Benjamin M. Friedman

Benjamin M. Friedman is the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy, and formerly Chairman of the Department of Economics, at Harvard University. His latest book is The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, published in 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf. His best known previous book is Day of Reckoning: The Consequences of American Economic Policy Under Reagan and After, which received the George S. Eccles Prize, awarded annually by Columbia University for excellence in writing about economics. Professor Friedman has written extensively on economic policy, and in particular on the role of the financial markets in shaping how monetary and fiscal policies affect overall economic activity. Specific subjects of his work include the effects of government deficits and surpluses on interest rates, exchange rates, and business investment; appropriate guidelines for the conduct of U.S. monetary policy; and appropriate policy actions in response to crises in a country’s banking or financial system. He is the author and/or editor of eleven books aimed primarily at economists and economic policymakers, as well as the author of more than one hundred articles on monetary economics, macroeconomics, and monetary and fiscal policy, published in numerous journals. He is also a frequent contributor to publications reaching a broader audience, including especially The New York Review of Books. Professor Friedman was the 2005-6 recipient of the John R. Commons Award, presented every two years in recognition of achievements in economics and service to the economics profession.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Three Cheers for the 'Progressive State'
Author: An interview with introduction by Brian Snowdon

Ben Friedman is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists. His research and publications have focused on monetary and fiscal policy, and the key role that financial markets play in influencing how macroeconomic policies impact on aggregate economic activity. Professor Friedman’s recent book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, has received considerable critical acclaim. Friedman argues that America is at an ‘economic crossroads’ and in this election year in the US, the important issues he highlights are especially poignant. Before discussing with Professor Friedman subjects addressed in this influential volume and his critical views on monetary policy strategies based on inflation targeting, Brian Snowdon examines several issues relating to economic growth and to the issue of rising inequality in the United States. Among questions explored in the interview that follows are ones relating to happiness and the ‘Easterlin paradox’; democracy and economic growth; culture, religion and economics; growth and the environment; growth, poverty, and inequality; market failure, public policy, and growth; and inflation targeting and the ‘dual mandate’.

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