Person

Greg Mankiw

Website:

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com

Born:

1958

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Economist

Party:

Republican

Main Residence:

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Nicholas Gregory “Greg” Mankiw is an American economist and the former Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Mankiw was appointed as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in 2003 by President George W. Bush and worked as an economic adviser to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign in 2008,[1] and continued in that role when Romney ran for President again in 2012. [2]

Students of Mankiw’s Economics 10 class at Harvard University staged a walkout in November 2011, due to their “discontent with the bias inherent in this introductory economics course,” as the class “espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics.” [3]

Mankiw is a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council, an organization of former government officials, intellectuals, and businessmen who advocate for a carbon tax proposal written by former U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz. [4]

Early Life

Mankiw graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. He then studied for a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working on his Doctor of Philosophy before spending a year as a student at Harvard Law School. [5]

Mankiw took a year off in 1982 to work for the Council of Economic Advisers as a staff economist, before resuming his education at MIT to finish his Ph.D. He began teaching microeconomics and statistics at MIT in the Spring of 1985, before joining the Harvard University economics faculty as an assistant professor in 1985. [6]

Criticism

Mankiw has written two successful college-level textbooks: the introductory text Principles of Economics and the intermediate-level Macroeconomics. According to The New York Times, Mankiw was offered a $1.4 million advance by Harcourt Brace in Fort Worth to write an introductory textbook on economics in 1995. [7]

He has been criticized for the price of Principles of Economics. According to the Oregonian, college students had to pay $280 for the textbook in 2015, which the paper estimated could have yielded $42 million in royalties since it was first published in 1998. [8]

Mankiw made it a course requirement in 2016 that students in the introductory economics class he taught, Economics 10, must pay $132 for an access code to a set of online materials and an online textbook. The students were also prevented from purchasing used textbooks and reselling the access code. [9]

This decision was met with heavy criticism from students who believed the materials were too expensive for the introductory course. Due to a large amount of criticism, Mankiw announced in 2017 that although students would still have to purchase the online materials, he would “donate to charity all royalties earned from Ec 10 students’ purchase of these materials.” [10]

Mankiw has also been criticized for comments he wrote in Principles of Economics. In a section of the textbook entitled “Charlatans and Cranks,” Mankiw claimed that the supply-side tax cuts of President Ronald Reagan were “fad economics” that were an equivalent of “fad diets.” [11] According to the New York Times, Mankiw removed the “Charlatans and Cranks” chapter from the textbook in later editions and became less openly critical of President Reagan’s tax cuts. [12]

Mankiw became the teacher of Economics 10, one of Harvard University’s largest undergraduate courses, in 2006 after spending two years as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for President George W. Bush.

Students of Mankiw’s Economics 10 class at Harvard University staged a walkout in November 2011, citing their “discontent with the bias inherent in this introductory economics course,” as the reason for the protest. [13] According to an open letter the protesters sent to Mankiw, the class “espouses a specific—and limited—view of economics,” did not include “primary sources and rarely features articles from academic journals,” and gave “very little access to alternative approaches to economics.” [14]

Mankiw stepped down from his position of teaching Economics 10 at Harvard University in 2019, stating that he wants to pursue “new pedagogical challenges.” He intends to return to teach at Harvard in 2020. [15]

Political Activities

Mankiw was appointed as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in 2003 by President George W. Bush, however; Mankiw submitted his letter of resignation in February 2005 stating it was time for him to “return to my family, my students, and my books.” [16]

He also served as an economic adviser to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign in 2008 [17] and continued in that role when Romney ran for president again in 2012. [18]

During an interview with National Geographic for the environmentalist documentary Before the Flood, Mankiw advocated for a “Carbon Tax,” which would impose a fee on carbon dioxide emissions. [19]

Mankiw is a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council, an organization of former government officials, intellectuals, and businessmen who advocate for a carbon tax proposal written by former U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz. [20]

The plan proposes a gradually rising carbon tax with the proceeds being returned to the American people in the form of a “carbon dividend,” however; it has been noted that a carbon tax would result in higher energy prices for American consumers. [21]

According to Mankiw, taxing “bad activities,” such as those that increase carbon dioxide emissions, helps people do “the right thing” as he believes openly appealing to people’s “social responsibility [to reduce emissions] is really very very very hard.” [22] Mankiw also believes that environmentalists need to “preach to the American people” as once the public is convinced a carbon tax is a good idea, politicians will “fall in line very quickly.” [23]

He describes the carbon tax as a “price that we build into the products” that produce carbon dioxide emissions including electricity and gasoline. According to Mankiw, this will “incentivize people to conserve on carbon emissions,” and will “encourage them to move to electric cars, for example.” [24]

