Eric T. Swanson Mt Rainier
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Personal

Well, you must have some time on your hands if you made it this far. At right are some photos going back to high school (click on a picture to see a larger version). If you really have a lot of time on your hands, there are links to some more photos below.

I grew up in Bethesda, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC, and the home of the National Institutes of Health. I went through the Montgomery County Public School system from beginning to end, ultimately graduating from Walter Johnson High School. At WJ, I swam on the swim team, captained the math team, and competed for the Montgomery County ARML Math Team. I liked science and math the best, and intended to go into research as a career, so I managed to get a job as an intern in a chemical pharmacology lab at the National Institutes of Health, not far from home. However, I decided that there was too much trial and error in biology for my tastes, and so I began gravitating more and more toward math and physics.

At Williams College, I studied math and physics for the first two years, and interned for two summers at the solar physics branch of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. However, I enjoyed my math courses the most and went on to major in mathematics. I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in the Mathematics Department at Stanford, but continued to take courses in other fields, and during second semester of senior year, I took Intermediate Macroeconomics.

I immediately loved the general equilibrium nature of macroeconomics, and the novelty and freshness of economics as a discipline relative to the much older fields of math and physics, so I immediately began considering economics as a possible research career. I spent the summer after college (after cycling through Europe with several friends from high school) reading through economics research journals to see if the field was scientific enough to be a good career choice for me, and decided that it was. Thus, after arriving at Stanford, I began taking economics courses on top of the first-year graduate sequence in math. I applied and was admitted to the Stanford Economics Department, where I studied Macroeconomics, International Economics, Econometrics, and Labor Economics. I was particularly interested in the macroeconomic effects of individual and industrial sector shifts, and wrote my dissertation on “Individual and Sectoral Heterogeneity, Reallocation, and Aggregate Fluctuations.”

After finishing my Ph.D., I took a job with the Monetary Affairs Division of the Federal Reserve Board, doing basic research in Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics. I bought a small townhouse in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC, and a few years later met my wife, Hyun.

At the Board, my research began to focus increasingly on Monetary Economics and Macro-Finance, the relationship between financial markets and the macroeconomy. I also had much better success publishing in these areas than in the sectoral shifts field. I spent one semester on leave teaching first-year graduate macroeconomics in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, and a second semester teaching intermediate macroeconomics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

By the summer of 2005, Hyun and I had two small children and we were still living in the same small townhouse on Capitol Hill, so we began looking into our options for moving. I ended up taking a job in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. We bought a house in Walnut Creek, California and moved the family to the West Coast.

At the San Francisco Fed, my research continued to focus on Macro-Finance, both theoretical and empirical. My policy work at the FRBSF included going to FOMC meetings, helping prepare the FRBSF President for FOMC meetings, briefing the President and FRBSF boards of directors on the state of the economy, and performing economic analysis and forecasting. After about 15 years of Federal Reserve policy work, however, I felt like I was no longer learning from it, and I began to look into going back to academia, where I could teach instead of doing Fed policy work and would potentially have more time for research. In 2014, I accepted a position as a professor in the Economics Department at the University of California, Irvine. We moved the family down to Irvine in the summer of 2014 and are settling in to life in Southern California.

When I’m not doing work or playing with the kids (which together take up about 105% of my time), I like to exercise, read, listen to music, and work in the garden. I dislike watching TV, and almost never do it—in fact, we don’t subscribe to cable and view whatever television we do watch online. Hyun’s outside interests include playing tennis, reading, and shopping.

If you’re interested in seeing more photos, click on the links below (finally updated!):

(More Family Photos, page 1)
(More Family Photos, page 2)
(More Family Photos, page 3)
(More Family Photos, page 4)

High School Wedding Little Andrew Andrew's 1-year Birthday Julia Daddy