Lauren Paer is an economist and entrepreneur whose interests include technological unemployment, education reform, contemporary central bank policy, financial regulation, institutional economics, complexity economics, environmental/social accounting and the societal impact of neoclassical economics’ dominance in academic, policy and business circles. She is the founder of College Consciously, a company which seeks to fill a critical gap in the college curriculum by providing students with guidance and analytical frameworks to find careers suited to their individual strengths and interests. She sees the global shift from an industrial to a digital economy driving a mandate to shift from a standardized to a personalized model of education and career development.
Lauren served as the Director of Research of the World Summit on Technological Unemployment (WSTU) and led the education panel, “Educating for the Transition”. WSTU was the first global meeting of policymakers, economists and industry leaders to examine technological unemployment, where technology displaces jobs. The summit featured leaders in the field including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Lauren was published in Harvard’s Kennedy School Review, where she argued that the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy (QE) exacerbated inequality while providing meager support to the job market. She and Bill Lazonick have noted parallels between stock buybacks and QE, with both funneling money into financial assets versus investments in the real economy.
Just months before Lehman collapsed, Lauren joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research Department, where she became intensely interested in the causes and consequences of the crisis. She went on to work at a multi-strategy New York hedge fund, where she had a market participant’s perspective on how the financial system operates. She’s also worked at Goldman Sachs. Lauren studied Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated summa cum laude and was admitted into Phi Beta Kappa. She is part of the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Young Scholar Initiative and is a member of Occupy Wall Street’s Alternative Banking group.