Scott Sumner

Scott Sumner

  • Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy

Scott Sumner is the Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he is the director of the Program on Monetary Policy. He is also Professor Emeritus at Bentley University and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. In his writing and research, Sumner specializes in monetary policy, the role of the international gold market in the Great Depression, and the history of macroeconomic thought.

Named by Foreign Policy magazine in 2012 as one of the “top 100 global thinkers,” Sumner has published papers in academic journals including the Journal of Political Economy, Economic Inquiry, and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. He is author of the popular economics blog The Money Illusion and a contributor to EconLog. His work has appeared in media outlets nationwide and beyond, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNBC, The Economist, Financial Times, Politico, The National Interest, and The American.

Sumner received his PhD and MA in economics from the University of Chicago and his BA in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Published Research

Policy Briefs

Expert Commentary

Jun 24, 2016

Mercatus Center scholars weigh in on the United Kingdom's historic vote to leave the European Union, examining the impetus behind the vote and the potential future repercussions.
May 13, 2016

Although it's been a few years since the most recent increase, the $15 proposals cannot simply be written off as a cost-of-living adjustment, as the consumer price index is up only some 11 percent since the previous increase.
Feb 04, 2016

See if this sounds familiar. The economy is in a deep slump. The Fed cuts interest rates close to zero and then tries quantitative easing (QE). A banking crisis begins in the United States and then spreads to Europe, where even sovereign debt is no longer safe. Individual countries are locked into a single monetary regime and unable to stimulate their economies. Am I my describing the Great Recession? Yes, but I’m also describing the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Now let’s push the comparison a bit further.
Dec 04, 2015

In the debate over letting lawmakers scrutinize Federal Reserve Board policy, there is often confusion between telling the Fed what to do and just being able to know what the central bank does. While many disagree on exactly what level of independence the Fed should have, most will agree that there is some role for congressional oversight, or at least awareness, of monetary policy. For that oversight to occur, however, Congress must have a general understanding of what the Fed is doing, which is no easy task.

Books

Podcasts

David Beckworth, Scott Sumner | March 31, 2016
In the inaugural episode of Macro Musings, Scott Sumner joins host David Beckworth to talk about Scott's new book "The Midas Paradox", which advances a bold new explanation of what caused the Great Depression.
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