– [Christina Romer] She tries
to dot every i and cross every t because she realizes
how big the stakes are. – [Narrator] Economists. Not a group with a lot of Marys,
Natashas, or Juanitas, and that’s caused
a lot of controversy. However, what’s often overlooked
are the actual female economists who are pushing economics forward by addressing real-world issues. Welcome to “Women in Economics.” Meet Janet Yellen, the first woman to be Chair
of the Federal Reserve and definitely the first Chair
to have devoted fangirls. But her gender
isn’t the only thing that sets her apart. According to her predecessor, – [Ben Bernanke] She had
practically more experience as a Federal Reserve policymaker than almost any other Chairman. – [Narrator] But you don’t just
become the Fed Chair overnight. So how did she get here? As with most stories, we have to go back
to the beginning. In 1946, Yellen was born into a still recovering
Brooklyn economy previously rattled
by the Great Depression. Her father was a doctor, and she grew up hearing
how many of his patients lost jobs in the tragic economic downturn. – [Janet Yellen]
I came to understand that when someone loses a job it gives rise
to financial problems and really affects family life. – [Narrator] After graduating
from high school, she found herself
at Brown University. When deciding what to major in,
she discovered economics and how it could be used
to help others. – I learned about
Keynesian economics in college, and that was
an aha experience to me. – [Narrator] Keynesian economics
asserts that market failures and other forces cause an economy
to deviate from its potential and that government
can take actions to stabilize the economy,
to reduce its busts and booms. – I understood there was
a framework that was important for thinking about
what caused unemployment and what could be done. – [Narrator] After Brown, in 1971,
Yellen completed her PhD at Yale University, with Nobel Laureate James Tobin
as her advisor. She was inspired by Tobin’s use
of economic data to explain income inequality. When Yellen enrolled at Yale, she was only one of two women in a class
of two dozen economists. She then found the number
of women in economics careers wasn’t any larger, beginning
with her time at Harvard. – [Janet Yellen] I was
an assistant professor at Harvard. I was the only woman
on the faculty at the time. I realized that an absence
of role models made a difference to my life. – [Narrator] Despite this challenge, Janet Yellen wrote a paper
proposing the now classic idea that selling two products together, instead of separately,
known as “commodity bundling,” is a type of price discrimination. Think season tickets
versus individual tickets to a sporting event. After five years, she left Harvard for the first of many positions
at the Federal Reserve. – [Janet Yellen]
I was always interested in serving in a policy role. I think of economics
as a practical discipline that has the potential
to make policy better. – [Narrator] Here, she met
another economist, future Nobel Laureate
George Akerlof. They married within months
of meeting each other. When you know, you know. Yellen and Akerlof’s collaboration was not restricted
to their family life. They also had a very prolific
research partnership. – When they were working
on a topic, they wanted to talk about it
all the time. They were thinking about it
all the time. The two of them
would get in a room and they could just talk
for hours or days because they were so excited and so engrossed
in the research project. – [Narrator]
After the Federal Reserve, they moved to
the London School of Economics, and eventually settled
as faculty at UC Berkeley, which was their home
for many years. Here, she became
a role model and mentor to younger female economists. – I’ve learned so much. I think one of the things that was the most important
for my life was to realize that you could be
a very successful economist, you could do public policy, and you could still be
a really great mom. – [Narrator] This was a period in which Yellen
and her collaborators made groundbreaking contributions
to macroeconomics. Much of her work
extended and promoted the new Keynesian
economic school of thought, and her impact on economics, including research
on labor economics, industrial organization,
trade, monetary policy, and business cycles,
has been remarkable. Even if she had never entered
a Federal Reserve bank, her influence on economics
would still be far-reaching. Yellen bounced back to policy. She continued to climb the ladder
in the Federal Reserve System and also served
as President Bill Clinton’s Chair of his council
of economic advisors. When the Great Recession hit, in 2007, she was President of the San Francisco
Federal Reserve Bank. – Janet was one
of the early voices realizing how serious
the problem was and how important it was to have a very strong
policy response. – [Ben Bernanke] She made a point
of talking to bankers, to businesspeople,
to community leaders, to try to get a sense of what was happening
in the economy. And I remember, when the crisis hit,
she was letting us know from her communication
in the San Francisco area that this was a very,
very serious matter — it needed a strong response. – [Janet Yellen]
The Fed recognized if the financial system collapsed, the ultimate victims would be
households and businesses throughout the economy. – [Narrator] She became Vice-Chair
of the Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke
to help ease the recession. – Well, it was a terrifying time. We saw how devastating
the consequences were for all Americans. We were motivated
to put aside our personal lives throughout the crisis,
to be available 24/7, to do absolutely everything
that we could to promote recovery. – [Narrator] And this brings us
back to the Fed Chair. On February 3rd, 2014,
Yellen was sworn in as the first female Chief
of the Federal Reserve in its more
than 100-year history. She took over
during uncertain times. The Fed had implemented
some unusual tools during the Great Recession. Now that the worst had passed, she had to begin
unwinding these policies. – Janet provided
really important leadership at a critical time. It was a tricky transition. It needed careful,
thoughtful leadership, and Janet provided that. – Sometimes, when people
look at her tenure as Fed Chair, you say not much happened. Well, you don’t realize
what a giant accomplishment that was. There was such a chance
for many bad things to happen, and the fact that they didn’t
is precisely because we had that steady hand who was making sure
the press, the markets, everybody knew
what was happening. – [Narrator] Yellen left her role
of Fed Chair in 2017, after four years of service. Her contributions to policy
are far from finished. She continues to work at the intersection
of academia and policy as a distinguished fellow
at the Brookings Institution. – I think it’s important
to find something you love, that makes you want
to get up in the morning, go to work. I’ve been fortunate
to have experienced that throughout my career, both in research
and teaching, and policy, where I’ve had the privilege
of working with wonderful people who are committed
to public service, have high integrity when they’re trying to craft the best possible policies
that they can. – [Narrator] Want to better understand
Yellen and macroeconomics? Click here for related materials
and practice questions. Or, check out other videos on how economists are tackling
real-world problems such as the environment,
poverty, and unemployment. ♪ [music] ♪

