Department of Education appoints its first chief economist

Jun 15, 2022
The agency said it’s part of bringing a more data-based approach to policymaking.
The Department of Education recently announced that Jordan Matsudaira will be the first chief economist in its 43-year history.
Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

How shareholders jumped to first in line for profits

Apr 25, 2022
A business theory helped put profits for shareholders ahead of other corporate interests.
Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists of the 20th century.
PBS

Does the torrent of government data make economists better at predictions?

Feb 23, 2022
FRED, a popular government website, started tracking 30 kinds of data in 1991. Now it tracks 800,000.
The 800,000 types of data that FRED tracks are basically irresistible to economists.
Creative/Getty Images

When economic predictions are wrong

Jul 22, 2021
When we tell you about economic news, we’re always saying things like "numbers were higher (or lower) than expected." How much, then, should we consider economists’ expectations?
A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has thrown a wrench in economic forecasting, economists say.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Why the words of America’s first Black economist resonate today

“She was prescient in many ways,” says Nina Banks, editor of a new book on the speeches and writing of Sadie T. M. Alexander.
Sadie T. M. Alexander, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States, reads a comic book to children in 1948.
University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Do looks matter for success in economics? Actually, they're pretty important.

Feb 18, 2021
The short answer is yes, but you should read the long answer too.
A recent working paper on the effect of attractiveness on the job outcomes of economists is the latest example of the economics profession reflecting on itself.
Photo by Norman Smith/Fox Photos/Getty Images

What can past pandemics teach economists about COVID-19?

Economists are adapting models and using social media to try to capture emerging trends in real time.
A group of MIT researchers found that nearly half of those they surveyed are now working from home.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

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The economy could use more storytellers

Oct 21, 2019
According to some economic heavyweights, it's time to get back to words and stories.
English majors in University are down 25.5% since the financial crisis.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

When economists changed the world

Sep 4, 2019
Sometime in the middle of the 20th century, economists came to play a much bigger role in shaping public policy in America. It's had far-reaching consequences.
Thirty-thousand protesters march against Nixon's involvement in the Vietnam War in New York City in 1972. Economists helped to end the draft that so many Americans opposed.
Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images

Why democratic leaders can't deliver long-term economic growth

Political leaders tend to favor short-term policies.
Storm clouds fill the sky over the U.S. Capitol Building, June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images