Early Life Robert A. Mundell was born in Canada in 1932. It was here that he started his academic life in a one-room schoolhouse. After completing his undergraduate education at the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington, he began his postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics. Mundell received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1956 with a thesis on international capital movements. After having held several professorships, he has been affiliated with Columbia University in New York since 1974.
Major Contributions Robert Mundell’s most important contributions were made in the 1960s. During the latter half of this decade, Mundell was among the intellectual leaders in the creative research environment at the University of Chicago. These were exciting times at Chicago and many of his students from this period have become successful researchers in the same field, building on Mundell’s foundational work. Mundell’s scientific contributions are original. Yet, they quickly transformed research in international macroeconomics. Characterized by uncommon foresight about the future development of international monetary arrangements, they became increasingly relevant in the policy-oriented discussion of monetary and fiscal policy and exchange rate systems:
1. Stabilization policy- In a series of papers published in the early 1960s – reprinted in his book International Economics (1968) – Robert Mundell developed his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy in open economies.
2. Optimum Currency Areas- fixed exchange rates within the framework of the Bretton-Woods system dominated the world economy in the early 1960s. At the time, a few researchers did in fact address the advantages and disadvantages of fixed vs. floating exchange rates, even though this was regarded as rather academic subject matter. A national currency, however, was considered an axiom. In his article
References: Robert A. Mundell.The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1999.www. nobelprize.org. Retrieved December11, 2008 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 1999. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1999/ecoback99.pdf. Retrieved Deceember11, 2008.