Peter Temin is the Elisha Gray II Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1959 and his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 1964.  Professor Temin was a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, 1962-65; the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University, 1985-86; Head of the Economics Department at MIT, 1990-93; and President of the Economic History Association, 1995-96.  Professor Temin’s most recent books are The Roman Market Economy (Princeton University Press, 2013), Prometheus Shackled: Goldsmith Banks and England’s Financial Revolution after 1700 (Oxford University Press, 2013, with Hans-Joachim Voth), The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It (Princeton University Press, 2013, with David Vines) Keynes: Useful Economics for the World Economy (MIT Press, 2014, with David Vines), and The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy (MIT Press, 2017).

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Inclusive American Economic History: Containing Slaves, Freedmen, Jim Crow Laws, and the Great Migration

Paper Working Paper Series | | Jan 2020

This paper records the path by which African Americans were transformed from enslaved persons in the American economy to partial participants in the progress of the economy.

The Hidden Decline in Human Capital—and the Danger Ahead

Article | Jan 2, 2019

U.S. GDP accounting underestimates intangible capital, overstates financial capital, and is all but oblivious to the the erosion of human and social capital. A serious growth slowdown is coming.

Finance in Economic Growth: Eating the Family Cow

Paper Working Paper Series | | Jan 2019

The American economy changed rapidly in the last half-century. The National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) were designed before these changes started. They have stretched to accommodate new and growing service activities, but they are still organized for an industrial economy.

The Vanishing Middle Class: The Growth of a Dual Economy

Paper Conference paper | | Oct 2017

Growing income inequality is threatening the American middle class, and the middle class is vanishing before our eyes. We are still one country, but the stretch of incomes is fraying the unity of our nation.

Featuring this expert

America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

Article | Apr 20, 2017

A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds

What the ‘Dual Economy’ Model Reveals About Today’s America

Video | Jan 30, 2017

Professor Temin sees the US economy as bifurcated along lines analogous to the situation described in developing world economies by W. Arthur Lewis.

Tomorrow’s Detroits & Detroit’s Tomorrows

Event Conference Race & Economics | Nov 11–12, 2016

Economics has a race problem.

How Economics and Race Drive America’s Great Divide

Article | Dec 10, 2015

Can education stop the country’s backward slide?