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John Irons '92 Brings Analysis of Economy to Campus

John Irons '92 Brings
Analysis of Economy to Campus

by Linda Hou '13

John Irons '92
John Irons '92

As the U.S. slowly recovers from the recent recession, John Irons '92 is thinking of ways to speed up the process. Currently the Research and Policy Director of the Economics Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, D.C., Irons recently returned to Swarthmore to share his thoughts on the recession.

Irons emphasized the lasting results of the recession, pointing out that graduates during the recession have lower incomes years afterwards and that  children born in poverty have a significantly reduced change of graduating from college. He also evaluated the effectiveness of government policies in response to the recession, saying that the stimulus package was not big enough to significantly revive the economy.

Irons currently manages a group of economics and policy researchers at EPI with a focus on representing low- and middle-income workers in economic policies. In addition, Irons also runs ArgMax, an economics blog he founded that was named a Top Five Economy Weblog by Forbes in 2003 and 2005. He attributes much of his success to the solid foundation he gained at Swarthmore.

"I found that the core economic knowledge gained at Swarthmore was a fantastic foundation to build upon," Irons told the Phoenix. "From an academic perspective, the seminars were perhaps my favorite part of the Swarthmore experience. I found that they gave me the experience of learning a field, or sub-field, rather than learning a textbook or one narrow syllabus."