In his memoir, A Personal Odyssey, the economist and writer
Thomas Sowell answers those who mistake his writings on public policy
issues as self-help guides for the less fortunate. "I am not
Dear Abby,"he says. Rather, his public policy work is directed
toward the public or toward policymakers; he weighs policies against
one another and tries to show where one policy might improve upon
another. "My hope was obviously that better policies would
reduce those misfortunes."
This Dear Abby problem is one that often confuses the public, and
is familiar to economists, and it addresses an underlying theme
of Sowell's prolific career: Economic literacythat is, knowledge
about the way an economy worksmatters. "Economics is
not about the material well-being of individuals. It is about the
material well-being of society as a whole," Sowell writes in
his "citizen's guide to the economy," Basic Economics.
The following interview makes clear Sowell's passion for economic
literacy, and his conviction that such literacy makes for better
policy. Electricity markets, rent control, property rights, affordable
housing, open spaces and many other issues are elucidated in the
following conversation, wherein Sowell also describes the writing
habits that have produced such a huge body of work, and that has
inspired the Washington Post to call him "our most valuable
What makes it possible for politicians to do so many things
that are economically counter-productive is that neither the public
nor the media know enough of the basics to understand what's wrong
with what they're saying.
[Economic literacy] would limit what politicians could get away
with. For example, rent control is enormously popular out here [in
California] and many other places. If people understood something
about the factual history of rent control, quite aside from the
theory of it, they would be appalled.
I understand there's a program back East that helps judges understand
economics. I think if every judge really understood Economics 101,
a great number of antitrust and other cases would be thrown right
out of court.
Yes, the economy will work fine without the people understanding
itif they leave it alone. But in order to leave it alone they
often need to understand a little bit, at least, about why messing
with it causes so many counterproductive results.
REGION: Your recent book, Basic Economics, is a discussion
of economics for the general public, meaningamong other thingsthat
there are no charts or graphs; it's sort of an Everyman's econ text. You
have been writing for the general public for years and have taught many
What is your estimation of the level of economic literacy among the American
public, and why is such literacy important?
SOWELL: Oh, my. My heavens. Extremely low. I would say
not only among the general public but also in the media and, in
large part, in politics. Now in politics it's harder to be sure
because the things they do may not result from ignorance but from
the fact that it's politically expedient. But what makes it possible
for politicians to do so many things that are economically counterproductive
is that neither the public nor the media know enough of the basics
to understand what's wrong with what they're saying.
Let me give you one example. The current electricity crisis
in California is classic. [This interview was conducted in June
2001.] The whole emphasis has been shifted from electricity, which
is the only thing that will prevent blackouts, to prices; because
now, when you're no longer talking about electricity and you talk
about prices, you can blame all sorts of people and make all kinds
of claims and the public has no idea.
What people don't understand is that there is no such thing as
the cost of electricity. The cost of running a dishwasher can vary
100-fold between one time and another. If you're running a dishwasher
on a hot summer afternoon when everybody has their air conditioning
on, the price is astronomical because they're operating at the top
capacity and may have to resort to standby equipment, which is more
expensive. On the other hand, if you turn on your dishwasher at
midnight when everybody is asleep, it's a minute fraction of the
cost of doing the very same thing. So the idea that you can base
the price of electricity on cost when the costs themselves vary
so enormously is ridiculous, unless of course you have a setup where
the cost varies from hour to hour, moment to moment, really. I understand
that's been tried in New York so that people will then have an incentive
not to turn on their dishwasher in the middle of a hot summer afternoon
but to turn it on before they go to bed at night.
REGION: You mentioned three key groups in the question
of economic literacy: the general public, the media and the politicians.
Most economic literacy efforts focus on the general public, so
let's begin there. If we could raise economic literacy of the
general public, what effect might that have?
SOWELL: It would limit what politicians could get away
with. For example, rent control is enormously popular out here
[in California] and many other places. If people understood something
about the factual history of rent control, quite aside from the
theory of it, they would be appalled. One of the things again,
if I can refer to the current electricity crisis, people are saying
is that the opposition to price caps is based on ideology. Well,
in point of fact, I know of nothing outside the hard sciences
that has been demonstrated so often, over so many centuries, in
so many parts of the world, as the fact that when you artificially
lower the price you reduce the supply and you increase the demand.
