About Jeff

JEFF MADRICK is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, and a former economics columnist for The New York Times.  He is director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative at the Century Foundation, where he is a Senior Fellow; editor of Challenge Magazine; and visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union.

His latest book, Seven Bad Ideas, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in Septermber 2014. His previous book, the best-selling Age of Greed, was published by Knopf in 2011. His 2009 book, The Case for Big Government (Princeton), received a 2009 PEN Galbraith Non-Fiction Award.

He is also the author of Taking America (Bantam, 1987), and The End of Affluence (Random House, 1995), both of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Taking America was chosen by Business Week as one of the ten best books of the year. His book, Why Economies Grow (Basic Books/Century Foundation, 2002), emphasized the need for active public investment and a broader understanding of the causes of growth than was popular in academia at the time. 

He has written for many other publications over the years,  including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Institutional Investor, The Nation, American Prospect, The Boston Globe, Newsday, and the business, op-ed, and the Sunday magazine sections of The New York Times.

Madrick gives many speeches and makes frequent public appearances. He has appeared on Charlie Rose, The Lehrer News Hour, Now With Bill Moyers, Frontline, C-Span, Book Notes, CNN, CNBC, CBS, BBC, and NPR.  He has also served as a policy consultant and speech writer for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and other U.S. legislators.

Madrick is a fellow of the World Policy Institute and is a member of the board of The Center for Economic and Policy Research.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, Madrick had several positions in journalism, including serving as  Wall Street editor of Money Magazine, finance editor of Business Week Magazine and an NBC News reporter and commentator. His awards included an Emmy and a Page One Award.

Madrick was educated at New York University and Harvard University, and was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard.

He is married to Kim Baker and lives in New York City.

Featured Review

Madrick has clarified my own thinking on the subject…Seven Bad Ideas is an important and broadly accurate story about what went wrong.

What Readers Are Saying

‘Zombie ideas,’ it’s been said, are those that should have been killed by evidence, but refuse to die. Even more obdurate are the axioms of orthodox economics, upon which pernicious policies are erected. Mythbuster Madrick, in clear and compelling prose, demolishes seven of the biggest of these. May they (hopefully) rest in peace.
Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and coauthor of Gotham
Thanks to Jeff Madrick, the Seven Deadly Sins now have serious competitors from seven ideas economists have spread to our detriment. Jeff is an economist, too, but he is an icon buster who writes with verve, clarity and a fierce sense of justice. May he encourage his colleagues to second thoughts—and may some even consider repentance.
E.J. Dionne
E.J. Dionne
author of Our Divided Political Heart
In his incisive new book Jeff Madrick shows in rigorous and compelling detail how mainstream economic theory not only failed to anticipate the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed, but actively contributed to the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. If you suspect there is something radically wrong with mainstream economic theory, you must read Seven Bad Ideas.
John Gray
John Gray
emeritus professor, London School of Economics
Madrick has clarified my own thinking on the subject…Seven Bad Ideas is an important and broadly accurate story about what went wrong.
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor and Publisher, The Nation
In the venerable Mark Twain tradition, Jeff Madrick explains that what makes some economists so dangerous isn’t what they don’t know, it’s what they know that just ain’t so.
Robert H. Frank
Robert H. Frank
author of The Economic Naturalist
The economics of ‘free market’ doctrines is not underpinned with valid knowledge. Its bogus scientific authority provides a cover for finance and big business to squeeze the rest of society. Jeff Madrick is an excellent guide to the whole range of finance-friendly policies in recent decades, in the U.S. and globally, and is especially good on ‘efficient markets theory,’ whose assumption that money can do no wrong is the bitter root of the current economic crisis.
Avner Offer
Avner Offer
president emeritus, University of Oxford
Influenced on the one side by broad, somewhat ideological belief in the efficacy of markets, and on the other side by strong belief in the value of what can be learned by building and analyzing simple formal models, in recent years the economics discipline has lost much of its ability and interest in studying pragmatically and empirically how the economy actually operates. Madrick’s Seven Bad Ideas is one of the best discussions of this problem that I have seen.
Richard Nelson
Richard Nelson
professor emeritus, Columbia University
Invigorating…Jeff Madrick is so inventive a writer that, for each of the bad ideas he analyzes, Madrick also makes you think about a good idea. This is a real contribution to making economics a more responsible discipline.
Richard Sennett
Richard Sennett
author of The Fall of Public Man
In this brisk and accessible volume, which should be on Econ 101 syllabi, Madrick outlines the wrong-headed propositions, fictitious models, shoddy research, and partisan agendas that have made a reexamination of the entire field long overdue.
Lynn Stuart Parramore
Lynn Stuart Parramore
Editor, AlterNet and director of AlterNet's New Economic Dialogue Project
Jeff Madrick…is a modern economic vampire hunter. His new book Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand one of the biggest, goriest horror shows ever.
John Wasik
John Wasik
Columnist, Reuters

Reviews for Seven Bad Ideas


Hans Rollman

“Madrick hammers home his points with unapologetic clarity and unrelenting waves of evidence.”

New York Times

Paul Krugman

Madrick has clarified my own thinking on the subject…Seven Bad Ideas is an important and broadly accurate story about what went wrong.


“A readable, useful economic text. Somewhere, John Maynard Keynes is smiling.”


Michael Hirsh

“The answers to our current problems are obvious, says Madrick…except to almost everyone in Washington, New York, Chicago and other centers of American economic policymaking and learning.”

The National Memo

Peter Richardson

“We might compare Madrick’s posture to Thomas Piketty’s…[Seven Bad Ideas is] a set of snappy essays in the pamphleteering tradition.”

Shelf Awareness

Jen Forbus

“If there were an eighth bad idea, it would be ignoring this book.”

Booklist Online

Top 10 Business Titles

"Financial journalist Madrick draws on the works of several well-regarded economists, including John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, to examine the shortcomings of contemporary economics..."

Buy Seven Bad Ideas

On sale everywhere September 30