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Dean Baker

Co-Founder and Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Areas of Expertise:

About Dean

Baker has done considerable work on the finances of Social Security and retirement income, and has also done collaborated with colleagues to study the impact of labor market protections on unemployment. He has also examined the ways in which the rules of the market have been structured to redistribute income upward. This includes analysis of Federal Reserve Board policy, trade policy, and patent policy, especially with respect to prescription drugs. He has worked with a large number of labor unions, advocacy groups (on retirement issues: AARP and the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare), and community based organizations (e.g. Center for Community Action, National People’s Action, ACORN).


In the News

Opinion: "Coloradans Should Pay Fair Prices for Prescription Drugs," Dean Baker (with Lisa Bero, Mark Levine, and Aaron Kesselheim), The Colorado Sun, February 21, 2021.
Quoted by Matt Simon in "If Robots Steal So Many Jobs, Why Aren't They Saving Us Now?," Wired, March 23, 2020.
Quoted by Sahil Kapur in "Elizabeth Warren Picks up a Slew of New Progressive Endorsements," NBC News Online, January 28, 2020.
Quoted by David Dayen in "Congress’s Biggest Obstacle," The American Prospect , January 28, 2020.
Quoted by Rebecca Rainey in "A Bad Weekend for Trump Immigration Policies," Politico, September 30, 2019.
Opinion: "CEOs Say Shareholders Won’t Be No. 1 Anymore. Turns Out They Already Weren’t.," Dean Baker, Washington post, August 20, 2019.
Guest on The Real News, May 13, 2019.
Research discussed by Elisabeth Buchwald, in "Men Aged 25-34 Now Working at the Highest Rate Since the Recession," MarketWatch, April 6, 2019.
Opinion: "Bernie Sanders Wants Corporations to Fulfill Trump's Tax Cut Promise," Dean Baker, The Hill, November 21, 2018.
Quoted by Alex Smith in "Uncertainty over Health Care Law's Future Hobbles Entrepreneurs," National Public Radio, September 23, 2017.
Quoted by Marc Hay in "Trump's Quiet Campaign Against Government Workers," VIce, September 22, 2017.
Quoted by Michael E. Kanell in "Equifax Breach Could Shake Consumer Confidence, Cut Spending," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 19, 2017.
Quoted by Irina Ivanova in "5 Issues Luring in the GOP's Tax Reform Plan," CBS News, September 18, 2017.
Quoted by Max Ehrenfreund in "Why Trump Just Might be Able to Solve a Nasty Problem Facing the U.S. Economy," The Washington Post, November 11, 2016.
Quoted by Michael Tomasky, Jack Meserve, and Sophia Crabbe-Field in "How to Debate Trump," Democracy Journal, September 23, 2016.
Opinion: "Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates? A History Lesson Suggests the Answer is ‘No’," Dean Baker, Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2016.
Quoted by Michael Hiltzik in "Obama's Call for Expanding Social Security Could be a Game-Changer," Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2016.
Opinion: "Scamming the Country’s Veterans: Efforts to Privatize VA Health System," Dean Baker, Huffington Post, April 25, 2016.
Opinion: "Will ObamaCare End 'Job Lock'," Dean Baker, Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2016.
Quoted by Don Lee in "Laid-Off Americans are Finally Returning to the Labor Market: Will They Find Jobs?," Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2016.
Opinion: "The Jobs Tradeoffs in the TPP Trade Deal," Dean Baker, Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2016.
Quoted by Matt Yglesias in "Top Democratic Economists Don't Think Much of Bernienomics. He Doesn’t Care.," Vox, February 18, 2016.
Quoted by Tatiana Darie in "How a Stronger Dollar Could Play Havoc with Politics in 2016," Chicago Tribune, February 3, 2016.
Quoted by Daniel Marans in "Bernie Sanders' Social Security Plan Gets A Huge Boost," Huffington Post, January 5, 2016.
Quoted by Nelson D. Schwartz in "Economists Take Aim at Wealth Inequality," New York Times, January 3, 2016.
Quoted by Max Ehrenfreund in "Hillary Clinton May be Ready to Break Up the Big Banks," The Washington Post, October 9, 2015.
