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Kenneth Rogoff

Kenneth Rogoff
Born (1953-03-22) March 22, 1953
Rochester, New York
Nationality American
Institution Harvard University
Field Financial economics
Alma mater Yale University (BA)
Influences James Tobin
Rudi Dornbusch
Stanley Fischer
Jerry Hausman
Jagdish Bhagwati
Spouse Natasha Lance Rogoff
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Kenneth Saul "Ken" Rogoff (born March 22, 1953) is an American economist and chess Grandmaster. He is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University.


  • Early life 1
  • Chess 2
  • Career 3
  • Publications 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Rogoff grew up in Rochester, New York. His father was a Professor of Radiology at the University of Rochester. He attended East High School.

Rogoff received a BA and MA from Yale University summa cum laude in 1975, and a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980.


Rogoff learned chess from his father at age six, but took up the game in earnest when he got a chess set for his 13th birthday. He was soon recognised as a chess prodigy. By age 14, he was a USCF master and New York State Open Champion, and shortly thereafter became a senior master, the highest US national title.

At sixteen Rogoff dropped out of high school to concentrate on chess, He won the United States Junior Championship in 1969 and spent the next several years living primarily in Europe and playing in tournaments there. However, at eighteen he made the decision to go to college and pursue a career in economics rather than to become a professional player, although he continued to play and improve for several years afterward. Rogoff was awarded the IM title in 1974, and the GM title in 1978. He was 3rd in the World Junior Championship of 1971 and finished 2nd in the US Championship of 1975, which doubled as a Zonal competition, a half point behind Walter Browne; this result qualified him for the 1976 Interzonal at Biel where he finished 13–15th. In other tournaments, he drew for first at Norristown in 1973 and at Orense in 1976.[1] He has also drawn individual games against former world champions Mikhail Tal[2] and Tigran Petrosian.[3] In 2012 he drew a blitz game with the world's highest rated player Magnus Carlsen.[4]


Early in his career, Rogoff served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Rogoff was the Charles and Marie Robertson Professor of International Affairs at Princeton University.[5]

In 2002, Rogoff was in the spotlight because of a dispute with Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and 2001 Nobel Prize winner. After Stiglitz criticized the IMF in his book, Globalization and Its Discontents, Rogoff replied in an open letter.[6]

In April 2013, Rogoff was at the centre of worldwide attention with Carmen Reinhart (coauthor of the book This Time is Different) when their widely cited study "Growth in a Time of Debt" was shown to contain computation errors which critics claim undermine its central thesis that too much debt causes recession.[7][8] An analysis by Herndon, Ash and Pollin argued that "coding errors, selective exclusion of available data, and unconventional weighting of summary statistics lead to serious errors that inaccurately represent the relationship between public debt and GDP growth among 20 advanced economies in the post-war period."[9] Their calculations demonstrated that high debt countries grew at 2.2 percent, rather than the −0.1 percent figure initially cited by Reinhart and Rogoff.[9] Rogoff and Reinhardt claimed that their fundamental conclusions were accurate after correcting the coding errors detected by their critics.[10][11] They further disavowed the claim frequently attributed to them that a 90% government debt to GDP ratio is a specific tipping point for growth outcomes.[12] Further papers by Rogoff and Reinhart,[13] and the International Monetary Fund,[14] which were not found to contain similar errors, reached conclusions similar to the initial paper. The subject remains controversial, because of the political ramifications of the research, though in Rogoff and Reinhart's words "[t]he politically charged discussion ... has falsely equated our finding of a negative association between debt and growth with an unambiguous call for austerity."[12] He is a member in the Group of Thirty.


His most recent book, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, which he co-authored with Carmen Reinhart, was released in October 2009.[15]


  1. ^ "Kenneth Rogoff". Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mikhail Tal vs Kenneth Rogoff". Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Kenneth Rogoff". Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ Kavalek, Lubomir (September 5, 2012). "Magnus Carlsen Storms New York's Chess Scene".  
  5. ^ "Kenneth Rogoff".  
  6. ^ Rogoff, Kenneth (July 2, 2002). "An Open Letter".  
  7. ^ Alexander, Ruth (April 19, 2013). "Reinhart, Rogoff... and Herndon: The student who caught out the profs".  
  8. ^ "How Much Unemployment Was Caused by Reinhart and Rogoff's Arithmetic Mistake?".  
  9. ^ a b Herndon, Thomas; Ash, Michael; Pollin, Robert (April 15, 2013). "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff" (PDF).  
  10. ^ "Reinhart "Reinhart-Rogoff Initial Response", Financial Times blog, April 16, 2013 (subscription required)
  11. ^ Inman, Phillip (April 17, 2013). "Rogoff and Reinhart defend their numbers".  
  12. ^ a b "Debt, Growth and the Austerity Debate"], op-ed by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, The New York Times, April 25, 2013
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Rampell, Catherine (July 4, 2010), "They Did Their Homework (800 Years of It)",  

External links

  • Kenneth Rogoff at Harvard University Department of Economics
  • Column archive at Project Syndicate
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
  • Kenneth Rogoff at the Internet Movie Database
  • Works by or about Kenneth Rogoff in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Kenneth Rogoff player profile and games at
  • with Tom AshbrookOn Point Thursday, November 15, 2007 show titled Where’s the Economy Headed?
  • This Time is Different: An Interview with Kenneth Rogoff at the Wayback Machine (archived April 8, 2011), Nicholas Rugoff, The Politic, May 1, 2010
  • Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz
Business positions
Preceded by
Michael Mussa
IMF Chief Economist
Succeeded by
Raghuram Rajan
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