Saint Peter’s Professor Selected as Top Wonk

Spring has been a busy season for the faculty of Saint Peter’s College – not only in terms of academic instruction, but through the attainment of professional accolades as well. Most recently, Professor of Economics Nina Shapiro, Ph.D., was chosen as a Top Wonk on the economy.

“I am highly honored to be among this select group of distinguished, publicly minded economists,” said Dr. Shapiro.

Top Wonks is a website that is a single-source directory used by journalists, researchers, public officials and conference planners for locating knowledgeable authorities actively involved in a broad range of public policy issues. This index includes professionals who are chosen due to their intellectual innovation, analytical rigor, and unique ability to contribute to the public debate. In addition to economic theory, Top Wonks provides experts on such issues as globalization, labor force and social investment.

Dr. Shapiro was invited to join the site and became a Top Wonk due to her concern over the present state of the economy, which she describes as reminiscent of the early years of the Great Depression. During that crisis, effective action was blocked by preoccupation with public debt. According to Dr. Shapiro, all economists could prescribe were wage and spending cuts that made employment problems worse, and this same temporary Band-Aid is currently being used for the country’s financial turmoil.

She said, “The policy prescriptions of my fellow Top Wonks are quite different; they are innovative thinkers, renowned in the profession, but without the ideological blinders of our discipline. Their only concern is the truth of the matter, and how to effectively remedy the situation. It is because I share their concerns that I wanted to join their numbers. I hope to help them in their endeavors, continuing my research on corporate governance and employment problems and contributing to the discourse on them.”    

According to Daniel Kelske, managing editor of Top Wonks, Dr. Shapiro was evaluated and selected by a small group of leading fiscal thinkers and policy makers as one of the best economic thinkers in the country. To locate candidates, the committee diligently researched scholarly journals, policy organizations, academic departments and the media to build an extensive pool of qualified economic experts.

“As one of the most accomplished and innovative macro and microeconomic scholars in the country, Nina Shapiro thoroughly impressed the selection committee with her acute understanding of Keynesian economic theory and corporate development,” he said.

Kelske added, “Her unique position on the editorial board of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and her teaching experience in historical economic thought were also significant factors in Nina’s selection.”

Dr. Shapiro received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. She’s written a number of analytical papers regarding issues within the economy, and has co-edited a volume on the economics of Josef Steindl, titled Rethinking Capitalist Development. Dr. Shapiro is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics.

She joins Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the Council on Economic Advisers; James Galbraith, chair in government and business relations at the University of Texas; Brooksley Born, chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Kemal Dervis, former minister of economic affairs for the Republic of Turkey; Nouriel Roubini, former senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; among other economic thinkers who have acquired the Top Wonk title.
As a Top Wonk, Dr. Shapiro will specialize in economic issues such as business, capitalism, corporate incentives, economic theory, entrepreneurialism and small business.  To learn more about Top Wonks or to access Dr. Shapiro’s profile and essays on the site, visit