Opinion: "Why is Donald Trump's Tax Plan Ridiculed but the TPP Deal Gets a Pass?," Dean Baker, The Guardian, October 6, 2015.
Guest on CounterSpin, October 1, 2015.
Quoted by David Weigel in "Trump’s Tax Plan Calms Conservatives Worried about a Populist Moment," The Washington Post, September 28, 2015.
Opinion: "Will President Obama Stand Up to the Drug Thugs?," Dean Baker, Truth Out, September 21, 2015.
Quoted by Helaine Olen in "Chris Christie Said Social Security is Going Insolvent. Oh, Come On.," Slate, September 17, 2015.
Opinion: "New Yorker Calls Corbyn ‘Childlike’ - but Who are They Kidding?," Dean Baker, FAIR, September 15, 2015.
Opinion: "A Fed Rate Hike Will Harm the Economy, Why Don't the Candidates Seem to Care?," Dean Baker, Counter Punch, September 10, 2015.
Guest on Bloomberg Business: What'd You Miss?, September 3, 2015.
Opinion: "Is There Anything Progressive about Hillary's Economic Plan?," Dean Baker, Counter Punch, August 14, 2015.
Quoted by Julie Verhage in "There's a Big Economic Benefit to Obamacare That Isn't Getting Much Attention," Bloomberg, August 7, 2015.
Guest on Bloomberg: What'd You Miss?, August 6, 2015.
Guest on Bloomberg: What'd You Miss?, August 6, 2015.
Quoted by Michael Hiltzik in "Conservatives are Trying to Prove Income Inequality is a Myth - and Failing," Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2015.
Quoted by Josh Barro in "A $15 Minimum Wage. But Why Just for Fast-Food Workers?," New York Times, July 28, 2015.
Opinion: "Wage Growth Continues to be the Key to Social Security Solvency," Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, July 22, 2015.
Quoted by Jonas Persson and and Mary Bottari in "ALEC Wants to Educate High Schoolers on Balanced Budgets and Austerity," San Diego Free Press, July 20, 2015.
Opinion: "The Minimum Wage and Other Left Ideas Washington Post Might Find 'Lame'," Dean Baker, Global Research, July 17, 2015.
Guest on CC-TV America: The Heat, July 15, 2015.
Quoted by Josh Barro in "Should Americans Work More? To Hit 4 Percent Growth, We Would Have To," New York Times, July 14, 2015.
Quoted by Amy Chozick in "Hillary Clinton Offers Her Vision of a ‘Fairness Economy’ to Close the Income Gap," New York Times, July 13, 2015.
Opinion: "The Return of Irrational Economic Exuberance," Dean Baker, Counter Punch, July 8, 2015.
Quoted by Ashley Lopez in "Louisville’s Minimum Wage Hike Could be an Example through the South," WFPL NPR News, July 1, 2015.
Opinion: "Growth is Sacrosanct - When It Benefits the Rich," Dean Baker, Al Jazeera America, June 23, 2015.
Opinion: "The TPP Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight," Dean Baker, Gilmer Mirror, June 10, 2015.
Opinion: "Growth is Not Necessarily Bad for the Environment," Dean Baker, Al Jazeera America, June 8, 2015.
Quoted by Jonas Persson and Mary Bottari in "ALEC Wants to Educate High Schoolers on Balanced Budget and Fiscal Austerity ," Center for Media and Democracy , May 28, 2015.
Opinion: "Bernie Sanders Takes It to Wall Street with Financial Transactions Tax," Dean Baker, Huffington Post, May 25, 2015.
Quoted by Cora Lewis in "Many Women are Hidden from Unemployment Numbers, Study Says," BuzzFeed, May 21, 2015.
Opinion: "The Arguments for the TPP are Transparently Weak," Dean Baker, Al Jazeera America, May 11, 2015.
Opinion: "Wisconsin One of Many States at Risk in ObamaCare Court Case," Dean Baker, Wisconsin State Journal, May 10, 2015.
Opinion: "The Job-Killing-Robot Myth," Dean Baker, Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2015.
Quoted by William Mauldin in "Economists Say White House Argument on Outsourcing Falls Flat," Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2015.
Quoted by John W. Schoen, Amber Payne, and Erin McClam in "Violence Scarred a City Dealing With Decline for Decades," CNBC, April 29, 2015.