Now this goes all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire,
it goes to the French Revolution, everywhere you look it's been
there. Now if the public understood that, then politicians wouldn't
get away with saying oh, it's just a matter of ideology, we really
have to have price caps.
REGION: Let's focus on the media now. Here at the Minneapolis
Fed, as at all other Federal Reserve banks, we work to educate the
general public about the economy, especially about the role of the
Federal Reserve in monetary policy. Recently, this bank has partnered
with the University of Minnesota to establish an economics workshop
for journalists ...
SOWELL: Bless you. [laughs]
REGION: ... and the notion is that if journalists better
understand the workings of the economy, so will their readers.
What is your estimation of the media's role in this process?
SOWELL: Well, they spread the crazy ideas of the politicians
because, first of all, what the politicians say is more exciting.
They find villains, they find conflict and so forth. There's not
that kind of punch to explaining cause and effect in very dry,
logical terms. I think not only the journalists, but there are
judges who could also benefit from an economics workshop. I understand
there's a program back East that helps judges understand economics.
I think if every judge really understood Economics 101, a great
number of antitrust and other cases would be thrown right out
REGION: Adam Smith suggested that one of the peculiarities
of the Invisible Hand was that it would work just fine even if people
didn't understand its machinations. The American economy seems to
perform well despite the apparent low levels of economic literacy.
SOWELL: Yes, the economy will work fine without people
understanding itif they leave it alone. But in order to
leave it alone they often need to understand a little bit, at
least, about why messing with it causes so many counterproductive
REGION: In Basic Economics you describe economic
fallacies and misconceptions and state that misconceptions are
more than mere intellectual problems. You've mentioned the debate
about electricity; what are some other fallacies or misconceptions
that are affecting current policy debate, and what are their ramifications?
SOWELL: Rent control would be another. In California, for example,
there are two things that almost every person who wants to be thought
decent and humane believes in: He believes in open space and he believes
in affordable housing. Now if they understood just the most elementary
economics, they would know that if you take two-thirds of the land in
a given county off the market, then the price of the remaining one-third
is going to go up, and the price of everything built on that one-third
is going to go up. But I think most people who believe in open space and
affordable housing see absolutely no conflict between them.
They also see no connection between height restriction, which is very
prominent in Californiayou don't see a lot of 20-story buildings
out here, especially apartment buildings. They don't understand that if
you have height restrictions people will have to spread out more, and
when they spread out more they have to spend more time on the highway
and therefore there will be more highway deaths. So people who say you
can't build an apartment more than eight stories tall, which is I think
the tallest in Palo Alto, they don't understand how that translates into
costs, which includes deaths of people on the highway.
REGION: There's been much said of late about how cities
and/or states can best position themselves for economic growth,
with much of this discussion revolving around the use of public
funds for private development, for everything from retail services
to sports stadiums. Where do you fall in this debate?
SOWELL: I'm against the use of public funds. I believe
in private property, and that it stay private and that taxpayers
should not have to subsidize it. There's a tendency to think that
if something is good we ought to subsidize it. And in fact, frankly,
nothing is good categorically. It is good within some range and
at some price and so on, and the way to find out how good it is,
is precisely not to subsidize it and to let the market decide
how good it is. Because if you're going to subsidize it, you may
do many things that make no sense.
California is a classic example with the water situation. We
have federally subsidized water, with the end result of people
growing crops out in the desert, which should be grown in places
where they have monsoons, because they're only paying a fraction
of the real cost of delivering that water to them. When I was
young, I saw bananas grown in the Bronx. I'm sure it cost a lot
more than bananas that were grown in the Caribbean.
REGION: Your book, A Conflict of Visions, describes
two divergent views of how best to achieve desired social or policy
results, a debate that originatedfor the sake of this argumentwith
Enlightenment-era thinkers. I know this is difficult to summarize,
but please describe this essential conflict.
SOWELL: You're right, that is tough to summarize, but
I'll try. I guess the biggest difference is that one view sees
the constraints of the world as being the first thing you have
to ask about, which is to say, when you look at a policy you don't
ask what are the goals of this policy, you ask: What incentive
does this policy create? What constraints does it introduce and
what are the likely consequences of those incentives and that
constraint? You also then tend to think in terms of trade-offs
rather than of solutions. So you don't say we must get rid of
greenhouse gases, you ask: What does it cost to get rid of greenhouse
gases? How much will it cost if we don't get rid of them? How
much does it cost at each level of greenhouse gases and what are
the consequences of not reducing it and so forth?
