Olivier Blanchard

Last updated

French: [blɑ̃ʃaʁ] ; born December 27, 1948) [17] is a French economist and professor. He is serving as the Robert M. SolowProfessor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as the C. Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. [18]


Blanchard was the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from 1 September 2008 to 8 September 2015. [19] [20] [21] Blanchard was appointed to the position under the tenure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn; he was succeeded by Maurice Obstfeld. [22] According to IDEAS/RePEc, he is one of the most cited economists in the world. [23] Blanchard has also authored an undergraduate macroeconomics textbook, appearing so far in eight editions, which is one of the most widely used economics books at the undergraduate level, and in 1989 a graduate-level textbook (together with Stanley Fischer), which was prominent in its time.


Blanchard graduated from ESCP in 1970. [24] From 1970 to 1973, he completed graduate level courses in economics and applied mathematics at Paris Dauphine University and Paris Nanterre University. [25] He obtained a PhD in economics from MIT in 1977 and then taught at Harvard University between 1977 and 1983, after which time he returned to MIT as a professor. [26] His areas of expertise in macroeconomics are the functions of monetary policy, the role of speculative bubbles, the determinants of unemployment and the role of the labor market as a whole, the effects on countries who have transitioned away from communism, and the factors that have sparked the most recent global financial crises. Between 1998 and 2003 Blanchard served as the chairman of the economics department at MIT.

Blanchard has published numerous research papers in the field of macroeconomics, as well as undergraduate and graduate macroeconomics textbooks. In 1987, together with Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Blanchard demonstrated the importance of monopolistic competition for the aggregate demand multiplier. [27] Most New Keynesian macroeconomic models now assume monopolistic competition for the reasons outlined by them. He is a fellow and past Council member of the Econometric Society, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

International Monetary Fund

During his tenure as chief economist, Blanchard's reshaped IMF policies. During the Great Recession Blanchard supported global fiscal stimulus. During its slow recovery he urged a cautious removal of stimulus and advocated quantitative easing. [28]

Austerity v. stimulus debate

By 2010, following the financial crisis, many countries ran significant budget deficits. There was a global turn to austerity as Washington Consensus economists encouraged governments to cut spending and raise taxes to avoid a government debt crisis, as occurred in Greece. [29] In June 2010, Blanchard and Carlo Cottarelli, the director of the IMF's fiscal affairs department, co-authored an IMF blog post entitled "Ten Commandments for Fiscal Adjustment in Advanced Economies." [30]

By 2011 Paul Krugman noted that Blanchard was already "suggesting that harsh austerity programs may be literally self-defeating, hurting the economy so much that they worsen fiscal prospects." [31] Krugman thinks that by 2012, every country that had introduced "significant austerity" had suffered economically, and that Blanchard had issued "what amounted to a mea culpa." [29] According to Krugman, "the IMF now believes that it massively understated the damage that spending cuts inflict on a weak economy." [29] On the other hand, the IMF under Blanchard in 2014 was forced to admit that it had overestimated the negative effects of austerity – the IMF had warned of low growth because the British government did not spend enough, but in the end, the British economy grew much larger than the IMF had predicted. IMF-head Christine Lagarde apologized to the British government for the mistake. [32] [33]


Under Blanchard's tenure at IMF, Jonathan D. Ostry and Andy Berg published their findings that "inequality was detrimental to sustained growth." [34] [35] By April 2014, in the World Economic Outlook, Blanchard situated inequality as a "central issue" for "macroeconomic developments." [35]

as the effects of the financial crisis slowly diminish, another trend may come to dominate the scene, namely rising inequality. Though inequality has always been perceived to be a central issue, until recently it was not seen as having major implications for macroeconomic developments. This belief is increasingly called into question. How inequality affects both the macroeconomy, and the design of macroeconomic policy, will likely be increasingly important items on our agenda for a long time to come.

