Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Luke Froeb: The Debt Crisis and the Long-Term Consequences of Short-Term Economic Policy

Luke Froeb, Associate Professor in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management, spoke to our group at our first meeting of the spring semester on January 30. His talk focused on the debt crisis and the long-term consequences of short-term economic policy. Topics discussed included the fiscal stimulus after the recent financial crisis, the relationship between unemployment and automatic stabilizers such as unemployment insurance, the growing fiscal burden of Medicare on future generations, the difficulty in changing course because of low youth voter participation and special interest groups, and tough to swallow solutions that may have to be considered in the future.

Professor Froeb is an expert on anti-trust, and his research is focused on the economics of competition policy. After receiving his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, he taught at Tulane University, was a fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and worked as an economist at the U.S. Department of Justice before moving to Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management. Professor Froeb has also previously served as the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission where he managed over a hundred civil servants dedicated to tearing down barriers to competition (often erected by well-meaning bureaucrats), in addition to enforcing the antitrust and consumer protection laws of the United States.