The other view really is more of a crusading view, that is, it's
an unconstrained vision. This is something that ought to be done,
and therefore we pursue it as if it were the Holy Grail and we
don't have time to stop and muddle over a cost-benefit analysis.
REGION: This debate, old as it is, as you describe it,
seems a fairly clear description of current debate.
SOWELL: Oh, absolutely. One of things that is really
amazing is how the same debate can go on over different issues
for centuries on end without either side really giving in, in
the sense of disappearing. I'm thinking of the comparison of Thomas
Kuhn's notion of a paradigm in science, where you have the Phlogiston
theory and you have the oxygen theory, but after a certain amount
of data had been collected, one of them had to fall by the wayside.
Well, that's not true in the case of social and political visions.
REGION: In the previous issue of The Region we
interviewed Hernando de
Soto, the Peruvian economist, about his work to establish
property rights as a foundation for economic growth and the abolition
of poverty in lesser-developed countries. You have written a great
deal about economic development and related issues. What is your
view of de Soto's work, and what is your take on the current debate
about Third World economic development?
SOWELL: I think de Soto's book [The Mystery of Capital]
is really a landmark and it ought to be read by precisely the
people who are never going to read it, because I think there's
a great deal of confusion about property rights. People, particularly
on the left, tend to think of property rights as a set of rights
for the benefit of people who own property. But they never think
of freedom of the press as a special privilege for journalists,
because they understand that freedom of the press plays a crucial
role in the whole political system. That is, most of the rights
we have would be worthless if the government could censor the
newspapers from telling the people that they violated those rights.
So it's not for the sake of the journalists, it's for the sake
of the political system that we have freedom of the press. In
the case of property rights, people don't understand how that
plays a role in the whole economy.
One of the things de Soto brings out is the vast amounts of wealth
that exist in Third World countries, which cannot function fully
as wealth does in, say, the United States or some other industrial
nations because there are no formal property rights to this wealth.
For example, lots of businesses are started by some guy taking
a second mortgage out on his home in order to get some money to
start a little business and then it grows and grows over the years.
Someone who owns a home in a place like Egypt or Peru has much
less chance to do that because he's much less likely to have legal
title to that property. Similarly, in the Soviet Union, just recently,
they voted to not have private property in farmland. Again, the
implications are momentous. Not only can the farmer not use that
property to, for example, borrow money to buy modern machinery
for his farm, it's also true that there's nobody with the incentive
to take care of the farm and the produce the way someone who actually
has property rights to it would have.
REGION: So how does this idea fit within the current debateand
it's a huge debate, I understandregarding economic development
in lesser-developed countries?
SOWELL: The idea has long been that these countries are
in a vicious cycle of poverty, and it's only by giving money from
the industrialized world to these countries that they have any
chance of advancing. This ignores the fact that the whole world
was once the Third World. And the people obviously did break out
of these cycles of poverty. And what de Soto's book brings out
is that there are already, at this very moment, vast aggregations
of wealth far in excess of what these countries are ever likely
to receive in foreign aid, for example, but which are stagnant
in the sense that they cannot be used as collateral to get financing
for further advances among most of the people. Because most of
the people cannot afford to spend the years of time and the vast
sums of money, including bribes, necessary to get their property
registered and on the books.
REGION: The word culture is much used when discussing
economic development around the world. De Soto takes a dimmer
view of the influence of culture, suggesting that if you change
the rules and allow for more personal freedom, people in all cultures
will respond accordingly. David Landes, economic historian and
author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, says culture
is significant in explaining cross-country differentials. How
should economists and policymakers think about culture when building
their models and making their plans?
SOWELL: Culture has its effect just as property rights
has its effect. One of the ways of discovering just how much effect
culture has is by instituting property rights in different countries
and finding out if people really do obtain secure property rightsin
some place like Russia, for example, and then see whether their
agriculture would be much improved, as I strongly suspect it would
be. In my book I mention how there is this vast area of extraordinarily
fertile land in Russia, which is where the people are barely able
to feed themselves because the property rights are not secure.
