Former economics professor wins NobelBy William Harms
Robert Mundell, a former Professor in Economics who is now on the faculty at Columbia University, was the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Mundell received the award for work in macroeconomic theory for open economies, which he performed as a faculty member at the University from 1966 to 1971. In its citation, the Nobel committee wrote: Robert Mundell has reshaped macroeconomic theory for open economies. His most important contributions were made in the 1960s. During the latter half of that decade, Mundell was among the intellectual leaders in the creative research environment of the University of Chicago. Many of his students from this period have become successful researchers in the same field, building on Mundells foundational work.
D. Gale Johnson, the Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Economics, said Mundells primary contributions to economics were in understanding the role of floating exchange rates and central banks.
Mundell made a major contribution to the analysis of the optimal currency area. The development of the Euro in the European Union was certainly influenced by his work, Johnson said.
Mundell also felt that central banks needed to be independent. He said that their objective should be that of price stability. This is a position that increasingly has prevailed, he added.
In addition to serving on the Chicago faculty, Mundell was editor of the Journal of Political Economy on campus from 1967 to 1970.