References

  1. Corley, Matt. “Election Central 2008 Guide (Archived).” Election Central, n.d. https://web.archive.org/web/20070622101415/http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2006/dec/21/your_massive_election_central_guide_to_2008_presidential_campaign_staffs. ^
  2. “Mankiw ’80, Economic Advisor to 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Harvard Economics Professor, to Speak at WWS, October 20.” Princeton University. The Trustees of Princeton University, n.d. https://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/events/item/mankiw-80-economic-advisor-2012-presidential-candidate-mitt-romney-and. ^
  3. “An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw.” Harvard Political Review An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw Comments, n.d. http://harvardpolitics.com/harvard/an-open-letter-to-greg-mankiw/. ^
  4. “Founding Members.” Climate Leadership Council, n.d. https://www.clcouncil.org/founding-members/. ^
  5. “JD Vs PhD.” Greg Mankiw’s Blog, n.d. http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/06/jd-vs-phd-my-story.html. ^
  6. “JD Vs PhD.” Greg Mankiw’s Blog, n.d. http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/06/jd-vs-phd-my-story.html. ^
  7. Nasar, Sylvia. “A Hard Act to Follow? Here Goes.” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 14, 1995. https://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/14/business/a-hard-act-to-follow-here-goes.html. ^
  8. Read, Richard. “A $280 College Textbook Busts Budgets, but Harvard Author Gregory Mankiw Defends Royalties.” oregonlive, February 12, 2015. https://www.oregonlive.com/education/2015/02/a_280_college_textbook_busts_b.html. ^
  9. “Students Criticize New Ec 10 Textbooks; Mankiw Defends: News: The Harvard Crimson.” Students Criticize New Ec 10 Textbooks; Mankiw Defends | News, n.d. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/9/20/mankiw-praises-online-textbook/. ^
  10. “After Criticism, Mankiw to Donate Textbook Royalties to Charity: News: The Harvard Crimson.” After Criticism, Mankiw to Donate Textbook Royalties to Charity | News, n.d. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/9/19/mankiw-donates-textbook-royalties/. ^
  11. Andrews, Edmund L. “A Salesman for Bush’s Tax Plan Who Has Belittled Similar Ideas.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 28, 2003. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/28/business/a-salesman-for-bush-s-tax-plan-who-has-belittled-similar-ideas.html. ^
  12. Andrews, Edmund L. “A Salesman for Bush’s Tax Plan Who Has Belittled Similar Ideas.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 28, 2003. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/28/business/a-salesman-for-bush-s-tax-plan-who-has-belittled-similar-ideas.html. ^
  13. “An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw.” Harvard Political Review An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw Comments, n.d.http://harvardpolitics.com/harvard/an-open-letter-to-greg-mankiw/. ^
  14. “An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw.” Harvard Political Review An Open Letter to Greg Mankiw Comments, n.d. http://harvardpolitics.com/harvard/an-open-letter-to-greg-mankiw/. ^
  15. “Mankiw to Leave Flagship Harvard Ec 10 Course: News: The Harvard Crimson.” Mankiw to Leave Flagship Harvard Ec 10 Course | News, n.d. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/3/5/mankiw-step-down-ec10/. ^
  16. Keto, Alex. “Mankiw Resigns as Key Adviser To Bush on Economic Policy.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, February 17, 2005. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB110857020030656511. ^
  17. Corley, Matt. “Election Central 2008 Guide (Archived).” Election Central, n.d. https://web.archive.org/web/20070622101415/http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/blog/electioncentral/2006/dec/21/your_massive_election_central_guide_to_2008_presidential_campaign_staffs. ^
  18. “Mankiw ’80, Economic Advisor to 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and Harvard Economics Professor, to Speak at WWS, October 20.” Princeton University. The Trustees of Princeton University, n.d. https://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/events/item/mankiw-80-economic-advisor-2012-presidential-candidate-mitt-romney-and. ^
  19. Letzter, Rafi. “One of the Most Influential Economists in the World Explains Why a Carbon Tax Is a Good Idea.” Business Insider. Business Insider, November 1, 2016. https://www.businessinsider.com/gregory-mankiw-harvard-professor-carbon-tax-2016-11?r=US&IR=T. ^
  20. “Founding Members.” Climate Leadership Council, n.d. https://www.clcouncil.org/founding-members/. ^
  21. Wald, Ellen R. “The Climate Leadership Council’s Devious Plan To Distract American Carbon Consumers.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, June 20, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2017/06/20/the-climate-leadership-councils-devious-plan-to-distract-american-carbon-consumers/amp/. ^
  22. Letzter, Rafi. “One of the Most Influential Economists in the World Explains Why a Carbon Tax Is a Good Idea.” Business Insider. Business Insider, November 1, 2016. https://www.businessinsider.com/gregory-mankiw-harvard-professor-carbon-tax-2016-11?r=US&IR=T. ^
  23. Letzter, Rafi. “One of the Most Influential Economists in the World Explains Why a Carbon Tax Is a Good Idea.” Business Insider. Business Insider, November 1, 2016. https://www.businessinsider.com/gregory-mankiw-harvard-professor-carbon-tax-2016-11?r=US&IR=T. ^
  24. “Global Perspectives: Greg Mankiw on Economic Advice, Climate Change and Trade.” Dallasfed.org, n.d. https://www.dallasfed.org/research/economics/2019/0328. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Pigou Club (Other Group)
    Founder
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