Office: Savery 353
Phone: (206) 685-1382

Curriculum Vitae


Charles R. Nelson

Ford and Louisa Van Voorhis Professor
Department of Economics
University of Washington

and I love my Boxster...


Macroeconomics: An Introduction – The Internet Edition is now online!! Click on the title for a list of chapters that may be downloaded in pdf format. I will be updating periodically.


My research focus is empirical macroeconomics and related econometric methodology. Much of my work has involved the analysis of time series data, particularly the problem of measuring business cycles and modeling their dynamics. Issues include: How persistent are shocks to real GDP? How to separate cycle from trend in GDP? Can the end of an expansion and onset of recession be predicted? Has the economy become more stable in recent decades? I also have been interested in the behavior of stock returns at a macro level, in particular the relation with inflation, the impact of surprise changes in volatility, whether there is evidence of mean reversion, and most recently the long term behavior of the equity premium. A third theme in my research has been bias in statistical inference in models that are weakly identified, particularly the problem of weak instruments in the context of regression models with feedback. In every case, the work has only progressed because of the outstanding co-authors I have been so fortunate to work with over the years.

Undergraduate Teaching

One of my greatest pleasures as a teacher has been to teach the introduction to macroeconomics (Economics 201) using my own textbook which is now available online – see above. Students can visit my Student Help Page, where they will find answers to exercises in the text and lecture notes. Instructors can email me to obtain additional teaching resources at

Graduate Teaching

My primary formal teaching assignment at the graduate level is the research methods seminar taken by second year students where many encounter doing economics research for the first time. It has been exciting to watch the transition from passive absorption of the canon to active researcher questioning published findings. However, the most satisfying aspect of graduate teaching for me has been supervision of doctoral dissertations. The direct interaction with very bright and motivated doctoral candidates is an experience not to be duplicated in classroom teaching. I have had the privilege of seeing these students become co-workers who publish in the journals and go on to successful careers in universities, policy-making institutions, and the financial world.


Words of Wisdom

"It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe, if one thinks too long alone ... particularly in economics." J. M. Keynes