The property rights, in this case, don't include rights to the
produce of the land, so that they can't ship it freely wherever
they can get a market for it because of local restrictions. And
if you turn them loose, I strongly suspect that they would do
very well. Now, whether they would do as well as Germans or Canadians,
I don't know. But I think there's merit in both positions.
REGION: I'd like to address one of your books againKnowledge
and Decisions. In this book you provide a framework for thinking
about how the structure, or mechanics, of decision-making in a
society can ultimately shape that society. Again, it's unfair
to ask you to summarize an entire book in this case, but I'm going
to ask you anyway. It's a complicated book ...
SOWELL: Four hundred forty-eight pages of that.
REGION: Yes, I know. But I think there's an important
idea there, a kernel, and if you could please give us an overview
of the discussion ...
SOWELL: One of the most important issues to be dealt with
in any economy is the issue of knowledge. And it's one of those
things that's not obvious on the surface, but once you've looked
just a little bit below the surface, there it is. I think of the
Soviet economy as a classic example. Central planners have to
plan all these products, and, when you stop and think about it,
what mortal human beings could possibly plan 24 million prices,
for example. And of course as supply and demand are changing,
all 24 million ought to be changing. Now, who can possibly have
that kind of knowledge? This is really the Achilles heel of socialism.
And while Hayek and von Mises brought this out theoretically many
years ago, it was only when you put socialism into practice that
these practical issues come up. And you ask: Who can possibly
know how to run such a system? And the Soviet Union spent more
than half a century finding out the hard way that nobody does.
So one of the ways of looking at economies is the extent to
which they make use of the existing knowledge in the society,
which, as Hayek and others have pointed out, is scattered in tiny
fragments among millions and millions of people. And when you
have pricing systems, then those people coordinate their activities.
Nobody can keep track of 24 million prices. If you have 100 million
people and each one keeps track of a handful of prices that are
relevant to what he is doing, then it's manageable.
One of the other things that became clear to me when I did research
for Basic Economics, is that knowing knowledge with insight,
knowing what the knowledge means, how to apply it, that varies
enormously. And in a market economy whoever has that insightif
he's rightit really doesn't matter that the other side may
be better organized or even financially better off.
I think a classic example was the creation of chains of department
stores in the 1920s, that Sears and Montgomery Ward had been going
on for decades as purely mail-order houses, and they were the
biggest retailers in the world and very successful. But as the
society becomes more urbanized, the point is reached where more
people are living in the cities than in the country, and therefore
it's cheaper to deliver to those people through department stores
than through mail-order houses. Now neither Sears nor Montgomery
Ward wanted to believe this. Along comes some guy from a little
town in Wyoming, named J.C. Penney, and he believes it. It doesn't
matter that he's a nobody and these people are the leaders of
the world. He starts putting this into practice. And by 1920 he
has 300 stores, and Sears and Montgomery Ward suddenly find themselves
with millions of dollars of red ink. And as the years go by, they
are finally forced against their will to start opening department
stores, otherwise they're about to go under.
And think of someone like Henry Ford, as I mention in the book,
who was so poor that he had to walk eight miles to Detroit to
look for a job. But when he had the idea of mass production and
got it under way, it didn't matter that he was nobody. What mattered
was he could produce cars cheaper than anybody. But when you have
a system that is socialist or run by any kind of centralized group,
maybe a political party or royalty, whatever, then the only insights
that really matter are the insights of that small in-group at
the top. And they are necessarily very limited, as any similarly
sized group of people would be. But in the market, whoever has
the bright ideait takes off.
REGION: We've discussed a number of your books in this
interview, but there are many moreabout two dozen by my
count, plus six collections of essays, along with many articles,
reviews and, of course, your syndicated columns. In The Paris
Review, when they interview such a prolific writer, they always
ask a lot of questions about how the work gets doneprofessional
curiosity, I suppose. So if you would, please describe how you
go about writing so much. Do you have a secret? Do your ideas
for one book flow into one another. Do you have a word quota per
SOWELL: As a matter of fact, there are all kinds of ways
writers work. And the most rational way is not the way I use.
The rational way used by Paul Johnson in earlier times, or the
writer, oh I can't think who the writer was, wrote the Barchester
REGION: Anthony Trollope.
SOWELL: Trollope, yes. But in any case, there are those
who simply sit down at a certain time of day, and they write a
certain amount and that's it and they discipline themselves to
it. Now I do it the opposite. I write when I feel I have something
to say. And I also have a number of things going at one time.
