Lester Carl Thurow (born 1938 in Livingston, Montana)
Is an American political economist, former dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of books on economic topics.
Thurow received his B.A. in political economy from Williams College in 1960, where he was in Theta Delta Chi and Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, and a Tyng Scholar. After he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he went to Balliol College, Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1962 with first class honors. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1964.
Thurow is on the board of directors of Analog Devices, Grupo Casa Autrey, E-Trade, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.. Thurow was also one of the original founders of the Economic Policy Institute in 1986. Thurow is currently an economics columnist for, among others, the Boston Globe and USA Today. He was previously an economics columnist for and on the editorial board of the New York Times, and was a contributing editor to Newsweek.
Thurow is a longtime advocate of a political and economic system of the Japanese and European type, in which governmental involvement in the direction of the economy is far more extensive than is presently the case in the United States – a model that has come to be known as "Third Way" philosophy. Thurow supports a more universal patent system as a requirement for a knowledge-based economy, where governments would assess the value of infringements of intellectual property against their companies by competitors in foreign jurisdictions and allow these companies to match that.
His 1993 book, Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan, Europe and America compares economic growth and living standards in Japan, Europe, and the U.S.