Kellogg on Policy and Public Impact

Consumer finance and new technologies: research and practice

Foundational strength to help cross sectors

The household finance landscape has grown more complex and data-rich in recent years, offering unprecedented opportunities for research as well as new business opportunities.

Understanding the evolution in household finance requires research to inform practice and policy related to consumer debt, credit, savings, and financial literacy. Join researchers, policymakers, and industry practitioners in exploring these topics.

September 28, 2017

@Issue: Making Sense of Fiscal Chaos

Former senior officials and experts on fiscal issues will discuss the prospects for the fiscal landscape—focusing on potential resolutions and impact on the economy. In collaboration with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center of Washington, D.C.

12:15-1:15 p.m., Kellogg Global Hub

Janice Eberly
James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance
Faculty Director, Kellogg Public-Private Initiative
Sheila Duran
Senior Director, Kellogg Public-Private Initiative

Explore the Policy ecosystem at Kellogg

@issue Faculty Forum: Craig Garthwaite on the ACA

Professor Craig Garthwaite discussed how the new administration's healthcare proposal could impact patients, insurers, and hospitals at the March 2, 2017, faculty forum.

Kellogg on Growth | 2016

Leigh Morgan of The Gates Foundation presented a keynote at the 2016 Growth Forum that explored her leadership experience in corporate, public, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors.

@issue: The Role of Demographics and Why the Pollsters Got it Wrong

Panel presented by Kellogg Student Association and KPPI, featuring Professors David Besanko and Blake McShane on December 1, 2016.

@issue: The Future of Policy Post the 2016 Election

Panel presented by the Public Policy Club, Health Club, and KPPI, featuring Professors David Besanko, Janice Eberly, Craig Garthwaite, and Ben Jones on November 11, 2016.

@issue: Brexit and the Future of Europe

Panel presented by the Public Policy Club, the European Business Club, and KPPI featuring Professors David Austin-Smith and Sergio Rebelo on November 8, 2016.

Boom vs. Doom: Debate on the Future of the Economy

Discussion presented by KPPI and the Chicago Council of Global Affairs featuring Professors Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr on October 31, 2016.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Urges More “Inclusive” Economy

Lagarde speaks on global economic outlook at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University on September 29, 2016. Read the Kellogg News recap, and a Kellogg Insight interview with Lagarde and Sergio Rebelo.

Susan Bies Lecture on Economics and Public Policy – featuring Ben Bernanke

Professor Janice Eberly interviewed Ben Bernanke, in an event presented by Northwestern’s department of economics on April 25, 2016.

Janice Eberly Named Co-Editor of Leading Policy Publication

As the former chief economist for the U.S. Treasury, Eberly will be the first woman to helm The Brookings Institution’s flagship economic journal.

Kellogg on Growth | 2015

Professor David Besanko led a panel discussion on “Infrastructure for the 22nd century: Can public investment keep up with private sector growth?” featuring Rosalia De Leon, Congressman Robert Dold ’10, Aaron Klein, Rebecca Scheinfeld ’08, and Emilio Tenuta ’05.

Alumni in Policy

Jennifer Colville ‘95

Policy Advisor/Innovation, Arab States / United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Jennifer Colville '95 is a growth driver in the global economy, and promotes Kellogg’s Policy vision of preparing leaders to understand how to create sound economic policy. In her role at UNDP, Colville is exploring a host of innovation drivers, from gamification to behavioral science to social innovation camps. She also leads UNDP’s broader efforts to reach out to a variety of voices that haven’t traditionally been amplified.

Jonathan Greenblatt '99

National Director Designate / Anti-Defamation League

Jonathan Greenblatt '99 is the National Director (CEO) Designate at the Anti-Defamation League and a Senior Fellow at the Wharton School. He is the co-founder of Ethos Water (acquired by Starbucks in 2005); founder of All for Good (acquired by Points of Light in 2011), former Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation (2011-2014), and former CEO of GOOD Worldwide.

James Tong ‘05

Vice President, Strategy & Governmental Affairs / Clean Power Finance

James Tong '05 leads collaborative efforts with solar businesses, utilities, government agencies, and academic researchers to accelerate solar deployment and reduce barriers to adoption. Prior to entering the solar industry, he served in various management positions at GE, where he completed its elite commercial leadership program. He has also worked for the Urban Institute, a renowned public policy think tank, and served in the Peace Corps.

Chris LaRosa ‘08

Executive Director, Government & Industry Association Relations / CME Group

Chris LaRosa '08 is an industry and government affairs executive with the world’s leading commodities and financial futures exchange. He manages engagement with multiple legistative bodies and regulators within the U.S. and globally. He facilitates integration of business and public policy strategies across CME Group’s product areas, international alliances, and business development initiatives.

