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Michele Boldrin (Italian: [miˈkɛːle bolˈdrin]; 20 August 1956) is an Italian-born economist, expert in economic growth, business cycles, technological progress and intellectual property. He is currently the Joseph Gibson Hoyt Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Along with his colleague and coauthor David Levine, he was part of the group of 200 economists publicly opposing the 2009 Stimulus bill.[1] He later publicly defended his position on the issue in various international media, including a public debate with Brad DeLong.[2]

Michele Boldrin
Michele Boldrin.jpg
Michele Boldrin in Trento, Italy for the Festival of Economics 2010
Born (1956-08-20) 20 August 1956 (age 62)
NationalityItaly and USA
InstitutionWashington University in St. Louis
FieldMacroeconomics, General equilibrium, Public Policy
Alma materCa' Foscari University of Venice, University of Rochester
Lionel W. McKenzie
ContributionsPolicy functions, dynamic programming, endogenous fluctuations and chaos in dynamic models, growth theory
Information at IDEAS / RePEc



Boldrin was born and raised in Padua, Italy, and later moved to Venice.[3] He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Venice. He then received his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1987) in economics from the University of Rochester in New York, under the supervision of Lionel McKenzie.[4] Before moving to St. Louis in the Fall of 2006, he worked at University of Chicago (1986–87), UCLA (1987–94), Kellogg School of Management (1990–94), Charles III University of Madrid (1994–99), and University of Minnesota (1999–2006). He is a research fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis since 2006.

He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a past Associate Editor of Econometrica and (past) Editor and (current) Associate Editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics, among other academic journals. He (co-)wrote four books and was a visiting professor in Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Tokyo, and a number of other places. He is affiliated with CEPR and director of FEDEA. He is one of the founding editors of the (Italian) blog noiseFromAmerika and he contributes regularly to Against Monopoly and Nada es Gratis, which are respectively in English and Spanish. His two most recent books are Against Intellectual Monopoly,[5] coauthored with David K. Levine (CUP, 2008) and Tremonti, istruzioni per il disuso,[6] coauthored with Alberto Bisin, Sandro Brusco, Andrea Moro and Giulio Zanella (Ancora, 2010), in Italian.

Boldrin is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Scientific Council of Foundation IMDEA Social Sciences.


Michele Boldrin conducts ongoing research in dynamic general equilibrium theory, focusing specifically on the sources of business fluctuations, growth and development, technological innovation, and intellectual property. Collaborating with David K. Levine, Boldrin examines the role played by competitive versus monopolistic markets in growth and innovation. They posit that little evidence exists for the presence of increasing returns at the aggregate level, and thus argue that there is no reason to believe that increasing returns play an important role in actual economic growth. This implies that, in theory as in practice, competitive markets favor and promote continued growth and innovation, whereas monopoly power is not necessary and probably harmful to technological change and economic development. Their theory concludes that existing claims for the necessity of intellectual property in the process of growth and innovation are greatly exaggerated.



  1. ^ Economists object to Obama stimulus plan, Washington University Press Release.
  2. ^ SMACK! Economics scholars debate pros, cons of stimulus package Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, UC Davis News release.
  3. ^ Michele Boldrin, Joseph Gibson Hoyt Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences and Chair[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Boldrin's Autobiography
  5. ^ ASIN 0521127262
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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