urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Rudolph G. Penner

Rudolph G. Penner



Institute Fellow


"The nation faces a severe fiscal crisis unless it dramatically changes its budget policies. At some point foreign and domestic investors will refuse to buy our bonds and at then our financial markets will collapse. My work tries to explain and bring more attention to the problem while outlining possible solutions. I have also served on a number of committees consisting of prominent budget experts who share the same goals."

Penner is currently focused on analyses of federal budget policies, especially as they affect the long run. He served as Director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1983 to 1987. Previous posts in government include Assistant Director for Economic Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Senior Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors. Before 1975, Mr. Penner was a professor of economics at the University of Rochester.

He was elected president of the American Tax Policy Institute in 2005 and is past President of the National Economists Club. In 1989, he received the Abramson Prize for the best article published in 1988-89 in Business Economics and also received a prize for the best article published in 2002 in Public Budgeting and Finance. In 2009-2010 co-chaired a Committee on the Fiscal Future for the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration. His most recent book, co-authored with Isabel Sawhill and Timothy Taylor, is Updating America's Social Contract. In 2007, he edited International Perspectives on Social Security Reform.

Ph.D, Economics, Johns Hopkins University

1992-1997: Managing Director, Barents Group, LLC

1987-1992: Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

1983-1987: Director, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, D.C.

Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Public Policy

read more on Penner's Institute fellow page

Areas of expertise

Federal budget, Social Security, tax policy

Selected Publications from Rudolph G. Penner

  • Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future Statement of Rudolph G. Penner to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
  • Searching for a Just Tax System
  • Publications by topic:
    Elderly
    International Development
    International Municipal and Intergovernmental Finance
    Economy
    Federal Budgets & Fiscal Policy
    Retirement/Pensions
    Tax Policy
    State and Local Issues
    Social Security

    See all publications by Rudolph G. Penner

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