Robert J. Barro

Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Econometric Society (elected fellow)

Robert J. Barro, a former senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Barro's expertise is in the areas of macroeconomics, economic growth, and monetary theory. 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.

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 McGraw Hill, 2008) written with Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Nothing Is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium, Determinants of Economic Growth (2002), and Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society (1996).

Barro is coeditor 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.

Before his appointments at Harvard University and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Barro was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and at the University of Rochester.

Barro received a PhD in economics from Harvard University and a BS in physics from Caltech.

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Recent Commentary


Economists Respond To Summers, Furman Over Mnuchin Letter

by Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, R. Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylorvia The Washington Post
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dear Lawrence Summers and Jason Furman, We read with interest your Dear Colleague letter in The Washington Post in response to ours in the Wall Street Journal. You ask if we have considered several points you make. The answer is yes — we have considered each before coming to our conclusion.

Tax cuts and reforms

How To Engineer A Trump Boom

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 27, 2017

Cut taxes, deregulate, build roads, bridges and airports—and don’t start a 1930-style trade war.

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Non-Explanation for Non-Recovery

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 27, 2017

The sharp downturn, as history suggests, should have been followed by a sharp rebound. Why has the economy sagged instead? Look to the feds.

Analysis and Commentary

The Reasons Behind The Obama Non-Recovery

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It wasn’t the severity of the Great Recession that caused the weak recovery, but government policies.

Congressman Paul Ryan
Analysis and Commentary

Ryan and the Fundamental Economic Debate

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The level of economic commentary during the presidential campaign has not been high. Democrats have accused Mitt Romney of the crime of shipping jobs abroad while at Bain Capital, and Mr. Romney has responded by denying the charge.

Economic Crisis
Analysis and Commentary

Why This Slow Recovery Is Like No Recovery

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The U.S. economy lost about 10% relative to trendline growth. To make up the shortfall, we need to average more than 3% growth a year for several years...

Global Austerity
Analysis and Commentary

Stimulus Spending Keeps Failing

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, May 10, 2012

If austerity is so terrible, how come Germany and Sweden have done so well?...

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Scrap the Euro Now

by Robert J. Barrovia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, April 7, 2012

Until recently, the euro seemed destined to encompass all of Europe. No longer. None of the remaining outsider European countries seems likely to embrace the common currency.

Euro flag

Scrap the Euro Now

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

The common currency was doomed from the start. By Robert J. Barro.

Giant Steps

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 23, 2012

A call for bold changes to taxes, entitlements, and spending. By Robert J. Barro.