Statement on Regulation

We are economists who think that the economy should serve people, the planet and the future.

Rules are as important in an economy as they are in sports. When gamblers rig the game, players flout the rules, or competent referees are not on the field, the result is a charade and not a fair contest.

Yet some claim that regulations are always bad for the economy. They believe that “freeing” business from rules that protect public health, maintain competitive markets, and ensure financial solvency is the route to prosperity. This ideological opposition to regulation, epitomized by the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, dismantled the firewall between commercial banking and investment banking, and opened the door to the greed and reckless behavior that culminated in our current economic crisis.

Some claim that regulation “kills jobs.” They tell us that firms will hire more workers if they don&#39t have to worry about such things as safe workplaces, fair wages, clean air and water, or transparent accounting standards. They&#39re dead wrong. Sound regulations don&#39t deter investment. Sound regulations don&#39t deter job creation. On the contrary, sound regulations are a necessary ingredient in any healthy economy.

It was unregulated financial markets that killed millions of jobs, as surely as unregulated pollution kills people.

Some claim that we should treat corporations as people, allowing big business and banks to finance political campaigns, and giving free rein to their lobbyists. We&#39ve tried letting politicians and corporate CEOs police themselves. The verdict is in: we&#39ve paid the price in stolen lives, damaged health, massive bailouts, and vanished jobs. It turns out that “anything goes” means that anything goes to those who can pay for it. We need fair and transparent rules to govern our political system that are robustly enforced.

Sound economics supports sound regulation, and sound regulation supports a sound economy.

We call for regulations that prevent big banks from making our nation&#39s financial system a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose casino.

We call for regulations that safeguard the solvency of working families, the health of the public, and the natural environment as the common heritage of present and future generations.

We call for regulations that put the burden of proof on corporations to prove that it is safe to introduce new chemicals into our air and water, and new financial instruments into our capital markets, just as food and drug manufacturers must do under FDA rules.

We extend our support to the goal of building an economy where businesses, banks, and politicians are held accountable to the people, the planet, and the future.


If you’re an economist and would like to add your name to this statement, please send us an email by clicking here (


Gar Alperovitz / University of Maryland College Park

James K. Boyce / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Omar S. Dahi / Hampshire College

George DeMartino / University of Denver

Gerald Epstein / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gerald Friedman / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Eban Goodstein / Bard College

Julie Nelson / University of Massachusetts Boston

Juliet Schor / Boston College

Douglas Smith / Econ4

Tim Koechlin / Vassar College

Hannah Appel / University of California Berkeley

Michael Ash / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lee Badgett / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ron Baiman / Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

Scott Baker / Common Ground – NYC

Erdogan Bakir / Bucknell University

Benjamin Balak / Rollins College

Radhika Balakrishnan / Rutgers University

Fabian Balardini / Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)

Ahmet Baytas / Montclair State University

Carole Biewener / Simmons College

Marc Bilodeau / Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Cyrus Bina / University of Minnesota

Peter C. Bloch / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nicolaas Bouwes/ U.S. EPA – Retired

Elissa Braunstein / Colorado State University

Antonio Callari / Franklin and Marshall College

Martha Campbell / SUNY Potsdam

Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Kimberly Christensen / Sarah Lawrence College

Jennifer Cohen / Whitman College

J. Kevin Crocker / University of Massachusetts Amherst

James Crotty / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Susan M. Davis / Buffalo State College

Carmen Diana Deere / University of Florida

Geert Dhondt / John Jay College, The City University of New York

P.K. Dollar / Gem Communications

Laura Dresser / Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Marie Christine Duggan / Keene State College

Amitava Krishna Dutt / University of Notre Dame

Justin A. Elardo / Portland Community College

Bilge Erten / United Nations, DESA

Joshua Farley / University of Vermont

Kade Finnoff / University of Massachusetts Boston

Kevin P. Gallagher / Boston University

Heidi Garrett-Peltier / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Barbara Garson / “Author “”Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% live in the Great Recession””

