Controversial Biden Pick For Federal Reserve Board With Thin Record Busted Plagiarizing Work of Others

Lisa D. Cook is one of the world’s most powerful economists.

She taught economics at Harvard University and Michigan State University and served on the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers before being appointed, in 2022, to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, which controls the interest rates and money supply of the United States.

Despite her pedigree, questions have long persisted about her academic record.

Her publication history is remarkably thin for a tenured professor, and her published work largely focuses on race activism rather than on rigorous, quantitative economics.

Her nomination to the Fed required Vice President Kamala Harris to cast a tie-breaking vote; by contrast, her predecessor in the seat, Janet Yellen, now Treasury secretary, was confirmed unanimously.

The quality of her scholarship has also received criticism.

Her most heralded work, 2014’s “Violence and Economic Activity: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870 to 1940,” examined the number of patents by black inventors in the past, concluding that the number plummeted in 1900 because of lynchings and discrimination.

Other researchers soon discovered that the reason for the sudden drop in 1900 was that one of the databases Cook relied on stopped collecting data in that year.

The true number of black patents, one subsequent study found, might be as much as 70 times greater than Cook’s figure, effectively debunking the study’s premise.

Cook also seems to have consistently inflated her own credentials. In 2022, investigative journalist Christopher Brunet pointed out that, despite billing herself as a macroeconomist, Cook had never published a peer-reviewed macroeconomics article and had misrepresented her publication history in her CV, claiming that she had published an article in the journal American Economic Review.

In truth, the article was published in American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, a less prestigious, non-peer-reviewed magazine.

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An exclusive City Journal and Daily Wire investigation reveals additional facts that cast new doubt on Cook’s seriousness as a scholar.

In a series of academic papers spanning more than a decade, Cook appears to have copied language from other scholars without proper quotation and duplicated her own work and that of coauthors in multiple academic journals without proper attribution.

Both practices appear to violate Michigan State University’s own written academic standards.

When reached for comment, a Federal Reserve spokesman pointed to Cook’s prior testimony to Congress, in which she stated: “I certainly am proud of my academic background.”

Does the deliberate recycling of old material, including material from coauthors, constitute academic misconduct?

It is true that journalists, for example, often adapt previous reporting into a compilation or a book.

But the standard in academia is more rigorous. According to the Michigan State University guidebook, republishing identical material across multiple journals, without proper attribution, appears to be a violation of the rule against “self-plagiarism.”

The standard is that scholars cannot use copied language “regardless of whether [they] are or are not the author of the source of the copied text or idea.”

What should the consequences be for this kind of academic misconduct?

At Michigan State, administrators have warned students that “plagiarism is considered fraud and has potentially harsh consequences including loss of job, loss of reputation, and the assignation of reduced or failing grade in a course.”

Certainly, for an esteemed professor and now a governor of the Federal Reserve, that standard should be the bare minimum.

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Cook is no stranger to mobilizing such punishments against others. In 2020, she participated in the attempted defenestration of esteemed University of Chicago economist Harald Uhlig for the crime of publicly opposing the “defund the police” movement.