Steven Fazzari is an economist and has been a faculty member at Washington University for over 35 years. He was installed as the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics in 2014. Following decades of work in the Department of Economics and as Associate Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, Fazzari devoted an incredibly rewarding five years as inaugural chair of the revived Department of Sociology (2014-2019). He recruited 10 faculty members and worked with his new colleagues to create undergraduate and graduate programs. Fazzari continues to be an active part of Sociology and is committed to interdisciplinary teaching, research, and student mentorship that connects sociology with economics.
Fazzari’s published, widely cited research (over 15,000 citations in Google Scholar) explores two main areas: the link between macroeconomic activity and finance, particularly the financial determinants of investment spending, and the foundations of Keynesian macroeconomics. His perspectives on the causes and consequences of the Great Recession, financial instability, deficit reduction, and capital gains taxation have been highlighted in the international press including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. The 2013 book After the Great Recession: the Struggle for Economic Recovery and Growth, analyzes the dramatic macroeconomics events that led to the most severe U.S. economic crisis since the 1930s. Fazzari's current research studies the effect of rising income inequality on the explosion of household debt that triggered the Great Recession and how inequality can constrain longer-term economic growth. He also has active research on the interaction between demand growth and the productive potential of the economy.
Teaching macroeconomics to Washington University students for decades, Fazzari is honored to have received teaching awards from the Council of Students of Arts and Sciences, the Washington University Alumni Class of 1989, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (for Ph.D. student mentorship), and the 2003 Missouri Governor's Award for excellence in teaching. In 2007, Washington University recognized him with its Distinguished Faculty Award.
The website "Muddy Water Macro," developed by Fazzari and a team of his advanced undergraduate students, takes his teaching outside of the classroom to explain Keynesian macroeconomic ideas to a general audience.
In addition to leading Sociology in its early years, Fazzari has served in many administrative roles from the beginning of his career. These include chair of the Department of Economics (1999-2005), the Academic Planning Committee of Arts and Sciences (2006-2010; 2013-2016) and the Arts & Sciences Advisory Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Personnel (2010-2013). Since 2008, he has helped guide the Weidenbaum Center as Associate Director and participated actively in the Center’s public outreach and research initiatives.
Fazzari is deeply honored to have been nominated by his colleagues and chosen by Dean Barbara Schaal for the 2019 Arts & Sciences Faculty Leadership Award.