In this episode of More MPE, host Professor Ray Horton talks politics American-style with Glenn Hubbard, director of the Jerome A. Chazen Institute for Global Business; Dean Emeritus; and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.

Hubbard is the School’s most knowledgeable observer of American politics. A practitioner too, his career with the School has been interrupted twice by important assignments in the nation’s capital.

The conversation begins with a discussion of the meaning of political economy, which builds on the training of the host in political science, the guest in economics, and reflects both Horton and Hubbard’s experience teaching the popular elective course Modern Political Economy. 

One of the big issues in American politics is the rise of populism manifested in the form of Donald Trump. Hubbard traces this back to the decline in America’s manufacturing base caused by China’s ascendancy as a goods-producer in the late 20th century. Discussion then turns to whether populism will lead to authoritarianism, not just in the United States but Europe as well. 

The conversation shifts to the forthcoming presidential campaign and election. Hubbard is not convinced that Trump and Biden ultimately will be the candidates of their respective parties, though he confesses that he wouldn’t bet on it in the moment. Befitting his status as an old-school Republican, he has little good to say about Trump’s presidential record and nothing good to say about Biden’s. In the end he identifies his preferred candidate.

The last part of the conversation revolves around changes in Columbia Business School during his deanship in the 2004-2019 period, including a clearer educational philosophy emphasizing the importance of translating theory into practice, the funding of the School’s two new buildings in the new Manhattanville campus, and the emergence of the Tamer Center as a critical asset of the School. In 2023, the School’s MBA program was ranked as the world’s best.

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