Karen Dynan

Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Karen Dynan is the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  She is an expert on macroeconomic policy and household finance issues.  Prior to joining Brookings, Dynan served on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board for 17 years, most recently as a senior adviser.  While at the Fed, she played a leadership role in a number of areas, including macroeconomic forecasting, analysis of household and real estate finance conditions, and the policy response to the financial crisis.  She also served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003-2004.

Dynan’s research focuses on consumer spending and saving decisions, household credit use, household financial security, foreclosure prevention, and the effects of financial innovation on economic dynamics. Her papers have been published in top economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Economic Perspectives.  Dynan has published opinion pieces in the Washington Post and Financial Times and has written for policy publications such as Stanford University’s Pathways and the Milken Institute Review.

Related to Karen Dynan

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U.S. Personal Saving Rate, 1970-2012

March 14, 2013 • Charts

The U.S. personal saving rate has declined dramatically over the past several decades and is currently very low by historical standards. Americans saved about 4 percent of after-tax personal income in 2012, down from average saving rates of 5.5 percent in the 1990s, 8.6 percent in the 1980s, and 9.6 percent in the 1970s. Although, in the short run, higher personal savings reduces consumption and can slow the economic recovery, over the longer run, higher personal saving would lead to stronger economic growth. The correlation between a country’s saving rate and its investment rate remains large and significant despite the globalization of international capital market.

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Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II: Addressing Entitlements, Taxation and Revenues—Panel 2: Innovative Approaches to Tax Reform

February 28, 2013 • Video

Vice President and Co-Director of Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution Karen Dynan; Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Alan Viard; Senior Fellow and Policy Director of The Hamilton Project Adam Looney; Chief Economist at Pew Charitable Trusts Diane Lim; and Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Joseph E. Aldy participate in a roundtable discussion on innovative approaches to tax reform moderated by President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Robert Greenstein.


Better Ways to Promote Saving through the Tax System

Papers • February 2013 • Karen Dynan

Karen Dynan examines the design of government incentives for personal savings, outlining how reforms to these programs would improve saving and economic security for low-income households and reduce expensive and ineffective federal subsidies for high-income households.

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From Recession to Recovery to Renewal: Event Photos

April 20, 2010 • Photo Galleries

Photos from From Recession to Recovery to Renewal event, which featured Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, former Deputy Secretary Roger C. Altman, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and kicked off the The Hamilton Project’s 2010 agenda.

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From Recession to Recovery to Renewal: Panel One: Innovative Ideas in the Hamilton Tradition

April 20, 2010 • Audio

Full audio of Panel One: "Innovative Ideas in the Hamilton Tradition" from the event From Recession to Recovery to Renewal


From Recession to Recovery to Renewal

Events • April 20, 2010 • Washington, DC

Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote speech at a forum to kick-off The Hamilton Project’s 2010 policy agenda. The event featured two roundtable discussions to highlight innovative policy ideas and the more general challenges facing the U.S. economy.

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