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St. Louis Fed’s Kevin L. Kliesen wins 2018 Daniel Meckstroth Award for Excellence in Manufacturing Research


ST. LOUIS ― Business Economist and Research Officer Kevin L. Kliesen at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is the winner of the 2018 Daniel Meckstroth Award based on his paper, “Is American Manufacturing in Decline?” The presentation of the award and a lecture on the winning paper was shared today at the 2018 NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington, DC. The paper will be published in a future issue of Business Economics.

The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) partnered with the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) to establish an award in honor of Dr. Meckstroth’s contribution to economics and the manufacturing sector. The award was announced in the fall of 2017, and submissions went through a three-step selection process by a selection committee appointed by the editor of Business Economics. Dr. Meckstroth who passed in 2016 was known as one of America’s premier manufacturing researchers and a chief economic spokesperson for the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Below is a shared abstract of the paper from Kliesen:

There is a widespread popular view that American manufacturing is in decline. This declinist view reflects many factors. First, real GDP growth during the current business expansion has been the weakest in the post-WWII period. Second, over the decade from 2000 to 2010, manufacturing employment has declined by about 6 million. Third, persistent manufacturing trade deficits have led many observers to conclude U.S. competitiveness has eroded. This paper discusses these arguments and suggests a competing view that, instead, U.S. manufacturing is a leading growth sector and has remained strongly competitive internationally. On balance, we show that traditional domestic economic forces adequately explain recent trends in U.S. manufacturing output and employment growth. Finally, we argue that the recent reduction in the corporate income tax rate may further boost the fortunes of the U.S. manufacturing sector, although this favorable development could be offset by a more restrictive international trade regime.

In his position as a business economist, Kliesen analyzes the current U.S. macroeconomic and financial market developments and trends for the Bank President and staff economists prior to each Federal Open Market Committee meeting. He reports on and analyzes economic conditions in the seven states of the Eighth Federal Reserve District. He also speaks to the general public and professional groups about U.S. and Eighth District economic developments. Kliesen has written and published extensively and was instrumental in the development of the St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index and the St. Louis Fed’s Price Pressures Measure. He is also the lead in the St. Louis Fed's publication of the Agricultural Finance Monitor.

Kliesen is a member of the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and the Association of Christian Economists. In September 2011, he was recognized as a NABE Fellow, one of the organization’s highest honors. In October 2015, he was designated as a Certified Business Economist by the NABE.