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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

Scott Walker Ends Freedom of Contract in Wisconsin

(643) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:46 PM

You probably missed this one, after all most news coverage told people that Governor Walker signed a "right to work" bill. According to the accounts, this bill means that workers will no longer be forced to pay a fee to the union that represents them. This was presented as a...

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The Supreme Court and the Democrats' Preemptive Surrender on Obamacare

(242) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 9:01 PM

As the Supreme Court listened to arguments over subsidies in the state exchanges, Democrats were making their plans for preemptive surrender. Many were warning that an adverse ruling would be the death of Obamacare.

There is no doubt that a ruling for the plaintiffs would be bad news. It would...

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The Federal Reserve Board's Plan to Kill Jobs

(10) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 7:37 PM

There is an enormous amount of political debate over various pieces of legislation that are supposed to be massive job killers. For example, Republicans lambasted President Obama's increase in taxes on the wealthy back in 2013 as a job killer. They endlessly have condemned the Affordable Care Act as a...

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Trade Crazy: The Push for Fast-Track Trade Authority

(16) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 7:25 PM

Washington politics always involves a high level of silliness (does President Obama really love America?), but when it comes to trade policy it shifts to full-fledged craziness. Anything is fair game when the political establishment wants to pass major trade agreements like NAFTA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). At such...

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Greece Does Battle With Creationist Economics: Can Germany Be Brought Into the 21st Century?

(50) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 7:02 PM

Europeans have been amused in recent weeks by the difficulty that Republican presidential candidates have with the theory of evolution. But these cognitive problems will only matter if one of these people gets into the White House and still finds himself unable to distinguish myth from...

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Will the United States End Up Like Greece? The Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

(11) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 8:03 PM

For years people have been running around Washington yelling that the United States was at risk of becoming Greece. There may actually be a basis for such concerns, but not for the reason usually given.

The standard story of the United States becoming Greece is that government budget deficits...

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Is Hillary Clinton in the Bottom 3 Percent? Turning the Corner on CEO Pay

(21) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 8:52 PM

Most of the people who have direct dealings with the former secretary of state seem to regard her very highly, certainly not in the bottom 3 percent of the population. The same could be said about former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Erskine Bowles, the former Clinton...

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

(171) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 7:23 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 | 6:56 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 | 4:30 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

(127) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 9:34 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 | 7:24 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 | 7:01 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 | 10:01 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 | 7:07 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 | 8:17 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 | 10:12 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 | 7:45 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 | 8:18 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 | 7:26 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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