Remembering Michael Mussa

Sad to hear about the death of Michael Mussa, the IMF's witty and trenchant former chief economist for nearly a decade, who resigned in 2001. He was 67.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF,  made the following statement.

The Wall Street Journal says the former Chicago University professor did not shy away from controversy. The Washington Post said he helped shape the IMF's responses to financial crises in the 1990s. Later, as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, Mussa was well known for his semiannual forecasts of global economic growth, conveyed with tough assessments, clarity of expression, and biting wit. Paul Krugman said his most influential work was on currency regimes.

The IMF's Research Department organized a conference in his honor called “MussaFest” to mark his 60th birthday in 2004.

Mussa contributed widely and influentially to economic theory and empirics, and served as the Fund's Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department from 1991 to 2001. He also was a Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1986 to 1988. He was a professor at University of Chicago, University of Rochester, the City University of New York, the London School of Economics, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

During his career, Mussa studied extensively the macroeconomic problems inherent to open economies. Furthermore, he applied his knowledge to the design of economic policy and prevention of crises for developing and developed countries. His contributions inspired many economists in the academic world and at the IMF. Read his interesting address on global integration at Jackson Hole in 2000, and his analysis of the Fund's approach to macroeconomics here.

Watch a video of his assessment of recent economic conditions from last September.

2017-04-15T14:13:50+00:00January 17, 2012|


  1. GEORGES RADJOU January 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Condolences to his family and friends.

  2. Sad News [Mankiw] | DreamInn January 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

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  3. Faiz Ahamed January 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Mike Mussa was a fine economist, a fine person, and a lovely friend to have. His famous piece on exchange rates is an example of his willingness to embrace what he personally and economics did not know. He had a wonderful sense of humor, he poured only the best wine and gave a great dinner party. We all will miss him a lot.

  4. […] IMF’s blog post Tuesday included a link to his paper on global integration presented at Jackson Hole in 2000 that […]

  5. […] Prices, and Mike Mussa (A Bit Wonkish) Michael Mussa died yesterday. I didn’t know him well, but like everyone in international economics, I was greatly informed […]

  6. […] Mussa died yesterday. I didn’t know him well, but like everyone in international economics, I was greatly informed by […]

  7. Raj Manotra January 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    “Mr. Mussa, after maintaining forecasts for three decades, described his track record as “average” given the pitfalls of forecasting.”

    does that mean better than, worse than, or about the same as guessing on the spot?

  8. Christian G.E. Schiller January 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Michael Mussa not only knew a lot about economics, but also about wine. Wine tastings with him were always a pleasure.

  9. […] Currencies, Prices, and Mike Mussa (A Bit Wonkish), by Paul Krugman, in NY Times: Michael Mussa died yesterday. I didn’t know him well, but like everyone in international economics, I was greatly informed by […]

  10. ottavio nuccio abito da sposo February 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Great man, great commitment and dedication. I’m sorry.

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