Quoted by JJ Feinauer in "The Role of Poverty in Baltimore's Unrest," Desert News National, April 29, 2015.
Opinion: "Obama is Failing Us All by Ignoring the Need for Currency Rules in TPP," Dean Baker, The Guardian, April 22, 2015.
Quoted by Amy Chozick in "Campaign Casts Hillary Clinton as the Populist It Insists She Has Always Been," New York Times, April 21, 2015.
Opinion: "The Case for Divesting from Fossil Fuels," Dean Baker, The Phoenix, April 16, 2015.
Opinion: "The End of the U.S. Boom," Dean Baker, OpEd News, April 13, 2015.
Quoted by Gretchen Morgenson in "Despite Federal Regulation, C.E.O. - Worker Pay Gap Data Remains Hidden," New York Times, April 10, 2015.
Opinion: "A Key to Healing U.S. Economy? Curbing Currency Manipulation," Dean Baker, Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2015.
Opinion: "Tyler Cowen's Three-Card Monte on Inequality," Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, April 5, 2015.
Quoted by Don Lee in "U.S. Job Growth Slows Sharply in March to 126,000," Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2015.
Quoted by Tom Bailey in "Flat Taxes: Could They Help the American Economy?," World Finance, April 1, 2015.
Quoted by Robert W. Patterson in "U.S. Loses Millions of Job through Trade," Providence Journal, March 28, 2015.
Opinion: "The Economy, Like Arithmetic, is Not Complicated; Even if Robert Samuelson Does Not Understand It," Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, March 25, 2015.
Quoted by Noah Smith in "A Trade Agreement That Even Liberals Can Live With," Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2015.
Opinion: "The Biggest Threat to the U.S. Budget: A Fed Rate Hike?," Dean Baker, Fortune, March 11, 2015.
Quoted by Matthew Jelalian in "Cutting Unemployment Benefits Reduces Unemployment, Study Shows," Deseret News National , March 2, 2015.
Quoted by Jim Zarroli in "Study Suggests Recession, Recovery Have Not Left the Rich Richer," National Public Radio, February 17, 2015.
Opinion: "The Sharing Economy Must Share a Level Playing Field," Dean Baker, Cato Unbound, February 11, 2015.
Opinion: "Obama Versus Obamacare," Dean Baker (with Joseph E. Stiglitz and Arjun Jayadev ), Project Syndicate, February 10, 2015.
Guest on Democracy Now, February 4, 2015.
Quoted by Rick Noack in "Croatia Just Canceled the Debts of Its Poorest Citizens," The Washington Post, January 31, 2015.
Quoted by Matt Mercuro in "Uber, Lyft, Head to Court this Week over Driver Benefits," Auto World News, January 29, 2015.
Quoted by Danny Vinik in "Obama is Finally Getting Credit for the Recovery," New Republic, January 28, 2015.
Opinion: "Reducing Disability Rolls: The Rand Paul Way and the Federal Reserve Board Way," Dean Baker, OpEd News, January 27, 2015.
Opinion: "Did Cutting the Duration of Unemployment Benefits Lead to Faster Job Growth in 2014?," Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, January 26, 2015.
Opinion: "Democrats Take on Wall Street with Financial Transactions Tax," Dean Baker, Huffington Post, January 19, 2015.
Opinion: "What Congress Isn't Seeing When the Government Spends," Dean Baker, Forbes, January 14, 2015.
Guest on Boom Bust, January 8, 2015.
Opinion: "Coach Harbaugh's Big Tax Subsidy," Dean Baker, Chicago Tribune, January 6, 2015.
Quoted by James Surowiecki in "The Mortgage Mistake," The New Yorker, January 6, 2015.
Opinion: "The Profit on the TARP and Bernie Madoff," Dean Baker, OpEd News, January 5, 2015.
Opinion: "New Year’s Resolutions: Ten Ways to Combat Upward Redistribution of Income," Dean Baker, Moyers and Company, January 1, 2015.
Quoted by Mark Landler and Jonathan Weisman in "Obama’s Trade Chief, Undaunted by Odds, Pushes for Trans-Pacific Partnership," New York Times, December 30, 2014.