Olivier Blanchard World Economic Outlook April 2014


Blanchard has authored two textbooks in macroeconomics: [36] A seminal [37] advanced textbook for graduate students "Lectures on Macroeconomics" in 1989 [37] together with Stanley Fischer, which has been called a gold standard for its era by the American Economic Association, [38] and the intermediate-level undergraduate textbook simply called "Macroeconomics". The first edition of "Macroeconomics" appeared in 1996, [39] and in 2021 its eighth edition appeared, published by Pearson Education. In a survey of 65 leading economics departments in 2021, Blanchard's textbook was the most widely used undergraduate macroeconomics textbook of all, not least because of its popularity in European universities, followed by Greg Mankiw's in second place. [39]

Political views

In the 2007 French presidential election, Blanchard supported Union for a Popular Movement presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. [40] Ahead of the 2024 French legislative election, he criticised the far-right National Rally's platform but called that of the left-wing New Popular Front worse, saying that it would lead to "an economic catastrophe". [41]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rudi Dornbusch</span> German economist (1942–2002)

Rüdiger Dornbusch was a German economist who worked in the United States for most of his career.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Krugman</span> American economist (born 1953)

Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist who is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman was the sole winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to new trade theory and new economic geography. The Prize Committee cited Krugman's work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic distribution of economic activity, by examining the effects of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austerity</span> Economic policies intended to reduce government budget deficits

In economic policy, austerity is a set of political-economic policies that aim to reduce government budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. There are three primary types of austerity measures: higher taxes to fund spending, raising taxes while cutting spending, and lower taxes and lower government spending. Austerity measures are often used by governments that find it difficult to borrow or meet their existing obligations to pay back loans. The measures are meant to reduce the budget deficit by bringing government revenues closer to expenditures. Proponents of these measures state that this reduces the amount of borrowing required and may also demonstrate a government's fiscal discipline to creditors and credit rating agencies and make borrowing easier and cheaper as a result.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stanley Fischer</span> Israeli American economist (born 1943)

Stanley Fischer is an Israeli-American economist who served as the 20th vice chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2017. Fischer previously served as the 8th governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. Born in Northern Rhodesia, he holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States. He previously served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and as Chief Economist of the World Bank. On January 10, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Fischer to the position of Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. He is a senior advisor at BlackRock. On September 6, 2017, Stanley Fischer announced that he was resigning as Vice-Chair for personal reasons effective October 13, 2017, two days before his 74th birthday.

Robert Joseph Barro is an American macroeconomist and the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Barro is considered one of the founders of new classical macroeconomics, along with Robert Lucas Jr. and Thomas J. Sargent. He is currently a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and co-editor of the influential Quarterly Journal of Economics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John B. Taylor</span> American economist (born 1946).

John Brian Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Kristin J. Forbes is an American macroeconomist and policy adviser currently serving as the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Professor of Management and Global Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She was formerly a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England. Forbes' research focuses on international macroeconomics, monetary economics, and macroprudential policy. Alongside her academic appointments, she sits on advisory boards to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, International Monetary Fund, and Bank for International Settlements.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raghuram Rajan</span> Indian economist and former governor of Reserve Bank of India

Raghuram Govind Rajan is an Indian economist and the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Between 2003 and 2006 he was Chief Economist and director of research at the International Monetary Fund. From September 2013 through September 2016 he was the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. In 2015, during his tenure at the RBI, he became the Vice-Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roque Fernández</span> Argentine economist

Roque Benjamín Fernández is an Argentine economist, former President of the Central Bank and Minister of Economy, and the only member of the Chicago Boys ever to have been the chief economic policy maker in Argentina.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maurice Obstfeld</span> American economist

Maurice Moses "Maury" Obstfeld is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and previously Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alberto Alesina</span> Italian economist (1957–2020)

Alberto Francesco Alesina was an Italian economist who was the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University from 2003 until his death in 2020. He was known principally as an economist of politics and culture, and was famed for his usage of economic tools to study social and political issues. He was described as having “almost single-handedly” established the modern field of political economy, and as a likely contender for the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2008–2009 Keynesian resurgence</span> Great Recession-era revival of interest in aggregate demand-side economics

Following the global 2007–2008 financial crisis, there was a worldwide resurgence of interest in Keynesian economics among prominent economists and policy makers. This included discussions and implementation of economic policies in accordance with the recommendations made by John Maynard Keynes in response to the Great Depression of the 1930s, most especially fiscal stimulus and expansionary monetary policy.