So I'm writing about, I don't know, late-talking children and
there's material piling up about that, and when I've said what
I want to say for the time being, I let it sit there. Basic
Economics, for example, sat there for a decade. I would see
something in the paper that would rile me up, and I would write
something to show what idiocy this is, and then I would let it
sit there. And frankly, for much of that decade I never really
believed the book would be finished. However, I had several other
books going at the same time. I had a book on Marxism, a book
on this and that, and each time I would just work when I felt
like it. And sometimes I would get really hot on it and work days
and days or around the clock and so on, and then other times just
let it go.
With the newspaper column I'm somewhat constrained, since they
expect a column every week. But there I try to keep a column or
two ahead, so if I have a week where I really don't have anything
to say I pull one out of the inventory and send it in on some
issue that's really not tied to a particular time. And as the
years go by, I'm often very surprised at how the books turn out.
I'm very surprised in the case of Basic Economics that
I got it finished because I suddenly discovered after maybe eight
or nine years that I really had quite a lot of stuff there, I
just needed to organize it.
In the case of my two favorite books of mine, A Conflict of
Visions and Knowledge and Decisions, things turned
out totally differently. With Knowledge and Decisions,
I'm planning a book of about 150 pages that will just get across
these simple ideas. Well, as I get into it I discover I have to
explain these ideas more than I thought, I have to get empirical
examples, and before I know it I'm up to a 400-page book.
With Conflict of Visions, it was just the opposite. I'm
planning a 400-page book, I had an enormous amount of research,
and one of the things I do is index the whole literature. So,
for example, for A Conflict of Visions I prepare a master
index which covers the Federalist Papers, Crime in America
by Ramsey Clark, Law and Legislation and Liberty by Hayek,
the whole list of books, you see. And I put it all into one master
index and so when I writeyouth vs. age, for example, would
be one of my categoriesI'll show how Burke thought about
that, how Hayek thought about that, how this, and so forth, and
this just goes on for years.
And so finally I'm ready to write the book. I've indexed all
those things that are most important. And I sit down to write
the book and at the end of about a couple of hundred pages, no
it's not even a couple of hundred I don't believe, about 150 or
so pages, I realize that I've said what I wanted to say. And I
stop. So it's just my way of working on it. Now that's not a very
practical way if you're an assistant professor on a three-year
contract and you've got to publish before you perish. The cultural
trilogy that I wrote, Race and Culture, Migrations and
Cultures, and Conquests and Cultures, that's 15 years.
Now if you're in a think tank where they have a lot of patience
with you, you can do that.
REGION: Well, it works. Whatever you do, it works. How
about your reading habits? Who do you like to read, what do you
like to read?
SOWELL: That also varies with what just happens to catch
my interest. Recently, I've been reading this report from the
National Academy of Sciences on global warming. There is nothing
that produces more cynicism than going back to the original sources.
I remember years ago my mentor, George Stigler, said that someday
you should spend a day in the library tracking down original sources
of things that were said.
And so the first time I did this, 20 years ago, I'm reading a
labor economics textbook and it says that workers' productivity
per hour declines after 40 hours. And one of the implications
of this was that you needed legislation to provide a 40-hour week
because somehow the marketplace hasn't established a 40-hour weekmarket
failure, etc. So, fine; they list six sources for this conclusion
and I then go to the library, I check out all six books. And then
as I go through the six books, I realize that all six of them
are citing the same other study. There's really only one source.
And now I go and get that study and that study says it's a study
of pieceworkers, not hourly workers. Moreover, there's a subsequent
study by the same authors, which shows that the situation is entirely
different for hourly workers.
In another case, there was a report that said (1) blacks have
less prenatal care than whites, and (2) blacks have higher infant
mortality rates than whites. Immediately there's a press campaign,
and you see the fact that American society may not provide enough
prenatal care to blacks, it's responsible for this, it's racism,
etc. So I get the original report, and I look this up and on the
very same page where it shows that blacks have less prenatal care
and higher infant mortality rates than whites, it shows that Mexican-Americans
have even less prenatal care than blacks and yet their infant
mortality rate is no higher than among whites. Now, if you're
adventurous and thumb through for a few more pages, you discover
there are three other ethnic groups, all of whom have less prenatal
care rates than whites and all three of whom have lower infant
mortality rates than whites. So the conclusion is that the prenatal
care is not where it's at; it's just one of many factors.
