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Isabella Weber - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Isabella Weber Isabella Weber

Assistant Professor of Economics and Research Leader in China Studies at the Political Economy Research Institute | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Economist Isabella Weber has gained international attention for her proposal to use price controls as a way to combat inflation.

Expertise (4)

History of Economic Thought

Global Trade

Price Caps

Political Economy


A highly-sought expert, Isabella, Weber burst onto the international scene in late 2021 when she authored an op-ed for The Guardian explaining how price caps could help alleviate the economic crisis Germany faced from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The suggestion sharply divided economic experts and led to a campaign of online harassment against the economist, including from a Nobel laureate. The online harassment slowed after other renowned economists stepped into the conversation to defend Weber. Ultimately, in an effort to slow inflation, German authorities did decide to implement energy price cap measures suggested by Weber.

Among her other accolades, she was named one of Germany’s “100 Women of the Year” for 2022 by FOCUS, one of the country’s largest news magazines.

Social Media






Isabella Weber: How China Escaped Shock Therapy CRASSH | The Politics of Economics | Isabella Weber Modern China Lecture Series Featuring Isabella Weber Understanding China's Market Reform Strategy with Isabella Weber


Education (4)

The New School for Social Research: Ph.D., Economcs

University of Cambridge: Ph.D., Development Studies

The New School for Social Research: M.A., Economics

Freie Universität Berlin: B.A., Political Science (with Economics minor)

Media Coverage (6)

The Fed isn’t the only inflation fighter

Axios  online


"It's not enough to simply raise interest rates and push down the whole economy, you have to start thinking about measures that target the sectors that are important for inflation," says Isabella Weber, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who worked with the German government on its energy price policy.

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Europe’s $1 Trillion Energy Bill Only Marks Start of the Crisis

BNN Bloomberg  online


“Given the potentially enormous political and social repercussions of the energy price explosion and the shock to the backbone of the German economy, it is important for the German government to step in,” said Isabella Weber, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who’s known as the inventor of Germany’s gas price break.


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The 100 Women of the Year

FOCUS Magazine  online


"They have inspired, encouraged and pushed boundaries. Often against all odds. Get to know women who also raise their voices for others. The world of economics is sometimes seen as stubborn and conservative. Above all, male. Isabella Weber has always been an exception: the professor at the University of Massachusetts is young and unconventional. Some mocked the German for her ideas. Until the hour of the gas price cap, which Weber helped to invent, came this year. From the ridiculed to the shooting star – it can go that fast.

FOCUS Magazine 100 women of the year

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Isabella Weber On Germany's Plan to Cap the Price of Gas

Bloomberg Odd Lots Podcast  online


"We speak with Isabella Weber, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who has been serving on an independent government commission in Germany to formulate a plan to ease the burden. We discuss her work and how price controls in energy play out in practice."

odd lots podcast

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Inflation has helped decide elections worldwide. Here's what that means for the midterms.

ABC News  tv


“When essential prices explode in ways that people can’t pay them anymore, it’s like some basic social contract breaks,” Isabella Weber, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told ABC News. “People go to work and earn money and they can buy stuff that covers their basic needs on the market,” she added. “If they feel their wage isn’t sufficient to cover these basic needs, then this basic contract starts to crumble for too many people, which brings social and political consequences.”

abc news

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The woman who invented the price cap

Spiegel  online


Spiegel profiles UMass Amherst professor Isabella Weber: "The Woman Who Invented the Price Cap" Should the state regulate energy prices during the crisis? "Simply stupid," tweeted Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman about this suggestion by young economist Isabella Weber. Today, the federal government is also following her advice.

isabella weber profile

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Publications (3)

The way to fight inflation without rising interest rates and a recession

The Washington Post

Meg Jacobs and Isabella M. Weber


"Inflation and the looming danger of a recession are the most urgent economic and political issues of our day, driven by price explosions in essential goods like energy and food. But the Federal Reserve, despite its responsibility for price stability, has no tools to contain these skyrocketing prices. Instead the Fed has already repeatedly hiked interest rates. Yet even as inflation appears like it might be starting to ebb, the future trajectory remains highly uncertain in the context of war abroad and a global pandemic."

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Could strategic price controls help fight inflation?

The Guardian

Isabella Weber


"Today, there is once more a choice between tolerating the ongoing explosion of profits that drives up prices or tailored controls on carefully selected prices. Price controls would buy time to deal with bottlenecks that will continue as long as the pandemic prevails. Strategic price controls could also contribute to the monetary stability needed to mobilize public investments towards economic resilience, climate change mitigation and carbon-neutrality."

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BOOK: How China Escaped Shock Therapy


Isabella M. Weber


China has become deeply integrated into the world economy. Yet, gradual marketization has facilitated the country’s rise without leading to its wholesale assimilation to global neoliberalism. This book uncovers the fierce contest about economic reforms that shaped China’s path. In the first post-Mao decade, China’s reformers were sharply divided. Winner of the Joan Robinson Prize 2021 Winner of the 2022 Best Book in Interdisciplinary Studies Award of the International Studies Association.

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