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Online – Bradley Distinguished Lecture Series: Fiscal Policy and Government Debt: The Great Recession, COVID-19, and the Future

May 27 @ 9:00 am - 10:15 am

In 2007, the US debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 35 percent. In 2020, it reached 100%, and current projections call for further increases in coming decades. The federal budget deficit, which had not been more than six percent of GDP in the post-1950 period, exceeded eight percent for three years after the Great Recession (2009-2011) and was nearly 15 percent in 2020. What are the drivers of this shift in fiscal policy? What are the long-run effects of a higher debt-to-GDP ratio on the US economy? And what are the potential consequences of recent increases in spending for the future path of taxes and government spending?

Speaker: James Poterba is the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT and the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit research organization with nearly 1600 affiliated economists. Dr. Poterba is a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF), the TIAA-CREF mutual funds, and of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Dr. Poterba served as a member of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in 2005. Dr. Poterba holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a D. Phil. in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, a Batterymarch Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 2014 he received the Daniel M. Holland Medal from the National Tax Association for the study and practice of public finance.


Please contact Debbie Roy for more information.


May 27
9:00 am - 10:15 am