Robert A. Mundell
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1999
Born: 24 October 1932, Kingston, ON, Canada
Died: 4 April 2021, Siena, Italy
Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Prize motivation: “for his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas”
Prize share: 1/1
Robert Mundell was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. After studying at various universities around North America, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in economics in 1956. In 1974 he joined Columbia University in New York, where he became University Professor in 2001. Mundell served as an advisor to several governments, including the US during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and worked for international organisations such as the World Bank.
Exchange rates among different currencies are an important factor in business and the economy. In the beginning of the 1960s, Robert Mundell analyzed the effects of political actions on this area, including the consequences if exchange rates remain fixed or are allowed to be governed by the market. Mundell maintained that it could be advantageous for several countries to introduce a common currency, provided that the labor force has a great deal of mobility. Mundell’s theories had relevance for the introduction of the euro as the European Union’s currency.