1963- Graduated from Yale. Began studies majoring in math, but switched to economics after studying
at the University of Munich.
1965- Completed MBA at Stanford and got a full scholarship to the Economics Department to pursue a
PhD at Stanford. Also worked at the Cleveland Fed and got his first AER publication in 1965 before he
entered the Ph.D. program.
1967- Accepted offer at the University of Chicago where Robert Mundell was already on faculty. Dr.
Laffer was eager to work alongside Mundell, one of the earliest supply-side thinkers already taking the
economics world by storm. However, Dr. Laffer took a leave of absence before starting at the University
of Chicago in order to work at the Brookings Institute.
1968- Returned to University of Chicago to teach for two years.
1970- Became the first Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he
worked for George Shultz, the newly appointed head of the newly formed OMB. While at OMB, Dr.
Laffer served as a key advisor on teams playing a significant role in the Administration's economic policy
1971- While working at OMB, Dr. Laffer and his colleague David Ranson develop a new forecasting
model estimating Gross National Product would reach $1,065 billion in 1971. The prediction became
controversial, and although many of his colleagues and others derided the forecast as overly optimistic,
his estimate was ultimately proven correct and far closer than the consensus at the time of his
prediction. By 1976, the Economic Report of the President gave the official 1971 GNP figure as $1,063.4
1972- Returned to the University of Chicago as Associate Professor of Business Economics, working
closely with students and alongside Chicago faculty and students working in South America.
1974- While at dinner with Dick Cheney (Dr. Laffer's former classmate at Yale, who was now deputy to
President Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff, Don Rumsfeld) and Jude Wanniski (then associate editor of the
Wall Street Journal), Dr. Laffer sketched the tradeoff between tax rates and tax revenues on a cocktail
napkin. Wanniski coined the tradeoff the "Laffer Curve".
1976- Named the Charles B. Thornton Professor of Business Economics at the University of Southern
California. During this time, Dr. Laffer became personally acquainted with future-President Ronald
Reagan, spending much of the time between 1976 and 1980 meeting with Reagan on a frequent basis.
1980- Active with President Reagan's campaign. Served on the original Reagan Executive Advisory
Committee as the youngest member, as well as on the Reagan Transition Team.
1981- Member of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board chaired by George Shultz created by
Executive Order of President Reagan from 1981-1989. Also was advisor to Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher during her time in office.
1986- Ran unsuccessfully for California's Senate seat, earning endorsements from Muhammed Ali, Dick Cheney, Howard Jarvis, Paul Gann, Rosey Grier, and Ray Bradbury, among others.
1989- The Wall Street Journal lists Dr. Laffer in "A Gallery of the Greatest People Who Influenced Our
1990- The Los Angeles Times includes Dr. Laffer in "A Dozen Who Shaped the '80s."
1991- Dr. Laffer is the founding board member of U.S. Filter, a water filtration company sold to Vivendi
Environnment in 1999. Over the years, Dr. Laffer has served on a number of other private and public
boards, including California First National Bank, Clarcor, HNTB, ProvideCommerce, Mastec, MPS Group,
U.S. Script, and William Lyon Homes.
1999- TIME Magazine acknowledges the Laffer Curve in its cover story of "The Century's Greatest
Minds" calling it one of "a few of the advances that powered this extraordinary century."
2006- Moved business and family from California to Tennessee.