James Poterba is the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT. He is also the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. He is the past President of the National Tax Association, a former Vice President and Executive Committee member of the American Economic Association, and a former Director of the American Finance Association.
Dr. Poterba's research focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms. His recent work has emphasized the effect of taxation on the financial behavior of households, particularly their saving and portfolio decisions. He has been especially
interested in the analysis of tax-deferred retirement saving programs such as 401(k) plans and in the role of annuities in financing retirement consumption.
Dr. Poterba served as a member of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in 2005. He is a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and a former member of the MIT 401(k) Plan Oversight Committee. He edited the Journal of Public Economics, the leading international journal for research on taxation and government spending, between 1997 and 2006. He is a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Wealth Management. He is a co-author of The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement (2001), and an editor or co-editor of Global Warming: Economic Policy Responses (1991), International Comparisons of Household Saving (1994), Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation (1996), Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance (1999), and Fiscal Reform in Columbia (2005).
Dr. Poterba studied Economics as an undergraduate at Harvard, and received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, a Batterymarch Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.