Co-Director, Corporate Toxics Information Project, and Professor of Economics
Michael Ash (Ph.D., Economics, University of California, Berkeley 1999) is professor of economics and public policy and chair of the Economics Department at University of Massachusetts Amherst. His areas of research are labor, health, and environmental economics, examined through quantitative models. Ash's main interests in environmental policy include disclosure and right-to-know laws, greenhouse-gas policy, and environmental justice. At UMass Amherst, Ash co-directs the Corporate Toxics Information Project of the Political Economy Research Institute, which publishes the Toxic 100, an index that identifies top U.S. toxic polluters among large corporations. In 2013, Ph.D. student Thomas Herndon, colleague Robert Pollin, and Ash critiqued the argument of Harvard University economics professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff that high public debt strangles economic growth. Herndon, Ash, and Pollin identified errors in Reinhart-Rogoff, undermined its key arguments, and spurred reassessment of the austerity agenda. Ash also served as staff labor economist for the Council of Economic Advisers (Washington, DC) in 1995-1996 and as Princeton Project 55 Fellow for the Trenton Office of Policy Studies (Trenton, NJ) in 1991-1992.