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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

Big Insurance's Health Care Scam for the Holidays

(76) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 10:14 PM

Last week United Health Care (UHC), the country's largest health insurance company, announced that it was considering leaving the health care exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It claimed that it was losing money on the plans it offers in the exchange, so it might decide to...

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President Obama's Forum: High Theater on High Drug Prices

(33) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 9:18 PM

The Obama administration is sponsoring a forum this week on the problem of high drug prices. The purpose is presumably to express concern about a rapidly growing problem for both people in the United States and around the world. It seems likely that the point is to quite literally express...

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The TPP's Children's Table: Labor Rights and Currency

(13) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 8:53 PM

The concept of the children's table has moved from Thanksgiving dinner to presidential politics with the networks having a separate debate for the low-polling candidates for the Republican nomination. But the concept of the children's table is also useful for understanding trade policy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


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Federal Government as Employer: High Road or Bottom Feeder?

(20) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 10:01 PM

The federal government has long been a model employer. It often has taken the lead in providing workers with benefits like on-site child care, paid family leave, and flexible work-time options in addition to more standard benefits like health care insurance and pensions. After seeing that these sorts of benefits...

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Paul Ryan Wants to Shut Down the Government, Permanently

(1098) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 9:52 PM

Everyone has seen the news stories about how Representative Paul Ryan, the likely next Speaker of the House, is a budget wonk. That should make us feel good, since we would all like to think a person in this position understands the ins and outs of the federal budget. But...

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Democrats Get a Gift from the Fed

(59) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 9:40 PM

Last week, the Democrats received an unexpected gift from the Federal Reserve Board. Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed's Board of Governors, gave a speech in which she questioned the need for the Fed to raise interest rates. Brainard pointed out the asymmetric risks in the current...

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Getting the Export-Import Bank to Pay Dividends

(8) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 11:03 PM

The Export-Import Bank is one of those issues like the TARP, the 2008 bank bailout. The big money types really want it, and they are going to keep pressing Congress until it gets it right and reauthorizes the bank.

Those of us who don't think it's the best use...

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Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve Board

(26) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 10:30 PM

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released his plan for changing the tax code. Trump wants big across the board tax cuts, with the largest tax cuts going to the wealthy. He claimed that his tax cut won't lead to a loss of revenue since it would lead to...

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Janet Yellen Shows the Need for a 4 Percent Unemployment Target

(79) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 11:09 PM

In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen inadvertently told us why Congress should set a 4 percent unemployment target for the Fed in its conduct of monetary policy, as is proposed in a new bill put forward by Michigan Representative John Conyers. The context...

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Will President Obama Stand up to the Drug Thugs?

(125) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 12:21 AM

It takes a lot of courage to defy the folks who make tens of billions a year selling drugs. We will find out soon whether President Obama has the backbone to stand up to Merck, Pfizer, and the other major drug companies in order to protect the health and lives...

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Lehman Day: Making Fun of the Second Great Depression Crowd

(77) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 9:53 PM

This week marks the 7th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the huge investment bank. This collapse set off the worldwide financial panic that brought Wall Street to its knees. The anniversary of this collapse, September 15th, is the day set aside to ridicule the people who warned of...

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Labor Unions: The Folks Who Gave You the Weekend

(56) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 11:58 PM

The celebration of Labor Day is a good time to remember the role that labor unions have played in raising living standards and improving the quality of life for working people in the United States. While most people recognize that unions have been beneficial for their members -- raising pay,...

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The China Syndrome: Bubble Trouble

(50) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 10:28 PM

The financial markets have been through some wild and crazy times over the last two weeks, although it appears that they have finally stabilized. The net effect of all the gyrations is that a serious bubble in China's market seems to have been at least partially deflated. After hugely overreacting...

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The Federal Reserve Board and the War for Poverty

(31) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 12:37 AM

There has been much talk in recent years about inequality and the poor life chances of children who grow up in poverty. Even many conservative Republicans have been putting forward proposals that are ostensibly designed to give people the opportunity to raise themselves out of poverty and into the middle...

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China's Currency Devaluation and the Federal Reserve Board

(29) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 12:06 AM

Discussions of economic issues in policy circles often suffer from a "which way is up?" dilemma; it's not clear what the problem is that needs to be solved. The massive fretting over China's devaluation of its currency last week is one such example.

Just to line up the bases, the...

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Disciplining Corporate Directors: The Real Culprits in CEO Pay

(31) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 11:00 PM

More than five years after the passage of Dodd-Frank the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally issued rules on disclosure of CEO pay last week. The financial reform law required that corporations make public the ratio of CEO pay to the pay of a typical worker at the company. Corporate...

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Bernie Sanders, Open Borders and a Serious Route to Global Equality

(578) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 9:55 PM

Some progressives expressed dismay last week to discover that Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, doesn't favor a policy of open immigration. While such a policy would undoubtedly allow billions of people in the developing world to improve their lives, there are not many...

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Social Security Trustees Report Without the Hysteria

(22) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 12:40 AM

Every year the Social Security trustees issue their report on the financial condition of the program. In the past this release was generally accompanied by some serious deep breathing as reporters warned of multi-trillion dollar shortfalls and the impending bankruptcy of the program. This could be accompanied by appeals on...

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Wolfgang Schauble, the Hero of the Greek Austerity Crisis?

(51) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 12:18 AM

Like many people following the negotiations between Greece and its creditors, I was inclined to see Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's finance minister, as the villain of the story. After all, Mr. Schauble insisted on severely punitive measures for Greece as a condition for continuing support from the European Central Bank (ECB)....

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Hard Work With Jeb Bush

(28) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 1:40 AM

In describing his economic agenda last week, Republican president candidate Jeb Bush said that "people need to work longer hours." While he quickly tried to walk this one back, there can be little doubt that Mr. Bush meant what he said. It came in the context of describing his plans...

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