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Gerald Friedman - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Gerald Friedman Gerald Friedman

Professor of Economics | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Gerald Friedman's research focuses on topics in the labor history of the United States and Europe and the economics of health care.

Expertise (6)

Health Care Economics

Economic History

Labor History


Labor Economics

Health Economics


Gerald Friedman's research focuses on topics in the labor history of the United States and Europe, the evolution of economic thought, labor economics, economic theory, the history of slavery in the Americas, and on current economic issues. Friedman has been a correspondent on economics to television and other media outlets, a consultant to labor unions, and has drafted funding plans for campaigns for single-payer health insurance in Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and the state of Washington, and to Physicians for a National Health Plan.

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What Has Happened to Wages? Sept. 2018


Education (2)

Harvard University: Ph.D., Economics

Columbia University: B.A., Economics and History

Media Coverage (5)

How the end of slavery led to two different minimum wages

Marketplace  radio


Gerald Friedman comments in a story about a proposal to eliminate the minimum wage for tipped workers, currently $2.13 an hour, and pay these workers at least the federal minimum wage. Friedman says tipping originated with wealthy Americans who returned to the U.S. from travels to Europe in the mid-1800s when tipping was standard there. Eventually, strong labor unions in Europe eliminated tipping while the end of slavery cemented the practice in the U.S.


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The local economy is on the brink — but of what?

The Boston Globe  print


Gerald C. Friedman comments about how changes to the economy brought on the coronavirus are affecting Boston. “It’s a precarious situation,” Friedman says. “We really don’t know where this is going.”

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Sanders releases plan to pay for $52 trillion worth of new government programs

Sinclair Broadasting  tv


Gerald Friedman comments on Bernie Sanders’ plan for about $52 trillion in new government spending over 10 years.

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Can Elizabeth Warren afford to be all in on ‘Medicare for all’?

Los Angeles Times  print


Sen. Elizabeth Warren has “painted herself into a corner, She wants Medicare for all, but she didn’t think through the politics,” says Gerald Friedman. He says she’s in a bind with her reluctance to say if new taxes will be required to pay for her plan.

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Medicare For All: A Conversation with Professor Gerald Friedman

The Healthcare Policy Podcast  online


According to a recent Kaiser/Washington Post survey 59 percent of Americans support Medicare for All (M4A). Per a March New England Journal of Medicine poll 61 percent of physicians said single payer would make it easier for them to deliver cost-effective, quality health care.

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Publications (5)

Medicare expansion is a discount compared to ObamaCare

The Hill

Gerald Friedman and Travis Campbell


Economics Professor Gerald Friedman writes write that while President Biden’s healthcare proposal includes both building on the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicare, only Medicare expansion has the proven ability to control costs. (

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The Case for Medicare for All (BOOK)


Gerald Friedman


For decades, Americans have wrestled with how to fix their broken healthcare system. In this razor-sharp contribution to the healthcare debate, leading economist and former adviser to Bernie Sanders Gerald Friedman recommends that we build on what works: a Medicare system that already efficiently provides healthcare for millions of Americans.

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How the US could afford ‘Medicare for all’

The Conversation

Gerald Friedman


Health care is Americans’ number-one priority, based on recent polls, so it’s no wonder it’s been a hot topic in the Democratic primary.

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Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care

USA Today

Gerald Friedman


I've spent decades studying US health care. Time to get real: Medicare for All is the only reasonable path to controlling costs and covering everyone.

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Center for American Progress' health care plan does have real merit

The Hill

Gerald Friedman


Gerald C. Friedman writes an op-ed arguing that the new Medicare Extra for All plan proposed by the Center for American Progress is a blueprint for achieving universal health care for all Americans.

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