Pavlina Tcherneva

Assistant Professor of Economics
Bard College

Pavlina R. Tcherneva is assistant professor of economics at Bard College. She previously taught at Franklin and Marshall College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During 2000-2006, Pavlina served as the associate director for economic analysis at the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, where she remains a research associate. During Summer 2006, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge Centre for Economic and Public Policy, U.K., and since July 2007, she has been a research scholar at the Levy Economics Institute.

Pavlina conducts research in the fields of public policy and monetary theory and has collaborated with policymakers from Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Turkey, and the United States. Her current research examines the nexus between monetary and fiscal policies under sovereign currency regimes and the macroeconomic merits of alternative stabilization policies. In her recent work she offered a reinterpretation of Keynes’s approach to full employment and is currently working on the impact of different fiscal policies on unemployment, income distribution, and public goods provisioning. She has also examined the role, nature, and relative effectiveness of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s alternative monetary policies during the Great Recession. She is the coeditor of Full Employment and Price Stability: The Macroeconomic Vision of William S. Vickrey (Elgar 2004). Pavlina holds a B.A. in mathematics and economics (Phi Beta Kappa) from Gettysburg College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

My Content

This week workers in fast food restaurants across the country gathered to protest the minimum wage in the United States, which currently is a paltry $7.25, and to fight for a better standard of living. The battle for a living wage for the nation’s poorest workers is set against the backdrop of mass unemployment and the highest level of economic inequality in the U.S. in almost a century.

The first minimum wage laws in the U.S. were the result of a state-by-state effort in the Progressive era to secure a floor to a decent life to employed women and youth. The first of these was enacted in Massachusetts in 1912 and eventually led to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which instituted a minimum wage at the federal level.

Presentation given at

Bridging Silos, Breaking Silences: New Responses to Instability and Inequality
Desmond Tutu Center, New York
November 4-6, 2011

My Video Content

See video

To cure unemployment, mostly we prime the pump: we devise fiscal strategies on the presumption that jobs follow economic growth. But the strategies have not worked, unemployment remains high. That is why Pavlina Tcherneva studies policies that target the unemployed directly. She says that the government can reduce income inequality and restart the growth engine by putting people back to work. In other words, growth follows jobs. Investigating different models of fiscal policy -- this is new economic thinking.

My Grants

Over 70 years of fiscal activism have not been able to address what Keynes called the two outstanding faults of society, namely our failure to produce and maintain a close approximation to full employment and to improve the income distribution in the economy. Indeed, this project argues that fiscal policy, as is currently practiced, largely undermines these two objectives.