Martin Feldstein was a pillar of American economics

FOR A HALF-CENTURY Martin Feldstein was everywhere you looked in American economics. He was an astoundingly prolific columnist, sometimes churning out several a week, for several newspapers, on the big economic stories of the day. He was a fixture at conferences and seminars and the teacher, for two decades, of Harvard University’s introductory economics course. He served presidents of both parties. In short Mr Feldstein, who died on June 11th aged 79, was an American economic institution.Born in New York City, he spent most of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at Harvard, where he moved in 1967 after a doctorate at Oxford. His early career was remarkably productive. In 1974 he published an influential paper examining how Social Security, America’s public pensions system, affects saving patterns. Astonishingly, he concluded that the programme reduced personal saving by between 30% and 50%; throughout his life he was a staunch advocate for its reform.
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