City University London
Area of expertise: IPE, Public Debt, Capital as Power, United States
Sandy Brian Hager’s Ph.D. research offered the first comprehensive analysis of domestic ownership of the US public debt. Hager revealed a staggering trend towards concentration in the ownership of US federal government bonds over the past three decades. Since the early 1980s the public debt has served to reinforce power relations and intensify socio-economic inequality in America. A recently completed research monograph (Hager 2016), builds upon the dissertation by analyzing the rapid increase in foreign ownership of the US public debt, especially by China, since the 1970s. Foreigners now own nearly half of the US public debt and the book explores what this means for US power and influence in the global arena, and also how it relates to the trend towards domestic ownership concentration Hager’s current research examines the global political economy of corporate taxation. This project seeks to explain how and why effective corporate tax rates have declined sharply in both the advanced capitalist countries and the Global South since the early 1980s.