Thomas Ferguson is the Research Director at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Senior Fellow at Better Markets. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and taught formerly at MIT and the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Golden Rule (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and Right Turn (Hill & Wang, 1986). His articles have appeared in many scholarly journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Economic History. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Political Economy and a longtime Contributing Editor at The Nation.

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How Money Drives US Congressional Elections

Paper Working Paper Series | | Aug 2016

Social scientists have stubbornly held that money and election outcomes are at most weakly linked. New research provides clear evidence to the contrary.

New CDC Guidelines to Reopen Schools Could be Dangerous

Article | Mar 19, 2021

School re-opening push based on outdated science is poorly timed in face of coronavirus resurgence

To Save the Economy, Save People First

Article | Nov 18, 2020

Targeted Measures and Subsidies for Cost Effective COVID-19 Abatement

Featuring this expert

Stark New Evidence on How Money Shapes America’s Elections

Article | Aug 8, 2016

Oversights of two generations of social scientists have weakened democracy.

Thomas Ferguson is quoted in Truthout's interview with Chomsky

News Jun 17, 2021

“The most recent study, using sophisticated AI techniques, dispels “notions that anyone’s opinion about public policy outside of the top 10 percent of affluent Americans independently helps to explain policy.” Thomas Ferguson, the leading academic scholar of the power of the “tools and tyrants” of government, concludes: “Knowing the policy area, the preferences of the top 10 percent, and the views of a handful of interest groups suffice to explain policy changes with impressive accuracy.” — Jared Rodriguez, Truthout

Thomas Ferguson's research is cited in Noam Chomsky's interview with Jacobin

News Jun 11, 2021

“Well, one place to look always is: “Where’s the money? Who funds Congress?” Actually, there’s a very fine, careful study of this by the leading scholar who deals with funding issues and politics, Thomas Ferguson. He and his colleagues did a study in which they investigated a simple question: “What’s the correlation over many years between campaign funding and electability to Congress?” The correlation is almost a straight line. That’s the kind of close correlation that you rarely get in the social sciences: greater the funding, higher the electability.” — Noam Chomsky in an interview with Jacobin

Thomas Ferguson is quoted in Rabble on money in politics

News May 12, 2021

“Political scientist Thomas Ferguson has documented how U.S. big business interests poured money into local and state elections to ensure positive support for their largely unpopular policies. What Ferguson calls “political investment” is the practice of spending serious sums on party competition to keep hand-picked, docile representatives in power.” — Duncan Cameron, Rabble