Where most forecasters and policy officials saw green shoots and reasons for confidence, I saw strong headwinds that would cause an economic downturn and then a subpar .

But I think the evidence for is more balanced. Although there are serious risks facing the economy in the coming year, there is also a good chance that growth will be substantially stronger than it has been since before the began.

 

2013

December 13, 2013

"A Hype-Free Way to Help Low-Wage Workers"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

President Obama declared last week that "it's well past the time to raise [the] minimum wage." Demonstrators at fast-food restaurants in several cities also demanded a higher wage. But hiking the minimum wage is not the right policy to alleviate poverty. A better approach would be to integrate the existing minimum wage with current welfare transfer payments. This would lead to higher incomes for low-wage workers and increased employment.

 

 

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

December 8, 2013

"Saving the Fed from Itself"

Op-Ed, New York Times

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

THE Federal Reserve is pursuing a very risky monetary policy, writes Martin Feldstein. "Its leaders — the departing chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, and the vice chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, whom President Obama has nominated to succeed him — are correct that the American economy needs more stimulus, and they believe that the central bank, because of political paralysis, is the only game in town. But if Congress and the Obama administration could agree on a fiscal stimulus that goes beyond a short-term budget deal, the Fed would not have to take such risks."

 

 

November 27, 2013

"The Greek Budget Myth"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Recently, newspaper headlines declared that Greece would have a balanced budget for 2013 as a whole. The news came as quite a shock: Recall that when Greek officials came clean about the true state of their country’s public finances in 2010, the budget deficit was more than 10% of GDP – a moment of statistical honesty that triggered the eurozone debt crisis. It seemed too good to be true that the Greek deficit would be completely eliminated in just three years.

 

 

October 29, 2013

"Obamacare’s Fatal Flaw"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is the health-insurance program enacted by US President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats over the unanimous opposition of congressional Republicans. It was designed to cover those Americans without private or public health insurance – about 15% of the US population.

 

 

September 30, 2013

"The Taper Chase"

Op-Ed, Project Syndicate

By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

Global financial markets were stunned when the US Federal Reserve announced on September 18 that it was not ready to begin the widely anticipated reduction in the pace of its “quantitative easing” (QE) program. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Fed would continue its monthly purchases of $85 billion of long-term securities. Understanding the reasons for the Fed’s unexpected change of plans may help to anticipate what is coming next.

 

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