Research Expertise and Interest

macroeconomics, monetary policy

Research Description

Emi Nakamura is the Chancellor's Professor of Economics in the Berkeley Economics department. Her research focuses on monetary and fiscal policy, business cycles and macroeconomic measurement. She is a co-editor of the American Economic Review, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the Monetary Economics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She serves on the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Economic Advisers. She is a recipient of the John Bates Clark medal, the Elaine Bennett Research Prize, the NSF Career Grant, and the Sloan Research Fellowship. She holds a PhD from Harvard University and an A.B. from Princeton University, and taught at the Columbia economics department and business school before joining the Berkeley economics department in 2018.


In the News

Prices are spiking for homes, cars and gas. Don’t be alarmed, economists say

The U.S. Department of Labor reported yesterday that the Consumer Price Index rose 5% in May, following a 4.2% jump in April. But at UC Berkeley, high-level economists are offering some calming advice: A measure of inflation is inevitable as the U.S. economy comes back online, but it will likely be modest. And it will almost certainly blow over as the economy stabilizes.

Berkeley economist wins prestigious John Bates Clark Medal

Emi Nakamura, a UC Berkeley economist, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal , widely viewed as second only in prestige to the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. The annual award, announced by the American Economic Association, is given to an American economist under age 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 17, 2019
Heici Landecker
Economics professor Emi Nakamura, known for her research on price "stickiness" and the economic effects of government spending, won the John Bates Clark Medal this past May. The annual award from the American Economic Association recognizes the best American economists under the age of 40. Cited for her data-oriented, empirical approach to macroeconomics, she was the fourth woman to win the price since it was introduced in 1947. In an interview, she discusses her background and research, collaborations with her husband, J?n Steinsson, also an economics professor at Berkeley, and her perspective on the economics field's gender imbalance. Asked how she'd advise a president of the U.S. to govern differently, she replies: "One crucial thing to remember right now is how important the institution of the Federal Reserve is. People forget what a remarkable victory we've had when it comes to inflation. Back in 1980, inflation was over 10 percent, and there was a general sense that it was very hard to lower inflation. There are still many countries in the world where this is the case. But in the United States, inflation over the last 30 or 40 years fell dramatically, and now it been very stable, around 2 percent for many years. This is an enormous victory. My sense is that it has a lot to do with the fact that the Federal Reserve is such a strong institution, and quite an apolitical institution, supported by both Democrats and Republicans. This institution took a really long time to build up. This is something we have to really be careful about not destroying, because it takes a long time to get it back." For more on Professor Nakamura, see our press release at Berkeley News.
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May 2, 2019
David Harrison
The American Economic Association has awarded economics professor Emi Nakamura its John Bates Clark Medal, a prestigious honor for economists who are under the age of 40 and have made significant contributions to the field. Professor Nakamura is the fourth woman to win the award since it was inaugurated in 1947. In their citation, they praised her distinctive approach and creativity. "One of the central challenges is that we don't get to do experiments in economic policy as compared to the sciences," Professor Nakamura says. "We don't get to do trials on the effects of these policies, so figuring out the effects is really challenging. ... My research has been using new sources of data to come up with better evidence for these effects." She says her goals include addressing some of the key economic questions, such as what causes recessions and how policy makers can help us avoid them, and helping to make the field of economics more of an empirical discipline that relies on evidence to make predictions. "Macroeconomics is really about situations where everything is affecting everything else and in that situation it's hard to learn things," she says. "Learning more things about how the world works will help reduce the influence of ideology." For more on this, see the announcement at the American Economic Association. Other stories on this topic appeared in The Economist, Bloomberg, and Yahoo Finance.
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