Mathew Forstater, Ph.D.

Mathew Forstater is Research Director at the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, and Professor of Economics, University of Missouri—Kansas City.  Forstater received his B.A., summa cum laude, in African American Studies, from Temple University in 1987, and an M.A. (honors, 1993) and Ph.D. (1996) in Economics from the New School for Social Research.  He has published widely on employment and budgetary policies, ecological economics, economics of discrimination, and monetary history, theory and policy.  Forstater is the recipient of a number of teaching awards and recognitions, including the UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Student Council’s Outstanding Faculty Award in 2003-2004.

Forstater was co-founder of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, and he served as Director for its more than fifteen years of operation.  Forstater has served as an economic advisor in a variety of contexts, including a 2001 International Labour Organization sponsored mission to advise the Ministry of Labour of Argentina. His proposal for an increase in the minimum wage was made into law, and the employment program inspired by the work of CFEPS, known as Plan Jefes de Hogar (heads of household employment program), has been recognized by observers as central in reducing both unemployment and poverty in the aftermath of Argentina’s economic crisis. Forstater has over two decades experience in research, teaching, consulting and policy advising in macroeconomic policy, racial economic inequality and sustainable development. His work on “Green Jobs” goes back at least to 1997, with over ten refereed journal articles and monographs on issues of employment and environmental sustainability. Forstater’s Little Book of Big Ideas: Economics (2007, Chicago Review Press) has been translated into Estonian, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, French, Turkish, and Chinese.

Forstater is the co-editor of more than ten books, the author of more than three dozen refereed journal articles and encyclopedia entries, and the guest editor of several special issues and symposia in scholarly journals.  He serves on the editorial board of several journals, and a referee and reviewer for numerous journals and publishers.  Forstater is interviewed regularly in the media, including television, radio, and local, national, and international newspapers, internet blogs and other outlets.  His Ph.D. dissertation on the methodology of public policy was supervised by Robert L. Heilbroner, author of The Worldly Philosophers, the best-selling economics book in history after Samuelson’s textbook.

Research Director, Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity and Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City


Full Employment and Social Justice

This edited collection investigates how full employment programs can sustain the economy and the environment, promote social justice, and reinvigorate local communities.

Jobs, Money, Debt: Economic Common Sense (Episode 8: Sustainable Prosperity)

“Job Guarantee activities can be designed so as to pollute less, and use fewer exhaustible resources. Even if the JG activities performed no explicit environmental services, an economy brought to full employment through the JG would be more sustainable than if the private sector were expanded to full employment.” — Mathew Forstater

Jobs, Money, Debt: Economic Common Sense (Episode 7: Material Inflation)

“The idea that there must be a trade-off between full employment and price stability has been thoroughly refuted theoretically, empirically, historically.  With modern money and the Job Guarantee, we can have zero involuntary unemployment and price and currency stability.” — Mathew Forstater

Jobs, Money, Debt: Economic Common Sense (Episode 6: Labor Standard)

“The Job Guarantee program provides full employment without the structural rigidities normally associated with high levels of employment and capacity utilization. With the JG, there is always a pool of labor available to be hired out of the JG program and into private firms. Currently, this kind of flexibility can only be maintained by keeping … Mathew Forstater, Ph.D. Read More »

Jobs, Money, Debt: Economic Common Sense (Episode 5: True Full Employment)

“When there is high unemployment, job security is low. This can affect worker productivity. When people are out of work, their skills have been shown to deteriorate. Unemployment also results in a less healthy labor force, and studies have shown that worse health means lower productivity. There is a strong relationship between income and nutrition, … Mathew Forstater, Ph.D. Read More »
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