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6 thoughts on “Janet Yellen | Women in Economics”

  1. Though she lacked female role models, Janet Yellen remained steadfast in her interest in applying economics to help others—and in the process, became a role model herself for young women all over the world. Chairing the Fed ain’t a bad accomplishment, either.
    Learn more about Yellen here: http://bit.ly/2VLZ1rN
    More Women In Econ: http://bit.ly/2TE0CgG

  2. Are we doing this again with the SJW Economic BS? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  3. This lady is a monetary crank and avid Keynesian. You'd think they'd atleast use GOOD economists for inspiration. For those who haven't read him, one of Keynes most prominent ideas was that workers will strike and leave the work force if they see their wage fall. BUT if their wage stays the same and all the prices in the economy rise they'll be too stupid to notice that technically their wage fell. So under constant and unending inflation a group of central economists can perpetually dupe the workers into not striking or leaving their job to go somewhere else when their wage falls. Not only is it elitist and crude, expansionism has failed to work every time and place it has been implemented. Printing money only increases the quantity of money people have to bargain over the same amount of goods. It creates a WORSENING of the shortages in this regard. Its about as economically sound as that bridge to nowhere in Alaska.

  4. It's interesting to see that this video has the lowest rating among the "Women in Economics" series. I wonder if people are responding negatively because they feel like Yellen doesn't need the "Woman" qualifier since she is already well known. The other 2 women featured in this series are relatively unknown, and those videos are rated higher. I guess I'm just trying to understand what drives anti-SJW sentiment in Youtube ratings.

  5. It would be super useful a video explaining what are the effects of sudden stops and how the phenomenon works

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