|Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund|
August 2001 – September 2003
|Preceded by||Michael Mussa|
|Succeeded by||Raghuram Rajan|
|Born||March 22, 1953|
Rochester, New York, U.S.
|Education||Yale University (BA, MA)|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD)
|Information at IDEAS / RePEc|
At sixteen Rogoff dropped out of high school to concentrate on chess. He won the United States Junior Championship in 1969 and spent the next several years living primarily in Europe and playing in tournaments there. However, at eighteen he made the decision to go to college and pursue a career in economics rather than to become a professional player, although he continued to play and improve for several years afterward. Rogoff was awarded the IM title in 1974, and the GM title in 1978. He was 3rd in the World Junior Championship of 1971 and finished 2nd in the US Championship of 1975, which doubled as a Zonal competition, a half point behind Walter Browne; this result qualified him for the 1976 Interzonal at Biel where he finished 13–15th. In other tournaments, he drew for first at Norristown in 1973 and at Orense in 1976. He has also drawn individual games against former world champions Mikhail Tal and Tigran Petrosian. In 2012 he drew a blitz game with the world's highest rated player Magnus Carlsen.
In 2002, Rogoff was in the spotlight because of a dispute with Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and 2001 Nobel Prize winner. After Stiglitz criticized the IMF in his book, Globalization and Its Discontents, Rogoff replied in an open letter. He is also a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2002.
In a normal recession such as 1991 or 2000, the Keynesian tools of tax cuts and infrastructure spending (fiscal stimulus), as well as lowered interest rates (monetary stimulus), will usually right the economic ship in a matter of months and lead to recovery and economic expansion. Even the serious recession of 1982, which Blinder states "was called the Great Recession in its day," fits comfortably within this category of a normal recession which will respond to the standard tools.
By contrast, the 2008 near-meltdown destroyed parts of the financial system and left other parts reeling and in serious need of de-leveraging. Large amounts of governmental debt, household debt, corporate debt, and financial institution debt were left in its wake. And because of this debt, the normal tools of tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending were somewhat less available and/or politically difficult to achieve. (Fiscal policy at times even ended up becoming pro-cyclical, which it was in some European countries under austerity policies.) In the United States, economist Paul Krugman argued that even the combination of the Oct. 2008 bailout plus the Feb. 2009 bailout was not big enough, although Blinder states that they were large compared to previous bailouts. And, since interest rates were already near zero, the standard monetary tool of lowering rates was not going to provide much help.
Recovery from what Blinder terms a Reinhart-Rogoff recession may require debt forgiveness, either directly, or implicitly through encouraging somewhat higher than normal rates of inflation. "Not your father’s recovery policies," writes Blinder.
Criticism and controversy
In April 2013, Rogoff was at the center of worldwide attention with Carmen Reinhart (coauthor of the book This Time is Different) when their widely cited study "Growth in a Time of Debt" was shown to contain computation errors which critics claim undermine its central thesis that too much debt causes recession. An analysis by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin argued that "coding errors, selective exclusion of available data, and unconventional weighting of summary statistics led to serious errors that inaccurately represent the relationship between public debt and GDP growth among 20 advanced economies in the post-war period." Their calculations demonstrated that some high debt countries grew at 2.2 percent, rather than the −0.1 percent figure initially cited by Reinhart and Rogoff. Rogoff and Reinhart claimed that their fundamental conclusions were accurate after correcting the coding errors detected by their critics. They disavowed their claim that a 90% government debt-to-GDP ratio is a specific tipping point for growth outcomes. The subject remains controversial, because of the political ramifications of the research, though in Rogoff and Reinhart's words "[t]he politically charged discussion ... has falsely equated our finding of a negative association between debt and growth with an unambiguous call for austerity."
In The Curse of Cash, published in 2016, he urged that the United States phase out the 100-dollar bill, then the 50-dollar bill, then the 20-dollar bill, leaving only smaller denominations in circulation.
- "WEDDINGS; Natasha S. Lance, Kenneth S. Rogoff". The New York Times. 1995-06-25.
- "Essays on expectations and exchange rate volatility" (PDF).
- "Gita Gopinath's Curriculum Vitae" (PDF).
- "Kenneth Rogoff -- Biographical Information". International Monetary Fund. 28 October 2005. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
- "Kenneth Rogoff". Chessgames.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Mikhail Tal vs Kenneth Rogoff". Chessgames.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Kenneth Rogoff". Chessgames.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Kavalek, Lubomir (September 5, 2012). "Magnus Carlsen Storms New York's Chess Scene". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Kenneth Rogoff". Institute for New Economic Thinking. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Rogoff, Kenneth (July 2, 2002). "An Open Letter". IMF. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Blinder, Alan S. (2015-04-03). "What Did We Learn from the Financial Crisis, the Great Recession, and the Pathetic Recovery?" (PDF). The Journal of Economic Education. Princeton University Griswold Center for Economic Policy. 46 (2): 135–149. doi:10.1080/00220485.2015.1015190. ISSN 0022-0485. S2CID 144314357.
- Alexander, Ruth (April 19, 2013). "Reinhart, Rogoff... and Herndon: The student who caught out the profs". BBC News. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "How Much Unemployment Was Caused by Reinhart and Rogoff's Arithmetic Mistake?". Center for Economic and Policy Research. April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Herndon, Thomas; Ash, Michael; Pollin, Robert (April 15, 2013). "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff" (PDF). Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. Cite journal requires
- "Austerity's Spreadsheet Error - The Colbert Report (Video Clip)". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
- "Reinhart "Reinhart-Rogoff Initial Response". Financial Times blog. April 16, 2013. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
- Inman, Phillip (April 17, 2013). "Rogoff and Reinhart defend their numbers". The Guardian. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Reinhart, Carmen M.; Rogoff, Kenneth S. (April 25, 2013). "Opinion | Debt, Growth and the Austerity Debate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-20.. Op-ed by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff.
- Rampell, Catherine (July 4, 2010), "They Did Their Homework (800 Years of It)", The New York Times
- Coy, Peter (September 7, 2016). "This Harvard Economist Is Trying to Kill Cash". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
- Kenneth Rogoff at Harvard University Department of Economics
- Column archive at Project Syndicate
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Kenneth Rogoff on Charlie Rose
- Kenneth Rogoff at IMDb
- Works by or about Kenneth Rogoff in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Kenneth Rogoff player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- On Point with Tom Ashbrook Thursday, November 15, 2007 show titled Where's the Economy Headed?
- This Time is Different: An Interview with Kenneth Rogoff at the Wayback Machine (archived April 8, 2011), Nicholas Rugoff, The Politic, May 1, 2010
- Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz
- Kenneth Rogoff publications indexed by Google Scholar
- "Kenneth Rogoff". JSTOR.
- Works by or about Kenneth Rogoff at Internet Archive