John B. Taylor

George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics

John B. Taylor is the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He chairs the Hoover Working Group on Economic Policy and is director of Stanford’s Introductory Economics Center.

Taylor's fields of expertise are monetary policy, fiscal policy, and international economics. His book Getting Off Track was one of the first on the financial crisis; his latest book, First Principles, develops an economic plan to restore America’s prosperity.

Taylor served as senior economist on President Ford's and President Carter’s Council of Economic Advisers, as a member of President George H. W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, and as a senior economic adviser to Bob Dole’s presidential campaign, to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000, and to John McCain’s presidential campaign. He was a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 2001. From 2001 to 2005, Taylor served as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs where he was responsible for currency markets, international development, for oversight of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and for coordinating policy with the G-7 and G-20.

Taylor received the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation and the Adam Smith Award as well as the Adolph G. Abramson Award from the National Association for Business Economics. He was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for his overall leadership at the US Treasury, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award for designing and implementing the currency reforms in Iraq, and the Medal of the Republic of Uruguay for his work in resolving the 2002 financial crisis. At Stanford he was awarded the George P. Shultz Distinguished Public Service Award, as well as the Hoagland Prize and the Rhodes Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society; he formerly served as vice president of the American Economic Association.

Taylor formerly held positions as professor of economics at Princeton University and Columbia University. Taylor received a BA in economics summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1968 and a PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1973.

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Recent Commentary


Discussion of Policy Rule Legislation Continues

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Discussion and debate about new policy rule legislation continued during the past week.  I replied to Alan Blinder’s  article, “An Unnecessary Fix for the Fed,” published in the Wall Street Journal last Friday (July 18).  I show that Alan’s article was actually criticizing a straw man of his own making, not the proposed law itself. His main argument is that the legislation “seeks to intrude on the Fed’s ability to conduct an independent monetary policy, free of political interference.”  I anticipated and refuted this argument in an article, “How to Spark Another ‘Great Moderation,’” published in Wall Street Journal on July 16. As I stated there, the legislation is very clear that “the Fed, not Congress, would choose the rule and how to describe it” and “since the Fed chooses its own rule, its independence is maintained.” My response goes into more detail.

Economic Crisis
Featured Commentary

John Taylor's Reply to Alan Blinder

by John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, July 21, 2014

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on July 18 called "An Unnecessary Fix for the Fed," economist Alan Blinder takes aim at legislation now under consideration in the House of Representatives to amend the Federal Reserve Act. Mr. Blinder focuses on what he calls the "meat-and-potatoes" of H.R. 5018: Section 2, Requirements for Policy Rules for the Federal Open Market Committee, which would require the Fed to submit to the Congress and the American people its rule or strategy for monetary policy.

Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building

What a Rollout

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Last week (July 7) I wrote on this blog about a newly-introduced bill  that would require policy rules for the Fed. Since then a Congressional hearing was held on the bill on July 10, Fed Chair Janet Yellen was cross-examined about it in two more Congressional hearings on July 15 and 16, and the proposal has been widely-covered in the press, social media, blogs, and opeds. And all this occurred just 6 weeks following the Centennial conference we had out here on policy rules for the Fed. What a rollout!

US Economy
Featured Commentary

How to Spark Another 'Great Moderation'

by John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sound money and free markets go hand in hand. In 1776, Adam Smith wrote of the importance of rules for "a well-regulated paper-money" in "The Wealth of Nations." In 1962, Milton Friedman made the chapter "Control of Money," with its rationale for monetary rules, a centerpiece of "Capitalism and Freedom."

Other Media

John Taylor Testified Before the House Committee on Financial Services (00:55:45)

by John B. Taylorvia U.S. House Committee on Financial Services
Friday, July 11, 2014

Senior Fellow John B. Taylor testified before the House Financial Services Committee on monetary policy legislation.

An Economic Trailblazer

by John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The late Hoover fellow Gary Becker followed the data to “amazing ideas and predictions.”

Economics Abstract

New Legislation Requires Fed to Adopt Policy Rule

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Monday, July 7, 2014

A lot of research and experience shows that more predictable rules-based monetary policy leads to better economic performance—both in terms of price stability and steadier-stronger employment and output growth.  But in practice there have been big swings in Fed policy between rules and discretion, with damaging results as in the 1970s and the past decade of a financial crisis, great recession and slow recovery.  

Federal Reserve
Featured Commentary

The Fed Needs to Return to Monetary Rules

by John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, June 26, 2014

As the Federal Reserve's large-scale bond purchases wind down, financial markets and policy makers now are focused on when the Fed will move to increase interest rates.

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Stanford’s Economics 1 Now Coming Online

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I have been teaching economics at Stanford for many years. Economics 1 is one of my favorite courses, and it’s been one of the most popular courses at Stanford.

Smartphone Image

Ten Amusingly Irreverent Tweets at Conference on Fed

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

So many members of the financial press were having a good time tweeting at the Fed Centennial conference last week at Stanford that, according the “TweetReach Report,” about 1 million Twitter accounts were reached and 10 million tweets were delivered about the hashtag #hooverfedconference.  Here is a photo of the post-conference press conference.