Does economic growth fall off a cliff when government debt hits the 90% wall? Or did two Harvard economists commit a colossal spreadsheet error?
At the 2010 national economic meetings, Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff presented their paper “Growth in a Time of Debt” which presented statistical evidence to show that economic growth would fall significantly when the level of government debt to GDP exceeded 90%. Their paper was used to justify drastic cuts in government spending by politicians around the globe, including here in the US. Was there a fundamental flaw in their data?
Thomas Herndon, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, did
indeed find a basic spreadsheet error in their work. Subsequently, Herndon and two of his
professors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, published their findings and criticisms which set off a global economic brouhaha.
Join us for a discussion on one of the hottest economics topics since the global economic
meltdown as Dr. Robert Pollin discusses their critique of Reinhart and Rogoff, as well as
providing insights on how it all went down.
Where: Buffalo State Bulger Communication South2
When: Friday April 25, noon-1:30 p.m.
Dr. Robert Pollin is Co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute and Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst . His 2003 book “Contours of Descent: US Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity” was named #19 on Listmuse’s 100 Best Economics Books of All Time.
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