Robert J. Barro

Economics Professor at Harvard University
Senior Fellow at Hoover Institution

A leading expert on macroeconomics and economic growth

Add to Shortlist More Information rbarro.com

Biography

Robert J. Barro is Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University, a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a B.S. in physics from Caltech.

Barro is co-editor of Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics and was recently President of the Western Economic Association and Vice President of the American Economic Association.

He was a viewpoint columnist for Business Week from 1998 to 2006 and a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal from 1991 to 1998. He has written extensively on macroeconomics and economic growth. Noteworthy research includes empirical determinants of economic growth, economic effects of public debt and budget deficits, and the formation of monetary policy. Recent books include Macroeconomics: A Modern Approach, Economic Growth (2nd edition, written with Xavier Sala-i-Martin), Nothing Is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium, Determinants of Economic Growth, and Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society.

Current research focuses on two very different topics: the interplay between religion and political economy and the impact of rare disasters on asset markets and macroeconomic activity.

Books

Macroeconomics

A Modern Approach | 1st Edition

Robert J. Barro

Offering a uniquely modern presentation of macroeconomics, this brand-new text makes it easy for instructors to emphasize a solid microfoundations, real-business cycle approach. In the all-new Macroeconomics: A Modern Approach, leading economist and proven author Robert J. Barro couples his extraordinary command of growth, equilibrium, and business cycles with a focus on microfoundations to create a groundbreaking new macroeconomics textbook steeped in real-world application. Accessibly written and extremely student friendly, the book is packed with current policy and data examples, reflecting the author's extensive research in the field. The book also includes captivating boxed features, challenging exercises, and innovative online resources like CengageNOW, which enables students to create personalized learning paths and equips instructors with tools to easily assign, grade, and record homework and quizzes. Covering growth theory more completely than any other text, Macroeconomics delivers a unified model of macroeconomics that serves well for economics majors and nonmajors alike.

South-Western College Pub; 1 edition (January 3, 2007)

Nothing is Sacred

Economic Ideas for the New Millennium

Robert J. Barro

Since the 1970s, Robert Barro's academic research has significantly influenced macroeconomic theory. For more than a decade, his writing has also enlivened the pages of publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. In Nothing Is Sacred, Barro applies his well-honed free market arguments to a remarkably diverse range of issues. These include global problems such as growth and debt, as well as social issues such as the predictive value of SAT scores, drug legalization, the economics of beauty, and the relationship between abortion rights and crime reduction.

The book opens with a series of essays on famous economists, past and present, and other prominent figures whose work has economic implications, including Joe DiMaggio and Bono. In the book's second part, Barro discusses the economics of social issues. In the third part, he considers democracy, growth, and international policy, and in the final part he examines fiscal policy, monetary policy, and the macroeconomy. Throughout, he shows that even the most widely held beliefs are not sacred truths but are open to analysis.

The MIT Press; First Edition edition (September 9, 2002)

Getting It Right

Markets and Choices in a Free Society

Robert J. Barro

Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a contributor to the "Wall Street Journal" and other popular financial media. "Getting it Right" brings together, updates and expands upon these writings that show Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to a wide array of social issues. Barro, a "conservative who takes no prisoners", and a self described libertarian, believes that most governments have gone much too far in their spending, taxation and regulation. The dominant theme in these wide-ranging essays is the importance of institutions that ensure property rights and free markets. The discussion deals especially with the appropriate range of government: which areas represent useful public policy and which are unnecessary interference. The first section of the book considers these questions in the context of the determinants of long-run economic growth. In addition to basic economics, Barro assesses related political topics, such as the role of public institutions, the optimal size of countries, and the consequences of default on foreign debt. The second section deals with the proper role and form of monetary policy. Barro argues that government should provide markets with a stable nominal framework and then stay out of the way to best allow for price stability. Writings in the third section cover fiscal and other macroeconomic policies. Topics include the distorting influences of taxation, especially taxes in capital income; infrastructure investment and other government spending; and the consequences of public debt and budget deficits. In a final section, Barro looks at more micro issues such as cartels, tax amnesties, school choice, privatization, cigarette-smoking regulation, endangered species regulation, the market for baseball players, and term limits for politicians.

The MIT Press; 2nd prt. edition (April 11, 1996)

Review

"Barro is one of a handful of contemporary economists with a truly original mind and a means of communicating subtle ideas to motivated non-economists. Barro is a provocateur par excellence, a conservative who takes no prisoners."
— Peter Passell, The New York Times

"Robert Barro's Getting It Right is economic analysis at its best. His discussions of economic growth and macroeconomic issues are clear and persuasive. I strongly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in contemporary economic questions."
— Gary S. Becker, University of Chicago

Topics

Robert tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Recent and historical financial and macroeconomic crises.

Fiscal-stimulus packages and related fiscal policies.

Recent and historical monetary policies.

Long-run economic growth.

Videos

Milton Friedman and Monetarism | Hillsdale College

Fiscal-Stimulus Packages | IEA Hayek Memorial Lecture 2011

Articles

— The Wall Street Journal
— VOX EU
— New York Daily News
— Project Syndicate
— The Wall Street Journal
— The Wall Street Journal
— The Wall Street Journal