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John Makin experienced and wrote persuasively about many of the most important economic events of the post-Cold War period. A University of Chicago-trained economist, Makin brought to his writing the benefits of academe, domestic public- and private-sector experience, and close observation of international economic developments. An Economist's Outlook: Essays by John H. Makin from a Transformative Era brings together some of his most important writings. They provide unique insights into economic events from 1992 to 2014, a tumultuous, transformative period beginning with the end of the Cold War. This collection begins with a look at fundamentals of economic policy, exploring concepts such as inflation, disinflation, and deflation. The second section applies Makin's keen understanding to events in the US and abroad, with particular emphasis on Japan's economic experience, the tech and housing bubbles, and the financial crash. Makin was an important voice on economic issues in the think tank and policy worlds.
About the Author
John H. Makin, a University of Chicago-trained economist, began his career after writing his dissertation on the risk involved in the composition of international reserve holdings. For the next decade, he held positions at several research universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Virginia, and the University of British Columbia. During this time, he also held research appointments at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In 1976, he moved to the University of Washington, and in 1978, he was named the director of the Institute for Economic Research there, a post he held for many years. He served as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury and held a post as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. During this time, he also began his long-running relationship with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), first as a visiting scholar, then, in 1984 as a resident scholar and director of fiscal policy studies. After serving as a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers for the Congressional Budget Office for a decade, holding posts at AEI, and consulting for the Bank of Japan, Makin moved from academia and the think tank world into financial markets, working closely with Caxton Associates for two decades. In 2010, Makin returned to a full-time position at AEI while serving as an adviser to Cornwall Capital. During his career in Washington, he also served as the director of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and as a consultant to the US Treasury Department, the Congressional Budget Office, and the International Monetary Fund. He specialized in international finance and financial markets, with emphasis on Japanese and European economies. Makin wrote widely about the US economy on topics related to monetary policy and tax and budget issues. He began a series of widely read monthly essays titled Economic Outlook for AEI in 1995. He was also the author of numerous books and articles on financial, monetary, and fiscal policy. Makin's untimely death in 2015 was a great loss for AEI and for so many who treasured his economic commentary and insights. He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn van Paasschen, and his daughter, Jane.