John Howland Cochrane is an American economist who has served as the Rose-Marie and Jack Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 2015. A specialist in financial economics and macroeconomics, he has been a professor of finance and economics by courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2016. From 1994 to 2015, he served as the AQR Capital Management Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Inflationism is a heterodox economic, fiscal, or monetary policy, that predicts that a substantial level of inflation is harmless, desirable or even advantageous. Similarly, inflationist economists advocate for an inflationist policy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Paul Fitoussi</span> French economist (1942–2022)

Jean-Paul Fitoussi was a French economist and sociologist of Sephardi Jewish descent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlos A. Vegh</span> Uruguayan academic economist (born 1958)

Carlos A. Végh is a Uruguayan academic economist who, since 2013, is the Fred H. Sanderson Professor of International Economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and holds a joint appointment with Johns Hopkins' Department of Economics. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1998. He was the World Bank's chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean from February 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019, while on leave from Johns Hopkins. He was previously a professor of economics and vice-chair of undergraduate studies at UCLA (1996-2005) and professor of economics at the University of Maryland (2005-2013). His research work on monetary and fiscal policy in emerging and developing countries has been highly influential in both academic and policy circles. In particular, his work on fiscal procyclicality in emerging markets has been instrumental in generating a copious literature on the subject, which has influenced the adoption of fiscal rules in many emerging markets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jonathan D. Ostry</span>

Jonathan David Ostry is an international economist who has served as Deputy Director of the Research Department and Acting Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. He is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Economics at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London, England, and a Non-Resident Research Fellow at Bruegel in Brussels. His recent work has focused on the management of international capital flows, in particular the role of capital controls; this work has been influential in bringing about a shift in the institutional position of the IMF on capital controls. Ostry has also published influential studies on the relationship between income inequality and economic growth, where his work—which has featured prominently in the financial press—suggests that high income inequality and a failure to sustain economic growth may be two sides of the same coin. His other work focuses on fiscal sustainability issues. Ostry has many distinguished academic publications, and his work has been cited widely in scholarly journals, and in the press, including The Economist, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Ostry was listed in Who’s Who in Economics in 2003. He was named one of the 100 most powerful people in global finance by Worth magazine in 2016, and as one of the economists whose research shaped the world in 2017.

Emmanuel Farhi was a French economist who served as the Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 2018 till his death in 2020. A specialist in macroeconomics, taxation and finance, he also served on the Conseil d’Analyse Économique from 2010 to 2010. On July 23, 2020, aged 41, Farhi committed suicide.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicoletta Batini</span> Italian economist

Nicoletta Batini is an Italian economist, notable as a scholar of innovative monetary and fiscal policy practices. During the crisis she pioneered the IMF work exposing the dangers of excessive fiscal austerity and designed ways to consolidate public debt successfully during phases of financial deleveraging. Since 2003 at the International Monetary Fund, she has served as Advisor of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee between 2000-2003 and was Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey (2007-2012), and Director of the International Economics and Policy office of the Department of the Treasury of Italy's Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze (MEF) between 2013-2015. Batini's fields of expertise include monetary policy, public finance, open economy macroeconomics, labor economics, energy and environmental economics, and economic modeling. She has handled extensive consultancy roles in the public sector in advanced and emerging market countries. She holds a Ph.D. in international finance from the Scuola Superiore S. Anna and a Ph.D. in monetary economics from the University of Oxford.

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas is a French economist who has been the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund since 2022. Gourinchas is also the S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Management at the University of California, Berkeley. At the University of California, he also directs the Clausen Center for International Business and Policy and is affiliated with the Haas School of Business. His research focuses on macroeconomics, in particular international macroeconomics and international finance. In 2008, Gourinchas received the Prize of the Best Young Economist of France.


