James Tobin

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James Tobin (March 5, 1918 – March 11, 2002) was an American economist who, in his lifetime, served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and taught at Harvard and Yale Universities. He developed the ideas of Keynesian economics, and advocated government intervention to stabilize output and avoid recessions. His academic work included pioneering contributions to the study of investment, monetary and fiscal policy and financial markets. He also proposed an econometric model for censored endogenous variables, the well known "Tobit model". Tobin received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1981.

Outside of academia, Tobin was widely known for his suggestion of a tax on foreign exchange transactions, now known as the "Tobin tax". This was designed to reduce speculation in the international currency markets, which he saw as dangerous and unproductive. He suggested that the proceeds of the tax could be used to fund projects for the benefit of Third World countries, or to support the United Nations.



Early life

James Tobin[1] was born on March 5, 1918 in Champaign, Illinois. His father was Louis Michael Tobin, (b.1899) a journalist working at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who fought in World War I, was a member of the first Greek Organization at Illinois (Delta Tau Delta Fraternity Beta Upsilon Chapter), and was credited as the inventor of 'Homecoming'. Margaret Edgerton Tobin, (b.1893), a social worker, was his mother. Tobin followed primary school at the University Laboratory High School of Urbana, Illinois, a laboratory school in the university's campus.

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