Thomas Herndon

Thomas Herndon is an associate professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY in New York City, who has previously worked as assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. During his PhD studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Herndon became known for critiquing “Growth in a Time of Debt”, a widely cited academic paper by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff supporting the austerity policies implemented by governments in Europe and North America in the early 21st century. His research concluded that these measures may not have been necessary.

Herndon proved that the paper contained multiple errors, provoking widespread international interest. The Reinhart–Rogoff paper was frequently cited during the 2012 U.S. presidential election campaign. It was also frequently cited among policymakers in congress, including in the drafting of the Bowles-Simpson report. However, there are differing views on the actual impact the original paper may have had on policy making.

The findings have been described as “shocking” and as having rocked the economics world. Publications such as The Washington Post had for several years taken the conclusions of the Reinhart–Rogoff paper as an “economic consensus view.” New York magazine wrote that Herndon “just used part of his spring semester to shake the intellectual foundation of the global austerity movement.

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YSI North America Convening

YSI Event Regional Convening YSI | Feb 22–24, 2019

On February 22-24, 2019, the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) will host its North America Convening in Los Angeles.