Faculty Affiliates

Eric T. Anderson
Hartmarx Professor of Marketing; Director of the Center for Global Marketing Practice

David Austen-Smith
Peter G. Peterson Chair in Corporate Ethics; Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences; Director, Ford Motor Center for Global Citizenship; Chair of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences Department

Meghan Busse
Associate Professor of Strategy

David Chen
Adjunct Professor of Finance; Program Director of Impact Investing

Lawrence J. Christiano
Alfred W. Chase Chair of Business Institutions, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Finance

Georgy Egorov
Associate Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Timothy Feddersen
Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics; Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Mark Finn
Clinical Professor of Accounting Information & Management

Michael J. Fishman
Norman Strunk Professor of Financial Institutions; Professor of Finance
Craig Furfine
Clinical Professor of Finance

Robert Gordon
Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences; Professor of Economics

Kent Grayson
Associate Professor of Marketing; Bernice and Leonard Lavin Professorship

Kathleen Hagerty
Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Research; First Chicago Professorship in Finance; Faculty Director of PhD Program; Professor of Finance

Liz Livingston Howard
Clinical Professor of Executive Education; Director of Nonprofit Executive Education

Edward F.X. Hughes
Professor of Strategy; Professor of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine (Courtesy)

Ravi Jagannathan
Chicago Mercantile Exchange/John F. Sandner Professor of Finance; Co-Director, Financial Institutions and Markets Research

Benjamin F. Jones
Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship; Professor of Strategy; Faculty Director, Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI)
Brayden King
Max McGraw Chair in Management and the Environment; Professor of Management & Organizations; Chair of Management & Organizations Department

Philip Levy
Adjunct Professor of Strategy

Sarit Markovich
Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy

Peter H. McNerney
Adjunct Lecturer of Finance

Dylan Minor
Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Joel Mokyr
Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences

Ameet Morjaria
Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Kara Palamountain
Research Associate Professor within Kellogg's Public-Private Interface Initiative (KPPI); Lecturer of Global Health

Nicola Persico
John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences; Director of the Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics & Management
Mitchell A. Petersen
Glen Vasel Professor of Finance; Director of the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital

Robert Porter
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor

Alvaro Sandroni
E.D. Howard Professor of Political Economy; Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Paola Sapienza
Donald C. Clark/HSBC Chair in Consumer Finance; Professor of Finance

Mark Satterthwaite
A.C. Buehler Professor in Hospital & Health Services Management; Professor of Strategy

Juliet Sorensen
Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern School of Law; Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy

Jörg Spenkuch
Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Amanda Starc
Associate Professor of Strategy

Adam Waytz
Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Klaus Weber
Associate Professor of Management & Organizations   

In the News

In the Age of Trump, B-Schools Brace for Upheaval

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Larry Summers Delivers the Susan Bies Lecture on Economics and Public Policy

Lawrence H. Summers called for the U.S. to invest in infrastructure and focus on raising growth and reducing income inequality, in his remarks during the Susan Bies Lecture on Economics and Public Policy at Northwestern University on Wednesday. He also provided young economists advice on the uses and limits of models in policymaking.

Summers is a former Secretary of the Treasury and former Director of the National Economic Council who is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He described how macroeconomic theory needs to be revised to better account for “periodic economic tsunamis.”

He examined the similarities between GDP shocks of the Great Depression and of the decade since the 2008 financial crisis. This time around, he says, “there hasn’t been a comparable questioning of orthodoxy, change of thinking, or alteration of policy paradigms.”

Turning to the nation’s ongoing economic recovery, Summers defined “the right package” of infrastructure investment as a combination of funding, regulatory streamlining, and procurement efficiency. “One of those is a more progressive idea, and one of those is a more conservative idea. That kind of thinking—some of mine, some of yours, let’s do things—can be constructive.”

Later he discussed ways to mitigate the increases in income and wealth inequality. Summers recommended moving to more progressive taxation, supporting job creation in sectors such as infrastructure construction, and getting specific about which geographic areas may need more or different help.

“Thinking about policies for areas where people are being disproportionally left behind is something that is very important,” Summers said, referring to “place-based policies.”

The 90-minute lecture took the form of a conversation with Kellogg’s Janice Eberly, the James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance and a former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury.

Summers addressed how economic policymakers and academics have different roles in policy development and discussion.

“You build up intellectual capital when you are in academia and you draw on that capital when you are in government,” Summers said. “In government, you don’t have the option of saying ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘the problem is too hard.’ You have to act.”

Summers also discussed the uses and limitations of economic models—and how their functions differ between research and policymaking.

“Models are a useful tool [in policymaking], but if you try to present them as dispassionate technocratic expertise, that is not right,” he said. “In a lot of models, the conclusions are more built-in than derived.”

Summers described a rule he developed to test the reasonableness of model-based conclusions others presented him: he required them to go through a back-of-the-envelope calculation that he could understand and that landed near the same conclusion as the model.

“Lots of people who use models use them in a mechanical way,” Summers said. “But you need to have discipline about whether there was a thoughtful assumption about the model’s key parameters.”

20 Oct 2017

Trump says he’s likely to sign healthcare order this week

Article discusses President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will likely sign an order this week to allow Americans to buy stripped-down health insurance policies, which would further undermine Obamacare. Professor Craig Garthwaite shares his insight on the potential order: “It unwinds the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance under the ACA.” Also covered on

Reuters, 10 Oct 2017

Trump May Be About To Blow Up The NAFTA Talks

Article by Adjunct Professor Phil Levy takes a look at discussions about the North American Free Trade Agreement that President Trump is threatening to disband if negotiations take more than six-months to complete.

Forbes, 10 Oct 2017

Can the U.S. Repair Its Health Care While Keeping Its Innovation Edge?

Article takes a look at the juxtaposition between the U.S.’s leading innovation in health care and the problems with our overall healthcare system. The relationship between healthcare innovation and profits in the States is highest in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, according to Professor Craig Garthwaite. “In these sectors, firms are able to patent innovations, and we have a good sense of how additional research funds lead to new products.”

New York Times, 09 Oct 2017


    Insight: Policy