  1. Blanchard, Olivier (1977). Two essays on economic fluctuations (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. Benabou, Roland Jean-Marc (1986). Optimal price dynamics, speculation and search under inflation (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. Burda, Michael C. "CV" (PDF). Humboldt University of Berlinn. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J. (1988). The Stochastic Behavior of Consumption and Savings (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  5. Galí, Jordi (1989). Essays on macroeconomics (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. Kashyap, A. K. (1989). Price setting and investment : models and evidence (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. Saint-Paul, Gilles (1990). Essays on labor markets and macro-economic activity (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  8. Eberly, Janice Caryl (1991). Durable goods and transactions costs : theory and evidence (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  9. Jones, Charles I. (1993). Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/12701 . Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  10. Laibson, David Isaac (1994). Hyperbolic Discounting and Consumption (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  11. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier (1996). Essays on exchange rates, and consumption (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/10830 . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  12. Shimer, Robert (1996). Essays in search theory (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/10832 . Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  13. Landier, Augustin (2001). Essays on entrepreneurship, venture capital and innovation (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  14. Wolfers, Justin. "CV" (PDF). NBER. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  15. "RePEc Genealogy page for Justin Wolfers". RePEc Genealogy. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  16. Philippon, Thomas (2003). Three essays in macroeconomics (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  17. "Olivier Blanchard's CV", Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics, nd, retrieved 3 October 2015
  18. "Olivier Blanchard Contact Information". Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics. nd. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  19. "Blanchard Sees Global Economy Weathering Financial Storm", International Monetary Fund, 2 September 2008
  20. Pearlstein, Steven (2 October 2015). "The smartest economist you've never heard of". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  21. "IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Olivier Blanchard To Retire from the Fund" (International Monetary Fund; May 14, 2015).
  22. IMF (20 July 2015). "IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Appoints Maurice Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department" . Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  23. Economist Rankings at IDEAS
  24. Alumni, ESCP Europe. "ESCP Europe Alumni - Hall of Fame". www.escpeuropealumni.org. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  25. "Olivier Blanchard, professeur d'économie au MIT - EuropUSA". EuropUSA (in French). Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  26. Asia 21 Bio
  27. Blanchard, Olivier Jean; Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro (1987). "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand". American Economic Review . 77 (4): 647–666. JSTOR   1814537.
  28. Loungani, Prakash (2 October 2015). "The Frenchman Who Reshaped the IMF Reflections on the work of Olivier, the IMF's now retired chief economist". The Globalist. Washington, DC. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  29. 1 2 3 Krugman, Paul (29 April 2015). "The case for cuts was a lie. Why does Britain still believe it? The austerity delusion by Paul Krugman". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  30. Blanchard, Olivier; Cottarelli, Carlo (24 June 2010). "Ten Commandments for Fiscal Adjustment in Advanced Economies". iMFdirect. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  31. Krugman, Paul (21 December 2011). "Olivier Blanchard Isn't Very Serious". New York Times. The Conscience of a Liberal. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  32. Armitstead, Luise (6 June 2014). "IMF accepts it was wrong on George Osborne's austerity". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  33. Kennedy, Simon (9 June 2014). "Lagarde Says IMF 'Got It Wrong' on Rallying U.K. Economy". Bloomberg News . Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  34. Berg, Andrew G.; Ostry, Jonathan D. (8 April 2011). "Inequality and Unsustainable Growth: Two Sides of the Same Coin?" (PDF). International Monetary Fund. p. 20. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  35. 1 2 "IMF: rising inequality is an increasingly important issue". The Guardian. UK. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  36. "Olivier Blanchard | PIIE". www.piie.com. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  37. 1 2 "New fund, old fundamentals". The Economist. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  38. "Stanley Fischer, Distinguished Fellow 2013". www.aeaweb.org. American Economic Association. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  39. 1 2 Courtoy, François; De Vroey, Michel; Turati, Riccardo. "What do we teach in Macroeconomics? Evidence of a Theoretical Divide" (PDF). sites.uclouvain.be. UCLouvain. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  40. Chavelet, Élisabeth (14 October 2014). "Jean Tirole, un Nobel si discret – La consécration". Paris Match. Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  41. Vignaud, Marc (21 June 2024). "Olivier Blanchard juge le programme du Nouveau Front populaire «dangereux»". L'Opinion. Retrieved 21 June 2024.
Olivier Blanchard
Oliver Blanchard, IMF 98BlanchardWEO1 lg.jpg
Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund
In office
1 September 2008 8 September 2015
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by President of the American Economic Association
Succeeded by