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William Easterly

William Easterly is an American economist.


William Easterly received his BA from Bowling Green State University in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.


William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute. He is the author of two books, which are dedicated to the theory of economic growth, and he has also published more than 60 peer-reviewed academic articles. His writings have appeared or been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNN, PBS, ABC, and other media outlets. He was Co-Editor of the Journal of Development Economics and wrote and directed the Aid Watch blog. Easterly is Research Associate of NBER, senior fellow BREAD and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings.

Easterly's areas of expertise are the determinants of long-run economic growth, the political economy of development, and the effectiveness of foreign aid. He has worked in most areas of the developing world, most heavily in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Easterly is an associate editor of the American Economic Journals: Macroeconomics, the Journal of Comparative Economics, and the Journal of Economic Growth. He is the baseball columnist for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.


  • Easterly was named in 2008 and 2009 among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals by Foreign Policy Magazine, and ranks among the top 100 most cited academic economists worldwide.


  • Institutions: Top Down or Bottom Up?, American Economic Review, 98, northern 2, (May 2008): 95-99.

  • Was Development Assistance a Mistake?, American Economic Review, 97, no.2, (May 2007): 328-332.

  • Planners versus Searchers in Foreign Aid, Asian Development Review, 23, northern 2, (2006): 1-35.

  • Growth Implosions and Debt Explosions: Do Growth Slowdowns Explain Public Debt Crises?, Contributions to Macroeconomics, 1, northern 1, (2001).

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