James Poterba is the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT and the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit research organization with more than 1700 affiliated economists. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association (AEA), a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Finance Association (AFA), the British Academy and the Econometric Society. He has served as President of the Eastern Economic Association and the National Tax Association, as vice president of the AEA, and as a director of the AFA.
His research focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms, particularly those involving saving and portfolio behavior. His recent research has analyzed the determinants of retirement saving, the draw-down of assets after households reach retirement, and the role of tax-deferred retirement saving programs such as 401(k) plans in contributing to retirement security.
Poterba is a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF) and the TIAA-CREF mutual funds. He is a past trustee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and a former editor of the Journal of Public Economics. He is a coauthor of The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement (2001), and an editor or coeditor of Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment (2021), Fiscal Reform in Colombia (2005), Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance (1999), Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation (1996), International Comparisons of Household Saving (1994), and Global Warming: Economic Policy Responses (1991). He served as a member of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in 2005.
Dr. Poterba holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a D. Phil. in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, a Batterymarch Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 2014 he received the Daniel M. Holland Medal from the National Tax Association for the study and practice of public finance.