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Justin Wolfers

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Core faculty

Justin Wolfers

Professor of Public Policy and Economics
Wolfers's research interests include labor economics, macroeconomics, political economy, social policy, law and economics, and behavioral economics. He is a research associate with the National Bureau for Economic Research, a senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a research affiliate with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, and an international research fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany.
In the Media

Wolfers: New stimulus is just the first half of the bridge

Jan 5, 2021 NPR
Wolfers: "This is a bill that's going to provide extra support for the unemployed, who really are among the most needy right now, all the way through till the middle of March, when we know the vaccine's not really going to be widely available until...
State & Hill

Faculty News Fall 2020

Dec 9, 2020
Javed Ali organized a panel for New America on domestic terrorism. His new podcast, The Burn Bag, produced with two Ford School alumni, A'ndre Gonawela (BA ‘19) and Ryan Rosenthal (BA ‘19), has featured U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, General David...
In the Media

Student loan forgiveness proposals bad macro econ policy, says Wolfers

Dec 6, 2020 Chicago Tribune
Most of the [student loan debt] relief would go to people who don't need it and would merely sock it away. "This is the worst macro policy I've ever heard of," said Wolfers. It would make far more sense to funnel money to low-income and unemployed...
In the Media

Wolfers says people need pandemic relief grants

Dec 2, 2020 NPR Marketplace
Grants should go to people, said Wolfers.  “Unlike previous recessions, we should really design the package around income support for the millions of people who are either without work or on incredibly reduced hours,” he said. You can read and...
In the Media

Wolfers: Postpone Thanksgiving to save lives

Nov 19, 2020 New York Times
"Let’s postpone Thanksgiving until May 27. By then Americans should have a lot more to be thankful for, including the likely availability of at least two highly effective vaccines, perhaps the freedom to get together with friends and possibly the...
In the Media

Trump's economic "lie" may have lost its punch - Wolfers

Oct 31, 2020 Huffington Post
“Reality has caught up with him. He had a huge lead in terms of people’s confidence in him as an economic manager, and he blew it,” says Justin Wolfers.  “One issue is that people don’t trust what he says anymore. Another is, well, look around —...
In the Media

Wolfers says economic issues dominate last days of the election

Oct 31, 2020 ABC Australia
"The U.S. GDP rebound leaves the economy in a hole as deep as the darkest days of the Great Recession that occurred after the financial crisis. Trump has been a disappointment in many ways for people in the Rust Belt. And a challenge for a Biden...
In the Media

Wolfers cited as top 10 influencer for Biden economic policy

Oct 29, 2020 The 10 people most likely to influence the economic policy of a President Biden
In an article in Bloomberg,  Ford School professor Justin Wolfers was cited as one of the 10 most influential economists that could be advising a new Biden administration. In the list compiled by Baron Public Affairs, he is one of three "economic...
In the Media

Wolfers on potential liability for irresponsible COVID-19 choices

Oct 6, 2020 Washington Post
"The purpose of liability law is to incentivize responsible behavior by making irresponsibility costly", said Wolfers. “We’d expect to see many more irresponsible choices being made by those taking the president’s comments to heart."  Read the...
News

Stevenson and Wolfers: "Think Like an Economist"

Aug 21, 2020
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have launched a new podcast, called "Think Like an Economist." In a series of tweets on August 19, @JustinWolfers explained:   We’re calling it Think Like an Economist because we want to teach you to,...
News

Making sense of the complex unemployment numbers

Jul 10, 2020
On July 2nd, the Labor Department reported that 4.8 million jobs had been added, and unemployment stood at 11% - still higher than it was at the peak of the Great Recession in 2008 — with 17.8 million Americans still out of work. Ford School...
News

"Planet Money Summer School " features Stevenson and Wolfers

Jul 7, 2020
Planet Money, the irreverent and informative NPR podcast, is convening a Summer School starting on July 8, “turning it's podcast feed into a classroom for the masses, for anyone who wants to see the world through the lens of an economist.” Ford...
State & Hill

Spotlights – Spring 2020 State & Hill

May 22, 2020
All hands on deck Ford School faculty and research centers have been actively involved with the policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luke Shaefer is advising the state on how to reduce the impact on low-income families. Michael Barr, Betsey...

Ford School economists comment on Federal response to COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020
A historic $2 trillion relief package has just been approved by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent economic crisis. Professors Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have weighed in on the relief package and the economic...