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Alan Stuart Blinder (born October 14, 1945) is an Americanmarker economist. He serves at Princeton Universitymarker as the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs in the Economics Department, and as co-director of Princeton’s Center for Economic Policy Studies, which he founded in 1990. Since 1978 he has been a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is among the most influential economists in the world according to IDEAS/RePEc.

Blinder served on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors (Jan 1993 - June 1994), and as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from June 1994 to January 1996. Blinder's recent academic work has focused particularly on monetary policy and central banking , as well as the "offshoring" of jobs, and his writing for lay audiences has been published primarily but not exclusively in New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Early life

Blinder was born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Syosset High Schoolmarker in Syosset, New Yorkmarker. Blinder received his undergraduate degree in economics from Princeton, graduating summa cum laude in 1967. He subsequently gained an MSc in economics from the London School of Economicsmarker (1968) and then received his doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker in 1971.

Professional life

Academic career

Blinder has been at Princeton since 1971, chairing the economics department from 1988 to 1990. He is a past President of the Eastern Economic Association and Vice President of the American Economic Association. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciencesmarker (since 1991), and a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations (since 1997). Blinder's textbook Economics: Principles and Policy, co-written with William Baumol, was first published in 1979, and in 2009 was printed in its eleventh edition.

In 2009 Blinder was inducted into the American Academy of Political and Social Science, "for his distinguished scholarship on fiscal policy, monetary policy and the distribution of income, and for consistently bringing that knowledge to bear on the public arena." He is a strong proponent of free trade.

Political career

Blinder has served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the Congressional Budget Office (1975), on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors (Jan 1993 - June 1994), and as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from June 1994 to January 1996. As Vice Chairman he cautioned against raising interest rates too quickly to slow inflation, because of the lags in earlier rises feeding through into the economy. He also warned against ignoring the short term costs in terms of unemployment that inflation-fighting could cause. He was an adviser to Al Gore and John Kerry during their respective presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

"Cash for Clunkers"

Blinder was an early advocate of a "Cash for Clunkers" program, in which the government buys some of the oldest, most-polluting vehicles and scrap them. In July 2008, he wrote an article in The New York Times advocating such a program, which was implemented by the Obama administration during the summer of 2009. Blinder asserted it could stimulate the economy, benefit the environment, and reduce income inequality. The program was both praised for exceeding expectations, and criticized for economic and environmental reasons.

Personal life

He is married and has two sons.

Selected works

  • (2009),“How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable,” World Economics, April-June, 2009, 10(2): 41-78.
  • (2009),“Making Monetary Policy by Committee,” International Finance, Summer 2009, 12(2): 171-194.
  • (2008), “Do Monetary Policy Committees Need Leaders? A Report on an Experiment,” American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), May 2008, pp. 224-229.
  • (2006), "Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution?" Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006, pp. 113-128. (A longer version with footnotes and references is: “Fear of Offshoring,” CEPS Working Paper No. 119, December 2005).
  • (2006), “The Case Against the Case Against Discretionary Fiscal Policy,” in R. Kopcke, G. Tootell, and R. Triest (eds.), The Macroeconomics of Fiscal Policy, MIT Press, 2006, forthcoming, pp. 25-61.
  • (2004), The Quiet Revolution, Yale University Press
  • (2001, with William Baumol and Edward N. Wolff), Downsizing in America: Reality, Causes, And Consequences, Russell Sage Foundation
  • (2001, with Janet Yellen), The fabulous decade: macroeconomic lessons from the 1990s, New York: The Century Foundation Press
  • (1998, with E. Canetti, D. Lebow, and J. Rudd), Asking About Prices: A New Approach to Understanding Price Stickiness, Russell Sage Foundation
  • (1998), Central Banking in Theory and Practice, MIT Press
  • (1991), Growing Together: An Alternative Economic Strategy for the 1990s, Whittle
  • (1990, ed), Paying for Productivity, Brookings
  • (1989), Macroeconomics Under Debate, Harvester-Wheatsheaf
  • (1989), Inventory Theory and Consumer Behavior, Harvester-Wheatsheaf
  • (1987), Hard Heads, Soft Hearts: Tough‑Minded Economics for a Just Society, Addison-Wesley
  • (1983), Economic Opinion, Private Pensions and Public Pensions: Theory and Fact. The University of Michigan
  • (1979, with William Baumol), Economics: Principles and Policy - textbook
  • (1979), Economic Policy and the Great Stagflation. New York: Academic Press
  • (co-edited with Philip Friedman, 1977), Natural Resources, Uncertainty and General Equilibrium Systems: Essays in Memory of Rafael Lusky, New York: Academic Press
  • (1974), Toward an Economic Theory of Income Distribution, MIT Press


  1. National Bureau of Economic Research, Alan S. Blinder
  2. Economist Rankings at IDEAS
  3. Alan Blinder, [1] , accessed 17 October 2009
  4. Alan Blinder, Op Eds, accessed 17 October 2009
  5. Princeton University, Alan S. Blinder, Princeton University
  6. NBER, Curriculum Vitae: Alan Stuart Blinder, accessed 14 August 2001
  7. Alan Blinder, Textbooks
  8. Princeton University, 24 June 2009, Blinder named fellow of American Academy of Political and Social Science, accessed 14 August 2009
  9. [2]
  10. New York Times, 18 March 1995, Opening the Fed's Doors From Inside; Alan Blinder Preaches Communication at Tight-Lipped Central Bank
  11. Why One Economist Pushed Cash For Clunkers, National Public Radio, August 11, 2009.
  12. More Cash for Clunkers?; Despite the frenzy, another $2 billion may not sell any additional cars., Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2009.
  13. Derek Thompson, The Senate Should Kill Cash for Clunkers, The Atlantic, August 2009.
  14. "Cash for Clunkers" Bad for Environment?, CBS News, August 7, 2009.
  15. Clearing the air; Environmental benefits limited from ‘Clunkers’ deal, The Houston Chronicle, September 5, 2009.

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