MTSU to host economist Art Laffer for public lecture on trade

The Political Economy Research Institute at MTSU will host well-known economist Art Laffer for an upcoming public lecture on international trade.

Laffer, a former economic adviser for President Ronald Reagan, will present his lecture beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the State Farm Lecture Hall, Room S102, in the Business and Aerospace Building.

“The PERI is honored to host Dr. Art Laffer for a public lecture and scholar-in-residence program at MTSU,” said Daniel Smith, institute director and an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance. “Dr. Laffer is the rare economist who has achieved success both in academics and in the policy world.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. A searchable campus map is available at Off-campus visitors attending the event can obtain a special one-day permit at for rom MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at 1403 E. Main St.

In addition to publishing “groundbreaking” research in several prestigious academic journals in economics, Laffer “has also had an extremely influential policy career” advising Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and others, and “is perhaps most well-known for is the Laffer Curve,” Smith noted.

“This foundational concept, which has been incorporated into almost any economics textbook addressing tax policy, postulates a theoretical relationship between tax rates and tax revenues,” Smith said. “ The Laffer Curve demonstrates that extremely high marginal tax rates can actually reduce tax revenues collected by a government due to the fact that high tax rates discourage investment and work in the country and encourage tax avoidance.

“Thus, counterintuitively, lowering taxes can, in some circumstances, actually raise tax revenue.”

Bloomberg Businessweek selected the Laffer Curve as one of the “85 Most Disruptive Ideas In Our History” for its 85th anniversary issue in 2014.

“Laffer is well known for delivering highly entertaining, but also intellectually challenging, public lectures, so the PERI is thrilled to bring him to MTSU to interact with our student body, and through this lecture open to the public, the broader community,” Smith added.

Laffer received a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1963. He received a MBA and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1965 and 1972, respectively. He has authored a number of books and is currently founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an institutional economic research and consulting firm, as well as Laffer Investments, an institutional investment management firm.

For more information on the lecture, contact Gabriel Fancher, program director for Political Economy Research Institute, 615-898-5916 or at

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