One of the things I dislike about many of the racial comparisons
is they confine it to blacks and whites. Whereas if you would
just extend it, let's say to Asian-Americans, you would often
get a radically different view. For example, a couple of years
ago there was this study about how blacks were turned down for
mortgage loans more so than whites. And that's racism. Well, when
you look at the data you find that whites are turned down more
often than Asian-Americans. Is that racism? That's quite aside
from the fine points, like the blacks who are applying for a loan
and have different incomes, credit histories, etc., from the whites.
Since then, there's been a book on this which points out that
you could eliminate all of the apparent discrimination in the
study by dropping one bank from the study. And the question is,
why is this one bank racist, you see. And the one bank is owned
by blacks. Apparently they don't feel any need to prove that they're
not discriminating, so they just make their decisions as they
REGION: You mentioned George Stigler as an influence on
your career. Any others?
SOWELL: Oh heavens, great numbers of others. Too many
to name. Milton Friedman, obviously. I think with Stigler it was
by example. I can't think, off hand, of any great phrase of Stigler's
that is going into the language. You know, like Galbraith with
"conventional wisdom" and "countervailing power" and stuff like
that. He played it straight, and I think that's enormously important.
It doesn't always get you on the best-seller list, but that's
what you have to have.
REGION: Speaking of bestseller lists, what can we expect
from you in the future?
SOWELL: Actually, my next book is called The Einstein
Syndrome. One of the beauties of being at a think tank is
I don't have to write just in the field in which I have my appointment.
And this is about a special kind of children who are at the same
time very precocious in the ability to analyze and very slow in
the ability to talk. And the classic case is Einstein himself,
of course. He was late in talking. So was Edward Teller. So was
Gary Becker, by the way. In fact, there's a whole long list of
such people. And it's something I stumbled into again, because
of the way I write.
When my son graduated from college I wrote a newspaper column
about him, and I mentioned that he was almost 4 years old before
he talked, but he had a prodigious memory and amazing mathematical
abilities. And I describe other things. From around the country,
letters come pouring in from parents saying, my God, this is the
only child I have heard of that's like mine. And there are these
kids everywhere. Now there's a man at Vanderbilt who's doing research
on this and he has 600 families scattered from Malaysia to Saudi
Arabia with kids with these special characteristics.
I chose the title The Einstein Syndrome just for the fact
that you have very brilliant people who are very slow at talking.
But as I began to do research into Einstein's childhood, his similarities
to these kids are truly amazing and I'm worried now, for example,
because there's a big push from the National Institutes of Health
to have early intervention with children with autism. And kids
who talk late are prime suspects for having autism. Many kids
who are brilliant have been put into these programs, which have
done them enormous damage. Again, it shows what a high price you
pay for jumping to conclusions. I'll finish with this: I was being
interviewed on the radio once and I mentioned some kid who had
been put in a class with retarded children for two years before
it occurred to someone to give him an IQ test. His IQ was 140.
So this program's over, and as I'm leaving the studio the producer
comes out of her office and she says the same thing happened to
her son, and his IQ is 160.
REGION: On that note, we'll end. Thank you for your time,
More About Thomas Sowell
Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University,
Previous academic appointments at University of California,
Los Angeles; Amherst College; Brandeis, Cornell and Howard universities;
and Douglass College
Other positions include: fellow, the Urban Institute; economic
analyst, American Telephone & Telegraph Co.; and labor economist,
U.S. Department of Labor
Published Basic Economics in 2001, the latest of more
than two dozen books that include Knowledge and Decisions,
A Conflict of Visions, the Cultural trilogy and Vision
trilogy, and his autobiography, A Personal Odyssey
Author of about 70 essays in periodicals and books, in addition
to more than 30 book reviews, numerous scholarly articles, and
collected writings and monographs
Regular newspaper columnist for Creators Syndicate since 1991,
previously a contributor to Forbes magazine, Scripps-Howard
News Service and Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Occasional columns for Wall Street Journal, New York
Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington
Star, Newsweek, Newsday and the Stanford
Doctorate in economics, University of Chicago; master's in
economics, Columbia University; and bachelor's in economics, magna
cum laude, Harvard