What should the 2023 Washington Consensus be?


September 18, 2023, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
PIIE Webcast, Washington, DC

Lawrence H. Summers (Harvard University)

Event Summary

Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and president emeritus at Harvard University, delivers the inaugural lecture of the new annual Richard N. Cooper Lecture.

Much discussion has focused on the need for a new Washington Consensus that would move away from the commitment to internationalism, open markets, economic efficiencies, and consumerism that have been the hallmarks of American economic policy since the end of the Cold War. Summers argues that while changing the approaches that dominated in the 1990s is important and necessary, the recent US emphasis on manufacturing is not a promising route to greater prosperity. There is a strong case for measures like the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS act, but it rests on their ability to address environmental and security issues rather than on their contribution to raising middle class living standards.

The lecture begins with special remarks by PIIE nonresident senior fellow and director emeritus, C. Fred Bergsten.

A Q&A with PIIE president Adam S. Posen follows.


Lawrence H. Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus,
Harvard University



About This Series

Richard N. Cooper

The Richard N. Cooper Lecture was established at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) by Jin C. Cooper in 2023 in honor of her late husband, a renowned economist, pathbreaking researcher, distinguished public servant, and longtime board member, adviser, and friend of the Institute and the many colleagues here who worked with him. Dick Cooper, as he was widely known, left a lasting legacy in the field of economics while enriching the lives of his many students, colleagues, and friends. The Institute is honored to celebrate his work with this annual lecture series.

Read Cooper's PIIE Policy Briefs: Living with Global Imbalances: A Contrarian View (November 2005), The IMF Quota Formula: Linchpin of Fund Reform (February 2007), and The Future of the Dollar (September 2009)