Fellows & Editors


Mark Thoma

Kenya 2012
Economist's View
Find me on:

Mark Thoma is a professor at the University of Oregon where he specializes in macroeconomics and time-series econometrics. He teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and his research focuses on how monetary policy affects the macroeconomy, and how monetary policy can be used to offset business cycle fluctuations in output and employment. He has also worked in other areas such as building theoretical political business cycles and the construction of empirical models of transportation dynamics. Professor Thoma was Head of the Economics Department for five years, and is currently serving as Associate Department Head.  He received his undergraduate degree from California State University at Chico, and he received a Ph.D. in economics from Washington State University.  Professor Thoma is also a fellow at The Century Foundation, an analyst and commentator for CBS MoneyWatch, has a bi-weekly column at the Fiscal Times, he contributes to many online publications such as The Economist Guest Network and the NY Times Room for Debate, and he blogs daily at Economist’s View, a blog that Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has called “essential reading.”


  • Sarah Obama: Barack Was Born in America

    When I was in Kenya earlier this summer with the International Reporting Project, we met with Sarah Obama at her home near Kisumu for a 45-minute interview. She is President Obama's...

  • Staying Connected on the Road

    Staying connected to the internet while traveling, particularly in less developed countries, can be a challenge. Hotel WiFi may work sporadically, or not at all; using a smartphone while visiting another country...

  • Mark Thoma Reports From Kenya

    Where in the world were you? Nairobi, Kisumu, and Ol Pejeta, Kenya, from June 17-26. {image-1} What work were you doing there? I was with the International Reporting Project. It’s...

  • The Water Project at Ol Pejeta Conservatory

    During our visit to Ol Pejeta with the International Reporting Project, we visited a water collection cooperative. The co-op has 250 members, and they pool resources to purchase water collection kits for each...

  • Kenya’s Mobile Money Transfer System

    Internet connectivity here in Kenya has been far better than I expected. The hotels have the usual set of problems--I could hardly connect at either one we've stayed at so far...

  • Kenya’s Ownership Society

    The community service workers we have met here in Kenya are very, very worried about social programs creating dependency on the government. Thus, whenever they talk about their social programs, they emphasize...

  • Evaluating the Millennium Villages

    I met with Gabriel Demombynes, a World Bank economist stationed here in Nairobi, this evening. Recently, he pointed out that there was a fundamental flaw in the way in which progress in...

  • Mama Sarah Obama

    We are visiting with Barack Obama's step-grandmather, Mama Sarah Obama, to talk about her work helping orphans and the elderly. If the iPhone video turned out, I may post a few...

  • The Pumwani Maternity Ward

    {image-1} Today we visited a maternity ward in a poor area of Nairobi to get a sense of the scale of the population explosion in Kenya, and the level of care for...

  • Kenya’s Kibera Slum

    {image-1} The International Reporting Project took us to the Kibera slum today. Everyone here says it's the largest slum in the world (though Wikipedia says it's third), and we heard...

Your donation helps continue the IRP's work to inform the public about international issues.

Make A Gift

Are you a Journalist?

Apply for a fellowship trip or a gatekeeper trip