Economic Policies of the Presidential Candidates

The economy is a constant topic of debate for candidates, but are the policies they propose really the best options we have?


In nearly all polls, American voters rank the economy as one of their most important concerns.  In the presidential election, full debates are dedicated to questions of economic policy.  In this course, we will delve deeply into economic policy issues to understand options for government intervention and possible outcomes.  Focus will be on the economic issues, not on the political aspects of the campaign.  Specific areas of interest will be taxation, budget, entitlement programs, economic regulation and competition policy, trade, demography, income inequality, and monetary policy.  We expect to incorporate timely and salient economic issues as they arise during the course of the campaign.  The course will include three days of meetings in Washington, DC with economic policy analysts. Students will be expected to write a short paper and make an oral presentation to the class. A wide range of topics will be acceptable, including those directly related to campaign issues as well as other long-term economic issues facing the country.

Meet the Instructor(s)

John Shoven

The Charles Schwab Professor of Economics, Emeritus

John B. Shoven is the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Buzz and Barbara McCoy Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has published over 100 articles and written or edited 20 books and is chairman of the board of Cadence Design Systems and on the boards of American Century Funds, Financial Engines, and Exponent, Inc. In 2003, Prof. Shoven received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Gregory Rosston

Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and Professor, by courtesy, of Economics

Greg Rosston is the Director of the Public Policy program and the Gordon Cain Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He is chair of the board of the Stanford Federal Credit Union, and on the boars of the Nepal Youth Foundation, and Economists Incorporated.  He also serves on the Advisory Board of Sustainable Conservation. Dr. Rosston received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and served as Deputy Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission.