Alberto Alesina 1957 – 2020

Alberto Alesina, the Harvard University political economist, died of a heart attack yesterday while hiking.

Alesina’s views on so-called “austerity” were widely debated during and immediately after the GFC (here and here).

STEVE KATES ADDS: The second of those “here” is a post I had written after I had been invited to share a stage with Alberto back in 2012 in Istanbul. He was one of the few economists I knew who had been brave enough to stand up to the Keynesian hordes who dominate the profession. In that post I wrote:

I gave my presentation at the IAES Conference which was one of five papers in honour of Alberto Alesina and was why I had come to Istanbul. Alesina has provided empirical results showing that cuts to public spending in the midst of recession are associated with falling unemployment and rising economic growth, just as they were in Australia in 1996-97. He has done this kind of analysis across a wide range of OECD economies over a large number of years and has found this is the common result. Trying to balance a budget by raising taxes is found to make economic conditions worse.

I cannot believe he has passed away. Much, much too young and a great scholar.

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