In the midst of today’s economic crisis, questions are flying thick and fast about the role of government policy and regulation. If you’re looking for answers, take a listen to Tom Sargent. Tom just won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work in macroeconomics over the last forty years. One of the founders of the rational expectations model and the freshwater economics movement, Tom is one of today’s most influential economists.
He holds the W.R. Berkley Professorship of Economics and Business at New York University and is the author of many significant books and articles, including the classic economic textbooks, Macroeconomic Theory and Dynamic Economic Theory. He co-authored Rational Expectations Econometrics with 2013 Nobel Laureate Lars Peter Hansen. The crucial insight behind rational expectations is this: people make decisions based on a reasonable mental model of the economy, and, crucially, based on their understanding of the government’s economic policies. This means that, since consumers and investors adjust their behaviors whenever the government shifts policies, these policies rarely have their intended effect. It’s an insight that revolutionized economics in the post-Keynesian era, and it continues to dominate economic thinking today. Tom’s statistical insights are legendary, as are his warmth and sensitivity as a mentor. He can share both with you in his lectures. In such uncertain times, it’s good to have a guide — and Tom is one of the best.