Hoover Fellow John Taylor Awarded Bradley Prize

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hoover fellow John B. Taylor is perhaps best known for formulating an equation on setting interest rates that has become known as the Taylor rule, but the economist has also been recognized throughout his career for his contributions to teaching, research, and public service, in addition to policy making.

On Tuesday, May 4, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation announced that it was awarding one of its four 2010 Bradley Prizes to Taylor, the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. The Bradley Prizes, awarded annually, are given to prominent scholars and engaged citizens for outstanding achievement. "These accomplished and respected individuals are being recognized for achievements that are consistent with the mission statement of the Foundation, including the promotion of liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, and a vigorous defense of American institutions," said Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive officer of the Bradley Foundation.

Taylor joins six other Hoover fellows who have received the Bradley Prize: Fouad Ajami, senior fellow and chair, Working Group on Islamism and the International Order; Gary Becker, the Rose-Marie and Jack R. Anderson Senior Fellow, member of the Working Group on Economic Policy, and member of the Task Force on Energy Policy; Clint Bolick, research fellow; Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow; Thomas Sowell, the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy; and Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow and member of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

Taylor’s grasp of the financial crisis that peaked in 2008 actually preceded the event. In 2007, he began writing and presenting a series of research papers, speeches at central banks, and congressional testimony discussing the impending crisis, all of which formed the basis of his book Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis (Hoover Institution Press, 2009). In the book, he addresses three questions: What caused the financial crisis? What prolonged it? What worsened it dramatically more than a year after it began? As Taylor said at the time, “Simply put, when policy started getting off track—especially when compared with the period of good performance during the previous two decades—financial and economic conditions turned sour.” Getting Off Track was received with wide acclaim at its time of publication and continues to be cited as one of the best on the subject.

During his teaching career at Stanford University, Taylor has won many teaching awards, including the Hoagland Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching and the Rhodes Prize for his high teacher’s ratings in Stanford's introductory economics course. Taylor also served as the director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and was founding director of the Introductory Economics Center at Stanford. In 2005, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research awarded Taylor the George P. Shultz Distinguished Public Service Award.

In his long and distinguished career in public service, Taylor served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1991 and as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs from 2001 to 2005. Taylor was also awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award for his overall leadership in international finance at the U.S. 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 its 2002 financial crisis. After his most recent turn in government, he wrote Global Financial Warriors, which examines the time and effort he spent combating terrorism in an area that is often overlooked: the financial front in the war on terror. He is currently a member of the California Governor's Council of Economic Advisers, where he previously served from 1996 to 1998.

For his groundbreaking work as a researcher, public servant, and teacher during a career of more than 30 years and his outstanding leadership in the field of economics, Taylor received the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics in 2007.

Taylor, however, is not resting on his laurels but looking ahead to other economic issues as they emerge. He cofounded and chairs the Working Group on Economic Policy at the Hoover Institution, which brings together a distinguished team of experts on economic and financial policy to study key developments in the U.S. and global economies, examine their interactions, and develop specific policy proposals.

“Our working group organizes seminars and conferences, prepares policy papers and other publications, and serves as a resource for policy makers and interested members of the public,” said Taylor. Thus far, the working group’s conferences have produced two reports, coedited by Taylor, the Road ahead for the Fed and Ending Government Bailouts as We Know Them (both Hoover Institution Press).

As economic concerns continue to arise, Taylor’s commitment to teaching, research, and public service, in addition to policy making, continues unabated.