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Dean Baker
Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting.

He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan.

He has written numerous books and articles, including The United States Since 1980, Cambridge University Press, March 2007; The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2006; Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot), University of Chicago Press, 1999; "Asset Returns and Economic Growth," (with Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman), Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2005); "Financing Drug Research: What Are the Issues," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; "Medicare Choice Plus: The Solution to the Long-Term Deficit Problem," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2004; The Benefits of Full Employment (with Jared Bernstein), Economic Policy Institute, 2004; "Professional Protectionists: The Gains From Free Trade in Highly Paid Professional Services," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2003; "The Run-Up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble," Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2002. His book Getting Prices Right: The Battle Over the Consumer Price Index (M.E. Sharpe, 1997) was a winner of a Choice Book Award as one of the outstanding academic books of the year. He was also the author of the weekly online commentary on economic reporting, the Economic Reporting Review (ERR), from 1996 - 2006.

He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Council.

His columns have appeared in many major media outlets including the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, and the London Financial Times. He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC and National Public Radio.

Entries by Dean Baker

Reducing Disability Rolls: The Rand Paul Way and the Federal Reserve Board Way

(162) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 8:23 PM

The Republican Congress decided to make overhauling the Social Security disability program one of its first orders of business. On the first day of the new session, it put in place a rule change that would make it difficult to address the shortfall the program is projected to face sometime...

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Democrats Take on Wall Street With Financial Transactions Tax

(31) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 7:56 PM

The House Democratic Party leadership made a remarkable step forward last week in putting out a proposal for a financial transactions tax (FTT). The proposal is part of a larger package which includes a substantial tax credit for workers, and also a limit on the tax deductibility of high CEO...

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Idea for Tackling Inequality #27,653: Stop Subsidizing It

(118) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 5:30 PM

It's rare that a week goes by in Washington without some major conference on inequality. This usually involves some prominent people, who get six or even seven figure paychecks, speculating on why inequality has grown and what we can do about it. These exercises illustrate the basic problem.


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Congress Starts the New Year Off By Kicking the Disabled

(126) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 10:34 PM

Tens of millions of people made New Year's resolutions last week, but few were as creative as the one pushed through Congress yesterday. Apparently, the new Congress decided that its first order of business should be to go after workers who are no longer able to hold jobs due to...

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Does the University of Michigan's New Football Coach Need Food Stamps?

(157) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 8:24 PM

One of the big end-of-the-year sports-news items was Jim Harbaugh leaving the San Francisco 49ers to become head football coach at the University of Michigan. Reportedly, his salary at the University of Michigan will be $7 million for the first year. If that doesn't sound like the income...

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New Year's Resolutions: 10 Ways to Combat Upward Redistribution of Income

(48) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 8:01 PM

The big gainers in the last three decades (aka the 1 percent) like to pretend that their good fortune was simply the result of the natural workings of the market. This backdrop largely limits political debate in Washington. The main difference is that the conservatives want to keep all the...

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The Trade Agreement Pinatas

(12) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 11:01 PM

In recent weeks many labor, environmental and consumer groups have stepped up their criticisms of the Obama administration's plans for pushing fast-track trade negotiating authority. The purpose of fast-track is to allow the administration to negotiate to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP)...

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Economic Policy Myths of 2014: Dead and Enduring

(64) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 8:07 PM

With the holiday season upon us, the time for end-of-year lists is fast approaching. To beat the rush, today I give my list of the top dead and enduring myths of 2014.

The good news is that two myths that caused great confusion over the last several years are...

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Benefits of Obamacare: More People Are Able to Work Less

(259) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:17 PM

There continues to be enormous confusion over Obamacare. Contrary to claims about the American people being stupid, the confusion is starting at the top. Last week U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate, complained that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would only...

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The Paid Vacation Route to Full Employment

(211) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 11:12 PM

The economics profession has hit a roadblock in terms of being able to design policies that can help the economy. On the one hand we have many prominent economists, like Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, who say the problem is that we don't have enough demand to get us back...

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Seven Years After: Why This Recovery Is Still a Turkey

(46) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:45 PM

December will mark the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the recession brought on by the collapse of the housing bubble. Usually an economy would be fully recovered from the impact of a recession seven years after its onset. Unfortunately, this is not close to being the case now.

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The Problem of 'Stupid' in Economics

(11) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 9:18 PM

M.I.T. Professor Jonathan Gruber has inadvertently become a YouTube celebrity as a result of a video of him referring to the public as "stupid." The immediate point of reference was the complexity of the design of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which Gruber was describing as being necessary...

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Election Results Indicate Huge Mandate for New Trade Pacts

(29) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 8:26 PM

Apparently that is how the DC-insider crowd saw the elections last week. The elite media were filled with news and opinion pieces on how the election opened the door for the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP). According...

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Will Democrats Be Able to Talk Seriously About the Economy in 2016?

(37) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 10:28 PM

It looks like the Democrats will take another shellacking in the congressional elections this week. Part of this is due to factors like the normal falloff in voting in a non-presidential year and the weariness with a president after six years in office, which tends to cause the electorate to...

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The Ebola Vaccine, Traffic Congestion, and Global Warming

(16) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 9:59 PM

With large numbers of people now shivering in fear over Ebola, it has occurred to many that it would be nice if we had a vaccine against the deadly virus. If we had a vaccine, people in the countries where the disease is prevalent and the health care workers who...

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Ebola Hysteria Fever: A Real Epidemic

(142) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:08 AM

Thus far, the Ebola virus has infected three people in the United States that we know of; however, Ebola hysteria seems to have infected somewhere close to 300 million. There are reports of kids being pulled out of schools and even some school closings. People in many areas are not...

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The Deficit Is Down and the Deficit Hawks Are Furious

(166) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 10:48 PM

Last week the Congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit for the 2014 fiscal year that just ended was $460 billion, considerably lower than they had previously projected. This puts the deficit at 2.7 percent of GDP. At that level, the size of the debt relative to the economy is...

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The Good News and Bad News About 5.9 Percent Unemployment

(3) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 10:16 PM

The jobs report on Friday showed the economy created 248,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell below 6.0 percent for the first time since the early days of the recession. This is good news for workers. While we are still far from anything resembling full employment, it is...

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Eric Holder: The Reason Robert Rubin Isn't Behind Bars

(138) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 11:55 PM

The big news item in Washington last week was Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to resign. Undoubtedly there are positives to Holder's tenure as attorney general, but one really big minus is his decision not to prosecute any of the Wall Street crew whose actions helped to prop up the...

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The Mysteries of Inequality Are Only Mysterious to Elites

(70) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 9:56 PM

Developing explanations for the growth in inequality over the last three decades has been a huge growth industry in economics and policy circles. Many economists have made their careers with a novel explanation of how the natural development of technology and the market has concentrated income and wealth in the...

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