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What sort of issues are you currently working on?

Well, not much. I am going on 74 years old and travelling a lot, as you have

noticed. I do not have a long, active research agenda at the moment, although

I would like to get back to one if I can. I still intend to do work in macroeconomics.

The main thing that I want to work further on is what macroeconomics

looks like when it takes imperfect competition seriously. Frank Hahn and I

wrote an approximately unreadable book [1995] which was published a

couple of years ago. There we made an attempt to outline how you might

make a macro model that takes imperfect competition seriously, and possibly

also takes increasing returns seriously, because increasing returns to scale are

a standard reason why competition is imperfect. We might have done reasonably

well in that particular chapter, but we did not carry the model nearly far

enough. In particular we did not develop it to the point where you could

sensibly ask what the appropriate values are for the main parameters, if the

model is to be roughly in the ball park for the US, British or German

economy. I would like to go back and develop that model further. I also have

a couple of ideas on growth theory, but that is another story.

Paul Romer was born in 1955 in Denver, Colorado and obtained his BS

(Maths, 1977) and his PhD (1983) from the University of Chicago. His

main past posts have included: Assistant Professor at the University of

Rochester, 1982–8; Professor at the University of Chicago, 1988–90; and

Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, 1990–96. Since 1996 he

has been Professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Professor Romer is best known for his influential contributions to the

field of economic growth, which have led to the renaissance of economic

growth analysis and, in particular, the development of endogenous growth

models which highlight the importance of ideas in driving economic growth.

His most widely read articles include: ‘Increasing Returns and Long-Run

Growth’, Journal of Political Economy [1986]; ‘Growth Based on Increasing

Returns Due to Specialization’, American Economic Review [1987];

‘Endogenous Technological Change’, Journal of Political Economy [1990];

‘Idea Gaps and Object Gaps in Economic Development’, Journal of Monetary

Economics [1993]; ‘The Origins of Endogenous Growth’, Journal of

Economic Perspectives [1994] and ‘Why, Indeed, in America? Theory, History,

and the Origins of Modern Economic Growth’, American Economic

Review [1996].