IMF Conference Honors Michael Mussa

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

Abstract

The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.

The IMF Research Department honored Michael Mussa’s 60th birthday with a conference held on June 4–5 at the IMF’s headquarters in Washington. Michael Mussa, who has made a wide, influential contribution to economic theory and empirics, served as the IMF’s Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department from 1991 to 2001 and as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1986 to 1988. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, the City University of New York, the London School of Economics, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

During his illustrious career, Mr. Mussa extensively studied the macroeconomic problems inherent to open economics and actively contributed to the debate on economic policy design and crises prevention. His work inspired many economists in the academic world and at the IMF.

The conference began with a session on Finance, Growth, and Moral Hazard, which included the following presentations: “The Mussa Theorem” by Olivier Jeanne and Jeromin Zettlelmeyer and “Country Insurance” by Tito Cordelia and Eduardo Levy-Yeyati. The second session on Economic History and Fund Problems included presentations by Stanley Engerman on “Some Historical Forecasts: On WEO-Type Chapters for 1492, 1787, and 1860” and Robert Fogel on “Reconsidering World War II Expectations of Economic Growth from the Perspective of 2004.”

Although Mr. Mussa is best known for his contributions to international finance, his earliest work focused on international trade with special emphasis on the macroeffects of tariffs and the specific factor model of production. It was appropriate, therefore, that the third conference session was dedicated to trade topics and included papers by Douglas Irwin on “Causing Problems? The WTO Review of Causation and Injury Attribution in U.S. Section 201 Cases” and by Richard Clarida and Rachel McCulloch on “U.S. Trade Remedies and the Adjustment Process.”

The final session concluded with presentations by two professors from Mr. Mussa’s graduate career at the University of Chicago: Robert Aliber on “The Thirty-Five Most Tumultuous Years in Monetary History: Shocks and Financial Traumas” and Arnold Harberger on “The Real Exchange Rate Issues of Concept and Measurement.” These papers were followed by the keynote address by Jacob Frenkel and a wine tasting and dinner.

The following presentations were made during the first session of the second day: Hans Genberg and Alexander Swoboda on “Exchange Rate Regimes: Does What Countries Say Matter?” and M. Ayhan Kose, Eswar Prasad, and Marco Terrones on “How Do Trade and Financial Integration Affect the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility?”

The final conference session concluded with Russell Boyer and Warren Young’s paper on “Mundell’s International Economics: Adaptations and Debates” and Nelson Mark’s paper on “Learning, Monetary Policy Rules, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics”.

The conference was organized by Robert Flood. Copies of the papers are available at http://www.imf.org/external/np/res/seminars/2004/mussa/#prg. Transcripts of the sessions and videotapes of the entire conference are available from Rosalind Oliver (e-mail: roliver@imf.org).

IMF Trade Conference

On Tuesday, October 19, the IMF Research Department’s Trade Unit will host a conference that addresses the implications of trade liberalization for developing countries. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. and is open to the public. It will be held in Meeting Rooms A and B at the IMF Headquarters Building, 700 19th Street, NW, Washington. Please contact Marlene George (mgeorge@imf.org) if you plan to attend. A summary of the conference will be published in the December 2004 issue of the IMF Research Bulletin.

IMF Research Bulletin, September 2004
Author: International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.