Glenn MacDonald

John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy

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Prior to joining the Olin Business School, MacDonald was professor of economics and management at the W. E. Simon School of Business, University of Rochester, and professor of economics at the University of Western Ontario. He has worked with many companies, including Bausch & Lomb, Carrier, Chase Manhattan Bank, Corning, Eastman Kodak, Harris Corporation, General Motors, IBM, Litton Industries, Rochester Gas and Electric, Frontier Communications, Xerox and Xerox’s PARC.

In the media


2020 election and the economy

2020 election and the economy

Three experts from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis weigh in on President Trump’s record, the state of the economy and what to expect from a second Trump term or a Biden administration.
Handing out checks gives ‘no overall economic benefit’

Handing out checks gives ‘no overall economic benefit’

The U.S. Senate, with significant prodding from the Trump administration, is working on a plan to directly provide cash assistance to millions of Americans amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts in economics and finance from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School weigh in on how it could help housing and households and maybe pay some bills — but still not answer the problems at hand.
Recessions, like earthquakes, are impossible to predict confidently

Recessions, like earthquakes, are impossible to predict confidently

Some economic observers continue to warn about signs of a potential U.S. recession. Glenn MacDonald, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, says many signs aren’t particularly reliable — but keep an eye on housing starts.
WashU Experts on the Climate Assessment

WashU Experts on the Climate Assessment

Washington University in St. Louis experts from all corners of academia long have been studying climate change in the context of their own fields. Here is a sampling of their perspectives on the National Climate Assessment released Nov. 23.

Free content challenges movie biz

Should movies and television shows be free on the Internet? Which business models will benefit artists, producers and distributors? Questions such as these are being pondered in a popular course at Olin Business School, “The Economics of Entertainment.” Industry executives visit the class to provide corporate insights about the challenges facing film and music makers in the Internet age.

Business innovation is not dependent on creative people

American companies continue to grapple with staying competitive in the global economy. Increasingly, companies and business gurus are citing innovation as the key to sustaining American business’ strength. What’s not clear is what it means for a company to be innovative. Washington University business professors say the best way to infuse innovation into a company is not by hiring creative people, but by managing innovation in a systematic way. More…

It’s the wave of the future: The economy thrives, but the employment rate doesn’t

Recovering from a recession doesn’t include the entire economy.The “jobless recovery” that befuddled observers after the recession in the early 2000s was no fluke. It’s actually a pattern that we can expect to continue thanks to technology’s uneven impact across sectors of the economy. What’s more, this new trend in business cycles is as important in making policy decisions as it is in ensuring the stability of the country’s economy. More…

Fewer capital flow restrictions foster stronger economic growth

MacDonaldShaken by numerous accounting-related scandals in recent years, some investors are clamoring for better legal protection for their investments. But does investor protection through government regulation foster economic growth? To assess the widely-held view that it does, WUSTL economics professor Glenn MacDonald and two colleagues have completed a study concluding that the positive effect of investor protection on economic growth is stronger for countries with fewer restrictions on international capital flows.

Advances in technology impact value of workers’ skills

MacDonaldIt is no secret that advances in technology can greatly impact the value of workers’ skills. Older workers often find the updating of complex technology uneconomic, while younger workers acquire and readily employ skills tailored to the newest technology. The result: the latter group’s productivity rises, diminishing the value of output produced by their older counterparts. A recently published study by Glenn MacDonald, Washington University’s John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy, is the first to model and explain the nature and severity of this effect.