Robert J. Barro

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

Robert J. Barro is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, 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

Earned Fortunes

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 19, 2007

Bill Gates's efforts to help the poor are praiseworthy, but his real success at worldwide wealth creation is Microsoft itself. By Robert J. Barro.

Analysis and Commentary

Bill Gates's Charitable Vistas

by Robert J. Barrovia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, helped create a revolutionary computer software company, and earlier this month collected an honorary degree from Harvard University...

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From Pariah to Priest

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

Robert J. Barro

Protectionism and the “China Problem”

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

Why the United States should stop complaining about the trade deficit and embrace Beijing's commitment to a market economy. By Robert J. Barro.

A CRASH COURSE IN DUBYANOMICS: President Bush's Economic Policy

with Robert J. Barro, Paul Krugmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

The decades of the 1980s and 1990s seem to offer two different fiscal models for promoting economic growth. The 1980s under President Reagan suggest that cutting taxes is more important than balancing the budget. The 1990s under President Clinton suggest the importance of balancing the budget with moderate tax increases. Yet the results in each decade were similar: sustained economic growth. President George W. Bush has clearly been following the Reagan model in his first term: enacting large tax cuts even as the federal budget approaches record deficits. But has the Bush team taken the correct lessons from our recent economic past? Do the Bush policies promote long-term growth or jeopardize it?

Nothing is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium

Nothing is Sacred: Economic Ideas for the New Millennium

by Robert J. Barrovia The MIT Press
Monday, August 11, 2003

Since the 1970s, Robert Barro's academic research has significantly influenced macroeconomic theory.

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From Mao to Hu

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

And now, the real great leap forward. By Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro.

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Democracy in Afghanistan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Why we’re unlikely to see democracy in Afghanistan any time soon. By Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro.

A "Yankee Imperialist" Offers Asia a Little Help

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 30, 2001

How Asian nations, still suffering from the economic meltdown of 1997, can revive their economies at last. By Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro.

The Dollar Club

by Robert J. Barrovia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 30, 2001

In countries throughout the world, the dollar has long served as an unofficial currency. Now quite a few of those countries are deciding to make the greenback official. Here’s why. By Hoover fellow Robert J. Barro.

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