Quoted by Lydia DePillis in "The U.S. Might Sign a Huge Trade Deal This Year. Could It Actually Work for the Middle Class?," The Washington Post, December 30, 2014.
Opinion: "Fear over Overregulation is Unfounded, Exaggerated," Dean Baker, The Free Lance-Star, December 28, 2014.
Guest on All Things Considered, December 25, 2014.
Opinion: "The Trade Agreement Pinatas," Dean Baker, Truth Out, December 22, 2014.
Quoted by Vicki Needham in "Labor Warns Obama on Trade Policy," The Hill, December 11, 2014.
Opinion: "Benefits of ObamaCare: More People are Able to Work Less," Dean Baker, OpEd News, December 9, 2014.
Opinion: "Good News for the Affordable Care Act in Jobs Reports," Dean Baker, PBS Newshour, December 8, 2014.
Quoted by Barnini Chakraborty in "'Game We Can’t Win': Coal States Brace for Growing Number of Plant Closures over EPA Rules," Fox News, December 5, 2014.
Quoted by Simone Path in "What’s the Most Reliable Indicator of Monthly Job Gains?," PBS Newshour, December 5, 2014.
Opinion: "The Paid Vacation Route to Full Employment," Dean Baker, Huffington Post, December 1, 2014.
Guest on Boom Bust, November 25, 2014.
Quoted by Josh Eidelson in "The Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist," Bloomberg Businessweek, November 24, 2014.
Quoted by Cynthia Shahan in "67% of Americans Support Federal CO2 Regulations," Clean Technica, November 24, 2014.
Quoted by Alex Wayne in "Improving Health Care is Billionaire Peterson’s Next Mission," Bloomberg, November 21, 2014.
Opinion: "Gripes about Excessive Regulations and Taxes Often are Baseless," Dean Baker, The Island Packet, November 20, 2014.
Opinion: "The Problem of 'Stupid' in Economics," Dean Baker, OpEd News, November 18, 2014.
Quoted by Jordan Weissman in "Liberals Were Wrong: Drilling for Oil Really Did Bring Down Gas Prices," Slate, November 18, 2014.
Quoted by Carrie Scherpelz in "Who Will Win Energy Race - U.S. or China?," The Cap Times, November 18, 2014.
Quoted by Ruth Mantell in "Why Cash-Out Refinancing, Which is on the Rise, Has Its Place ," Market Watch, November 17, 2014.
Research discussed by Dylan Matthews, in "The Government is the Only Reason U.S. Inequality is So High," Washington Post, December 5, 2013.
Guest on MPR News, December 3, 2012.
Opinion: "Greece, Home of Democracy, Deprived of a Vote," Dean Baker, The Guardian, November 8, 2011.
Opinion: "The Spurious Case against a Financial Transactions Tax," Dean Baker, International Relations and Security Network, November 2, 2011.
Opinion: "How Global Trade Can Rein in Health Costs," Dean Baker (with Jagdish Bhagwati), CNNMoney, September 16, 2011.
Opinion: "Work-Sharing Could Work for Us," Dean Baker (with Kevin Hassett), Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2010.
Regular contributions by Dean Baker to Huffington Post.


"Getting Back to Full Employment" (with Jared Bernstein) (Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2013).
Explores un- and underemployment in the United States, debunking misleading beliefs about economic growth and making policy recommendations that will aid in achieving full employment.
"Are Protective Labor Market Institutions at the Root of Unemployment? A Critical Review of the Evidence" (with David Howell, Andrew Glyn, and John Schmitt). Capitalism and Society 2, no. 1 (2007): 1-73.
Examines the evidence that unions and other protections for workers led to higher rates of unemployment. Shows that the evidence for this link is weak or non-existent, depending on the specific protection.
"Asset Returns and Economic Growth," Brooking Papers on Economic Activity, December 31, 2004.
Argues that the long-run rate of return on equities will depend on the current price to earnings ratio in stock markets and the growth path of profits. This means that analysts should have assumed low stock returns when price to earnings ratios were at unusually high level in the 1990s and 2000s.
"Social Security: The Phony Crisis" (with Mark Weisbrot) (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Shows that the problems facing Social Security were hugely exaggerated, and that plans to privatize the system would likely make the situation for seniors worse by making their benefits uncertain and increasing administrative costs by an order of magnitude.