Fazzari’s widely cited research explores two main areas: the financial determinants of investment and R&D spending by U.S. firms and the foundations of Keynesian macroeconomics. His research and commentary on public policy issues has been highlighted in the national media.
Steve Fazzari is an economist and has been a faculty member at Washington University for over 30 years. He devoted an incredibly rewarding five years as inaugural chair of the revived Department of Sociology (2014-2019), recruiting 10 faculty members and working with his new colleagues to create both undergraduate and graduate programs. Fazzari continues to be an active part of the Department and is committed to pursuing teaching, research, and student mentorship that connects sociology with economics.
Fazzari’s 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. 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 crises 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. This work has been the basis of media stories around the world, including in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
The website "Muddy Water Macro," developed by Fazzari and a team of his advanced undergraduate students explains 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-present) and the Arts & Sciences Advisory Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Personnel (2010-2013).
Teaching macroeconomics to Washington University students for decades, Fazzari is honored to have received a number of teaching awards including those 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 and he was installed as the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics on April 21, 2014.
Fazzari is deeply honored to have been nominated by his colleagues and chosen by Dean Barbara Schaal for the Arts & Sciences Faculty Leadership Award in 2019. This award recognizes his contribution in guiding the return of sociology to Washington University.