James K. Galbraith

Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations
University of Texas at Austin

James K. Galbraith holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair of Government/Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin.  His most recent book, Inequality and Instability was published in March, 2012 by Oxford University Press. The next will be The End of Normal, from Free Press in 2014.

Galbraith holds degrees from Harvard (A.B., 1974) and Yale (PhD in Economics, 1981). He won a Marshall Scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, and then served on the congressional staff, including as Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee. He is chair of Economists for Peace and Security and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute.

In 2010 he was elected to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.  In 2012, he was President of the Association for Evolutionary Economics.  He is the 2014 co-winner of the Leontief Prize for advancing the frontiers of economic thought.


My Additional Content

Originally published by Dissent


Presentation given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.

Paper given at the Conference @ King's, April 8th-11th, 2010.


My Video Content

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The Inaugural Conference @ King's, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Session 7: The Consequences of Inequality and Wealth Distribution

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James Galbraith, professor at the University of Texas at Austin, notes that many economics institutions (especially journals and academic departments) are hierarchical and tribal by nature, and that sociology can exclude dissident views. Interviewed by Peter Leyden at King's College, April 2010.

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When is one theory better than the other? What is progress in economics? "The Kids" asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said.

In 2008, the world avoided making the policy mistakes of the Great Depression. That's progress, says George Akerlof. Anatole Kaletsky tells us what progress is not: to introduce, in the name of rigor, ever more unrealistic assumptions in economics, however mathematically convenient these may be. And James Galbraith compares progress to pornography: it's hard to define, but you recognize it if you ever see it.

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What is a good model in economics? “The Kids” asked a dozen economists in the halls of the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and we invite you to watch what they said.

Good models are those that pass the test of time, says Philippe Aghion. Brad DeLong presents what has come to be called Friedman’s “F-Twist”: assumptions don’t matter – a good model is one that predicts well. Wrong, says Anatole Kaletsky, economists ought to model the whole range of human behavior, and doing so requires re-examining the very assumptions on which our models rest. And to George Akerlof, a good model applies to the specific question asked; it corresponds to the problem at hand.

About The Kids:

My Grants

This project will extend the work of the University of Texas Inequality Project, permitting new data development and research in two technical and at least three substantive areas. The technical projects are: (1) updating the core global inequality data-sets from 2000 through the Great Financial...