Olivier Blanchard

Last updated

Olivier Blanchard
Oliver Blanchard, IMF 98BlanchardWEO1 lg.jpg
Blanchard at the restitution of the 2008 World Economic Outlook survey
Born (1948-12-27) December 27, 1948 (age 72)
Institution Peterson Institute for International Economics (since 2015)
International Monetary Fund (2008–2015)
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Field Macroeconomics
School or
New Keynesian economics
Alma mater ESCP Europe MIT [2]
Paris Dauphine University
Stanley Fischer [3]
Fumio Hayashi
Nobuhiro Kiyotaki
Roland Bénabou [4]
Michael C. Burda [5]
Ricardo J. Caballero [6]
Jordi Galí [7]
Anil Kashyap [8]
Gilles Saint-Paul [9]
Janice Eberly [10]
Charles I. Jones [11]
David Laibson [12]
Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas [13]
Robert Shimer [14]
Augustin Landier [15]
Justin Wolfers [16] [17]
Thomas Philippon [18]
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Olivier Jean Blanchard (French:  [blɑ̃ʃaʁ] ; born December 27, 1948) is a French economist and professor who is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He was the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from September 1, 2008, to September 8, 2015. [19] [20] [21] Blanchard was appointed to the position under the tenure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn; he was succeeded by Maurice Obstfeld. [22] He also is a Robert M. Solow Professor of Economics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is one of the most cited economists in the world, according to IDEAS/RePEc. [23]



Blanchard graduated from ESCP Europe 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

Related Research Articles

International Monetary Fund International financial institution

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world while periodically depending on the World Bank for its resources. Formed in July 1944, at the Bretton Woods Conference primarily by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international monetary system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money. As of 2016, the fund had XDR 477 billion.

Macroeconomics Branch of economics that studies aggregated indicators

Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. For example, using interest rates, taxes and government spending to regulate an economy’s growth and stability. This includes regional, national, and global economies.

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

Paul Krugman American economist

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 awarded 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.

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. 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. 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 or cheaper as a result.

Stanley Fischer American economist

Stanley Fischer is an Israeli American economist and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. Born in Northern Rhodesia, he holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States. He served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. He previously served as chief economist at the World Bank. On January 10, 2014, United States President Barack Obama nominated Fischer to be Vice-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. On September 6, 2017, Stanley Fischer announced that he was resigning as Vice-Chairman for personal reasons effective October 13, 2017.

Raghuram Rajan Indian economist and former governor of Reserve Bank of India

Raghuram Govinda Rajan is an Indian economist and the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago 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.

Maurice Obstfeld

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.

Alberto Alesina Italian economist

Alberto Francesco Alesina was an Italian political economist. According to Lawrence Summers, he was one of the leading political economists of his generation, publishing much-cited books and articles in major economics and political science journals.

Nobuhiro Kiyotaki Japanese economist

Nobuhiro Kiyotaki FBA is a Japanese economist and the Harold H. Helms '20 Professor of Economics and Banking at Princeton University. He is especially known for proposing several models that provide deeper microeconomic foundations for macroeconomics, some of which play a prominent role in New Keynesian macroeconomics.

2008–2009 Keynesian resurgence

Following the global financial crisis of 2007–08, 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.

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.

Jean-Paul Fitoussi

Jean-Paul Fitoussi is a French economist of Sephardi Jewish descent. Born in La Goulette, Tunisia, Fitoussi earned his Ph.D. cum laude in Law and Economics from the University of Strasbourg. From 1979 until 1983, he was a professor at the European University Institute in Florence, and a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1984. He currently is a Professor of Economics at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, where he has taught since 1982. He is also Professor Emeritus at LUISS "Guido Carli" University, in Rome. From 1989 to 2010 he served as President of the Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques, an institute dedicated to economic research and forecasting. He has published numerous articles, books and essays. He is considered to be one of the intellectual leaders of neo-keynesianism of these past 40 years, but claims to have a "very heterodox" vision.

Carlos A. Vegh

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 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.

Gita Gopinath Economist and chief economist of the IMF

Gita Gopinath is an Indian American economist who has been the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund since 2019. In that role she is the Director of IMF's Research Department and the Economic Counsellor of the Fund.

Jonathan D. Ostry

Jonathan David Ostry is an international economist, who is currently Deputy Director of the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London, England. 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 and professor of economics at Harvard University. His research focused on macroeconomics and finance. He was a member of the French Economic Analysis Council to the French Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012.

Nicoletta Batini

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.

Atish R. Ghosh

Atish Rex Ghosh is an international economist, who is currently the Historian of the International Monetary Fund. His recent work has focused on issues related to the stability of the international monetary system, including exchange rate regimes, external balance dynamics, capital flows and capital controls, monetary and foreign exchange intervention policies, fiscal space and debt sustainability, and international policy coordination. His work on the management of cross-border capital flows, notably the role of capital controls, has played an important role in influencing the IMF's institutional position on the use of capital controls. Ghosh has also published numerous influential studies on international policy coordination and exchange rate regimes, including three books: Economic Cooperation in an Uncertain World ; Exchange Rate Regimes: Choices and Consequences ; and Currency Boards in Retrospect and Prospect. In addition, he is the author of Nineteenth Street, NW—a fictional novel about a global financial crash.


  1. "Olivier Blanchard's CV", Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics, nd, retrieved 3 October 2015
  2. "Olivier Blanchard Contact Information", Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics, nd, retrieved 3 October 2015
  3. Blanchard, Olivier (1977). Two essays on economic fluctuations (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  4. Benabou, Roland Jean-Marc (1986). Optimal price dynamics, speculation and search under inflation (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  5. Burda, Michael C. "CV" (PDF). Humboldt University of Berlinn. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J. (1988). The Stochastic Behavior of Consumption and Savings (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  7. Galí, Jordi (1989). Essays on macroeconomics (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  8. Kashyap, A. K. (1989). Price setting and investment : models and evidence (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  9. Saint-Paul, Gilles (1990). Essays on labor markets and macro-economic activity (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  10. Eberly, Janice Caryl (1991). Durable goods and transactions costs : theory and evidence (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  11. Jones, Charles I. (1993). Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/12701 . Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  12. Laibson, David Isaac (1994). Hyperbolic Discounting and Consumption (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  13. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier (1996). Essays on exchange rates, and consumption (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/10830 . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  14. Shimer, Robert (1996). Essays in search theory (Ph.D.). MIT. hdl:1721.1/10832 . Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  15. Landier, Augustin (2001). Essays on entrepreneurship, venture capital and innovation (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  16. Wolfers, Justin. "CV" (PDF). NBER. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  17. "RePEc Genealogy page for Justin Wolfers". RePEc Genealogy. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  18. Philippon, Thomas (2003). Three essays in macroeconomics (PDF) (Ph.D.). MIT . Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  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.
Business positions
Preceded by
Simon Johnson
IMF Chief Economist
2008 – 2015
Succeeded by
Maurice Obstfeld
Academic offices
Preceded by
Alvin E. Roth
President of the American Economic Association
Succeeded by
Ben Bernanke