NBER Profile: James Poterba
James Poterba is the Director of the Public Economics program at the NBER and a member of the NBER's programs on Aging, Asset Pricing, Children, Corporate Finance, Edu-cation, and Health Care.
He is the Mitsui Professor of Economics and the Associate Depart-ment Head at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1982.
Poterba is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society and a past member of the Executive Committees of the American Economic Association and the American Finance Association. He is an editor of the Journal of Public Economics, and a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Wealth Management.
He received a D. Phil. degree in Economics from Oxford University and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard. Poterba's research focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms. His recent work has explored household saving and portfolio decisions, with particular emphasis on tax-deferred retirement saving programs such as 401(k) plans. He has also explored the role of annuity products in providing retirement income security for older households.
He is married to Nancy Rose, who is also a Professor of Economics at MIT and who directs the Industrial Organization program at the NBER. They have a daughter and two sons, aged 9, 13, and 15. In his free time, Poterba enjoys coaching his daughter's soccer team, organizing family ski and beach outings, and losing to his sons on the tennis court.