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Jerry Nickelsburg

Adjunct Professor, UCLA Anderson Forecast
“We develop a high-quality toolkit for analyzing business and looking at the world.”
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Senior economist and Adjunct Professor Jerry Nickelsburg joined the venerable UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2006. He is responsible for analyzing and forecasting the California economy, not only for use by others for budgetary purposes, but also to bring independent policy issues to the fore.

Nickelsburg has conducted special studies into the future of manufacturing in Los Angeles, the distribution of income, the economic impact of the writers’ strike, the aerospace industry, the undocumented construction and manufacturing labor force, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the garment industry, focusing on the development of new data and the application of economic theory and statistical methods to sector-specific issues. In his role as senior economist, he is a regular presenter at economic conferences and is regularly cited in international media such as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Reuters.

In addition to his responsibilities with the Forecast, Nickelsburg teaches a variety of core economic courses as well as international business classes focused on Asia. He frequently travels internationally with Anderson students participating in the school’s various global immersion programs. “Asia is the most dynamic region in the world,” says Nickelsburg. “What’s exciting is that it changes every year and provides content to apply our intuition and feeling to ascertain risks and opportunities.”

Nickelsburg’s current areas of independent research include transportation and environmental economics and the relationships between highly skilled persons and their demand for social insurance. For the former, his work seeks to uncover how transportation infrastructure and prices affect the geographical and environmental landscape of the economy. As to the latter, Nickelsburg says, “We’ve been looking at declining industries like coal and whether economics or philosophical factors dominate one’s preference for government programs.”

He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1980, specializing in monetary economics and econometrics, and was a professor of economics at the University of Southern California. He has held executive positions with McDonnell Douglas, Flight Safety International and Flight Safety Boeing during a 15-year span in the aviation business. He also held a position with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors developing forecasting tools and has advised banks, investors and financial institutions.

From 2000 to 2006, Nickelsburg was the managing principal of Deep Blue Economics, a consulting firm he founded. He has been the recipient of the Korda Fellowship, was a USC Outstanding Teacher and India Chamber of Commerce Jubilee Lecturer, and is a Fulbright Scholar. He has published over 100 articles on monetary economics, economic forecasts and analysis, labor economics, and industrial organization and he is the author of two books on monetary economics and exchange rates.

Nickelsburg also writes a monthly column for Zocalo: The Public Square, an online publication, and can be followed on Twitter @jnickelsburg.



Ph.D. Economics, 1980, University of Minnesota

M.A. Economics, 1974, University of Colorado

B.A., 1971, George Washington University

Virginia Military Institute, 1966–1969



“High-Speed Rail, Urbanization and Housing Affordability Revisited: Evidence from the Shinkansen System,” Journal of Transportation Economics and Policy, 2020 (with S. Ahluwalia and Y. Yang).

“Labor Market Dynamics and Local Labor Markets: Lessons from U.S. Military Base Closures,” Journal of Defence and Peace Economics, 2019

“Public Transit Bus Procurement: The Role of Energy Prices, Regulation and Federal Subsidies,” Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 87:57-71, 2015 (with S. Li and M. E. Kahn).

“Do People with Specific Skills Want More Redistribution? Not in the United States,” Economics and Politics, Vol. 26:3:457-582, 2014 (with J. Timmons).

“On the (Ir)relevance of Skill Specificity for Social Insurance,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 7:1:35-67, 2012 (with J. Timmons).

“Organizational and Individual Learning and Forgetting,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 65 (1):68-81, 2012 (with M. Kleiner and A. Pilarski).


Journal Articles

Dynamic Exchange Rate Equilibria With Uncertain Government Policy, Review of Economic Studies, LI:509-515, 1984.

Monetary Policy and Commodity Money Equilibria, Journal of Monetary Economics, 15:81-94, 1985.

Sucretización y la Estabilización de Los Precios en El Ecuador, Cuestiones Económicas, 11:37-49, 1985.

Small Sample Properties of Dimensionality Statistics For Fitting VAR’s to Aggregate Economic Data, Journal of Econometrics, 28:183-192, 1985.

Rediscounting Private Dollar Debt and Capital Flight in Ecuador, Journal of International Money and Finance, 5:497-503, 1986.

Country Risk and Political Instability, Journal of Development Economics, 25:385-392, 1987. (with J. Citron)

The Effect of Fiscal Policy on the Short Run Relation Between Interest Rates and Inflation, Economic Inquiry, 25:27-42, 1987. (with V. Canto and P. Rizos)

Inflation, Expectations, and Qualitative government Policy. World Development, 15:1077-1085, 1987.

Dynamic Incentive Structures and Industrial Policy, Journal of International Economic Integration, 2:112-128, 1987.

Multivariate Measures of Well Being and An Analysis of Inequality in The Michigan Data, Journal of Economic and Business Statistics, 1988. (with E. Massoumi)

Money Prices and Dollarization: Evidence From Ecuador and Peru, Revista de Análisis Económico, 1989. (with P. McNelis)

The Macrodynamic Effects of Alternative Access Strategies For Debtor Countries, Revista de Análisis Económico, 1989. (with P. McNelis)

Debt Equity Swaps and Economic Welfare, A Simulation Analysis, Revista do Economique Brasilero, 1990. (with P. McNelis)

Monitoring, Grievances, and Plant Performance, Industrial Relations, 34-2:169-189, 1995. (with A. Pilarski and M. Kleiner)

Organizational and Individual Learning and Forgetting, 2007. (with M.Kleiner and A. Pilarski) working paper, revised 2009

The Demand For Unemployment Insurance By Specific Skilled Labor, 2009 (with J. Timmons) working paper, revised 2010


Working Papers

“Who Paid Los Angeles’ Minimum Wage?” 2020 (with E. Leamer and C. Esposito).

“An Economic Analysis of U.S Airline Fuel Economy Dynamics from 1991 to 2015,” 2016 (with Matthew E. Kahn).