Robert Mundell, Canadian economist known as the father of the euro, died of illness at his home on Sunday 4 April at the age of 88 years old. This was reported on China News Service, citing sources close to his son. Mundell in 1999 had won the Nobel Prize for the Economy for its analysis of fiscal and monetary policy in the presence of different exchange rate regimes and for its analysis of optimal currency areas. He theorized the concept of optimal currency areas and their convenience from the point of view of exchanges and ease in the movement of production factors, in a paper published on American Economic Association in September 1961. He taught at the University of Chicago and Columbia University in New York. According to Brian Domitrovic, Harvard economist and commentator for Forbes, Bob Mundell died in his own beloved Italy.

The memory of the colleague

Mundell – writes Domitrovic in his memoir in Forbes – was an impossible amalgam of theoretical genius, algebraic and above all geometric lucidity, cultural sensitivity and immeasurable practical influence. His articles in magazines from the 1950s and 1960s were similar to Zeus, on a completely different level than any other in the field. They were reprints of the chapters of his 1956 MIT dissertation. Drop by drop they came out, and it was clear to everyone how George Stigler would later say: international trade theory in the 60s”.

Defense of the euro

In April 2017, one week before French presidential elections, Mundell was among the group of 25 economists (including Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller) who had signed an editorial in Le Monde to distance themselves from the instrumental use of their theories during the election campaign and who common front in defense of the eurodespite differences in thinking in other areas.

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