Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stephanie Kelton Goes To Washington

Leading Post Keynesian Modern Monetary Theorist (MMT) and Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is leaving there to become the Chief Economist of the Minority at the US Senate Budget Committee.  She is reported to have been hired by Bernie Sanders, who  will be ranking member of that committee after the Dems lose control of the Senate in January.  

While I am pleased to see her having influence in Washington, I am concerned about what will be happening will be happening in the UMKC econ department, which has been arguably the leading graduate program in the US strongly emphaszing a Post Keynesian approach.  With the death of Fred Lee in October and the retirement of John Henry last year, along with the previous departure of Randall Wray for the Levy Institute, there is not much left in that department of Post Keynesian economists, with Matt Forstater probably the last one holding down the fort there, with apparently the dean there blocking them from hiring people that Stephanie wanted.

What is Washington's gain, is UMKC's (and maybe academic Post Keynesianism's) loss.

Barkley Rosser

Update:  I put this in a comment, but it should probably be in the body of the post.  I have learned that Stephanie Kelton will be returning to UMKC after a two year leave in Washington.

Yet another update: I further note that Stephanie coined the term "deficit owl" to be distinguished from hawks and doves.  The former are austerians who wish to have deficits reduced, period. The latter worry about long term deficits, but are fine with them in the shorter run when the economy is down, such as Paul Krugman.  Deficit owls see them as useful in the longer run for maintaining the money supply and economic growth, with this MMT view associated with chartalism and functional  finance, first proposed by the late Abba Lerner.

1 comment: said...

I am going to add a fresh new post providing more discussion of what is raised here,but I have been informed privately that Stephanie is not leaving UMKC permanently, only a two-year leave for this sojourn in Washnington. Others will be working to maintain PK economics at UMKC, including Randy Wray, alhtough he is now based at Levy Institute.