David George / La Salle University

Armagan Gezici / Keene State College

David Gold / The New School

Jonathan P. Goldstein / Bowdoin College

Eban Goodstein / Bard College

Eric R. Hake / Catawba College

Doug Henwood /”Left Business Observer, “”Behind the News””

Wolfgang Hoeschele / Truman State University

Julio Huato / St. Francis College

Mary C. King / Portland State University

Mark Klinedinst / University of Southern Mississippi

Kazim Konyar / California State University, San Bernardino

Philip Kozel / Rollins College

David Laibman / City University of New York

June Lapidus / Roosevelt University

Joelle J. Leclaire / Buffalo State College, SUNY

Frederic Lee / University of Missouri Kansas City

Fernando Leiva / University at Albany (SUNY)

Charles Levenstein / University of Massachusetts Lowell

Margaret Levenstein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Patricia J. Lindsey / Retired

Sean MacDonald / New York City College of Technology, City University of New York

Arthur MacEwan / University of Massachusetts Boston

Stephanie Martin / Allegheny College

Peter Hans Matthews / Middlebury College

Elaine McCrate / University of Vermont

Michael Meeropol / John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)

Ralph Meima Marlboro / College Graduate School

John D. Messier / University of Maine Farmington

Peter B. Meyer / University of Louisville, The E.P. Systems Group, Inc.

John Miller / Wheaton College

Fred Moseley / Mount Holyoke College

Tracy Mott / University of Denver

Ellen Mutari / The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Julie A. Nelson / University of Massachusetts Boston

Eric Nilsson / California State University San Bernardino

Jennifer Olmsted / Drew University

Shaianne Osterreich / Ithaca College

Aaron Pacitti / Siena College

Karl Petrick / Western New England University

Thomas Michael Power / The University of Montana

Paddy Quick / St. Francis College

Wendy Rayack / Wesleyan University

Stephen Resnick / University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meenakshi Rishi / Seattle University

Charles P. Rock / Rollins College

Leopoldo Rodriguez / Portland State University

Frank Roosevelt / Metropolitan College of New York

Luis D. Rosero / Fitchburg State University

Héctor Sáez / Holy Names University

Blair Sandler / University of Massachusetts Amherst PhD, now teaching T’ai Chi

Ted P. Schmidt / SUNY Buffalo State

Markus P. A. Schneider / University of Denver

Barry Shelley / Brandeis University

Thomas Simmons / Greenfield Community College

Bryan Snyder / Bentley University

Peter Spiegler / University of Massachusetts Boston

Janet Spitz / The College of Saint Rose

Howard Stein / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Masao Suzuki / Skyline College

Pavlina R. Tcherneva / Franklin and Marshall College

Frank Thompson / University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Renee Toback / URPE

Mariano Torras / Adelphi University

Mayo Toruño / California State University San Bernardino

A. Dale Tussing Syracuse University

Hasmet Uluorta / University of Miami

Stephen Viederman / Christopher Reynolds Foundation

Valerie Voorheis University of / Massachusetts Amherst and Marlboro College Graduate Center

Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji / University of Massachusetts Amherst

James Wagner / John Burrough Schools, Webster University

Scott A. Weir / Wake Technical Community College

Thomas E. Weisskopf / University of Michigan

Maggie Winslow / University of San Francisco

Yavuz Yaşar / University of Denver

Jeff Zink / Morningside College





“anti-regulation ideology led to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act’s financial safeguards”: see Haldane 2010.

“sound regulations don’t deter investment”: see Shapiro 2011 and Shapiro and Irons 2011.

“put the burden of proof on corporations to demonstrate that it is safe to introduce new chemicals into our air and water”: see U.S. Government Accountability Office 2007.

“or new financial instruments into our capital markets”: see Crotty and Epstein 2009.