John B. Taylor

George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Econometric Society (elected fellow)
Economics Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award

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, for which he received the 2012 Hayek Prize, 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

Across the Great Divide: New Perspectives on the Financial Crisis

Across the Great Divide: New Perspectives on the Financial Crisis

via Hoover Press
Saturday, November 1, 2014

The financial crisis of 2008 devastated the American economy and caused U.S. policymakers to rethink their approaches to major financial crises. More than five years have passed since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but questions still persist about the best ways to avoid and respond to future financial crises.

Why the Fed Must Return to Rules

by John B. Taylorvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What does the economy need from the Fed? Less intervention, more stability.

Analysis and Commentary

Wanted: A New Handbook of Macroeconomics

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Friday, October 3, 2014

The first volume of the Handbook of Macroeconomics, edited by Michael Woodford and me, was published in 1999 in the midst of the Great Moderation.  It still ranks first in total downloads of all economics books according to Research Papers in Economics (RePEc).

Analysis and Commentary

Across the Great Divide: New Perspectives on the Financial Crisis

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A year ago today, the Hoover Institution and the Brookings Institution held an unusual joint conference on the financial crisis, where twenty-four economists and legal scholars reexamined the crisis, its effect on the US economy, and possible policy reforms. The participants were spread between two venues: Hoover at Stanford and Brookings in Washington.

Analysis and Commentary

Inequality Conference in Memory of Gary Becker at Stanford’s Hoover Institution

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Thursday and Friday the Hoover Institution at Stanford hosted a wonderful Conference on Inequality in Memory of Gary Becker. John Raisian and I opened the conference commenting on the appropriateness of both the venue and the topic: Gary spent a great deal of time doing research at Hoover over the years, and he began diagnosing and recommending policy solutions to inequality problems decades ago, long before the current explosion of popular interest.

Analysis and Commentary


by John B. Taylorvia EconomicsOne
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Due to previous commitments in Hong Kong I could not attend today’s Bretton Woods: The Founders and the Future conference in New Hampshire, but I was invited to speak via video. Here is the text of my remarks.

Analysis and Commentary

Family Economics and Macro Behavior at a Gary Becker Memorial

by John B. Taylorvia EconomicsOne
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kevin Murphy and I were invited to speak at a memorial session for Gary Becker at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings in Hong Kong yesterday.  My remarks focused on the time Gary spent each year at the Hoover Institution and on his foray into presidential politics, much like I wrote in this post, but I also was asked to delve into macro which is quite interesting.

Analysis and Commentary

A New Twist in Online Learning at Stanford

by John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, September 1, 2014

For years at Stanford I've taught Econ 1, one of the university's most popular courses that covers the basics of economics. I usually teach in a large lecture hall filled with hundreds of students, but this summer I tried something new. I gave an online-only version of the course, with a twist: It was offered to Stanford students for credit, as well as to the public.

Analysis and Commentary

The American Economy: Turtle or Caged Eagle?

by John B. Taylorvia Economics One
Friday, August 1, 2014

Last week I was on a panel with Stanford President John Hennessy and Congressman Paul Ryan at the new Hoover Institution Offices in Washington. Al Hunt moderated the discussion which focused on policies to raise economic growth. The video is here.

Analysis and 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.