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It is rare that an economist has the opportunity to influence large-scale government spending and then study the outcome, but that is exactly what happened to Jonathan A. Parker, a professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management. Policymakers, including Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson, all but cited Parker's 2005 work in discussing the merits of the economic stimulus package of 2008, which in turn gave Parker a new research opportunity. That the 2008 stimulus was not enough to avoid a deep recession is self-evident, but that does not mean that it did not meet its stated goal of boosting consumer spending.
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