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.

By this expert

2020’s Knife Edge Election: An Analysis

Article | Nov 16, 2021

Covid and BLM protests were key to Biden’s victory

The Knife Edge Election of 2020: American Politics Between Washington, Kabul, and Weimar

Paper Working Paper Series | | Nov 2021

Covid and BLM protests were key to Biden’s victory

Public Opinion on U.S. Trade Policy: Time to Ask Better Questions

Article | Oct 19, 2021

Open-ended polling responses reveal considerably more complexity – and more ambivalence and negativity – in Americans’ views of international trade than has been inferred from widely cited closed questions

Ambivalence About International Trade in Open- and Closed-ended Survey Responses

Paper Working Paper Series | | Oct 2021

Open-ended polling responses reveal considerably more complexity – and more ambivalence and negativity – in Americans’ views of international trade than has been inferred from widely cited closed questions

Featuring this expert

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

INET's article on the dangers of reopening schools is featured in the Santa Fe New Mexican

News May 1, 2021

“Right after the CDC made this announcement, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, sent a letter to the Biden administration, citing a study by the Institute for Economic Thinking. … The authors of the study are Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, who did much of the research for the study and is a clinical epidemiologist and statistical geneticist and senior lecturer at the William Harvey Research Institute in London; Dr. Phillip Alveldi, CEO and chairman of Brain Works Foundry Inc, a U.S.-based developer of artificial intelligence-enhanced health care technologies and services; and Thomas Ferguson, the director of research projects for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.” — Dennis Donohue, Santa Fe New Mexican

Thomas Ferguson's article is featured in the International Economy Magazine

News Apr 28, 2021

“The much-touted “new thinking” on fiscal policy and debt is actually very thin and little of it is new. In the 1990s, economist Luigi Pasinetti clarified the folly of the proposed Maastricht criteria for public finances and forecast the coming disaster with those. Subsequently, many economists, including more than a few working with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, showed in detail how austerity reduces potential output over time and how absurd theories about Phillips Curve trade-offs lead to big underestimates of real rates of unemployment. Running below full employment for long periods blows big holes in public finances and thus piles on debt.” – Thomas Ferguson