William J. Baumol was born in New York City, and received his BSS at the College of the City of New York and his Ph.D. at the University of London. He is professor of economics at New York University, and senior research economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University. He is a frequent consultant to the management of major firms in a wide variety of industries in the United States and other countries, as well as to a number of governmental agencies. In several fields, including the telecommunications and electric utility industries, current regulatory policy is based on his explicit recommendations. Among his many contributions to economics are research on the theory of the firm, the contestability of markets, the economics of the arts and other services -- the "cost disease of the services" is often referred to as "Baumol's disease" --and economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to economics, he taught a course in wood sculpture at Princeton for about 20 years. He has been president of the American Economic Association, and three other professional societies. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, created by the U.S. Congress, and of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin. He also is on the board of trustees of the National Council on Economic Education, and of the Theater Development Fund. He is the recipient of 10 honorary degrees. Baumol is the author of more than 35 books, and hundreds of journal and newspaper articles. His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Alan S. Blinder was born in New York City and attended Princeton University, where one of his teachers was WilliamJ. Baumol. After earning a master's degree at the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. at MIT, Blinder returned to Princeton, where he has taught since 1971. He is the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and co-director of Princeton's Center for Economic Policy Studies, which he founded. In January 1993, Blinder went to Washington as part of President Clinton's first Council of Economic Advisers. From June 1994 through January 1996, he served as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He thus played a role in formulating both the fiscal and monetary policies of the 1990s, topics discussed extensively in this book. For more than 10 years, Blinder wrote newspaper and magazine columns on economic policy, and his op-ed pieces still appear regularly in various newspapers. Blinder has been vice president of the American Economic Association and is a member of both the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has two grown sons, and lives in Princeton with his wife, where he plays tennis as often as he can.