David R. Henderson  

Allan H. Meltzer, RIP

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My Hoover colleague and long-time monetarist economist Allan Meltzer died yesterday. He was 89.

Here is the announcement from Tom Gilligan, director of the Hoover Institution:

STANFORD, CA: "It is with sadness that I share the loss of Allan Meltzer, a distinguished economist and Hoover colleague. We will remember Allan for his many intellectual contributions, especially to the study of monetary policy and the history of the Federal Reserve System. Marilyn and his family are in our thoughts and prayers during this trying time."


Allan Meltzer was a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He was also a visiting professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester, the Yugoslav Institute for Economic Research, the Austrian Institute for Advanced Study, the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, and the City University, London.

He served as a consultant for several congressional committees, the President's Council of Economic Advisers, the US Treasury Department, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the World Bank, foreign governments, and central banks. He was a member of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board. In 1988-89 he was an acting member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. From 1986 to 2002 he was an honorary adviser to the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies of the Bank of Japan.

In 1999-2000 he served as chairman of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission, known as the Meltzer Commission, which proposed major reforms of the International Monetary Fund and the development banks.

Two weeks ago, Meltzer published this piece for Hoover's Defining Ideas. He also authored several books, including Why Capitalism? (Oxford University Press, 2012), A History of the Federal Reserve (University of Chicago Press, 2 volumes, 2003 and 2009) and numerous papers on economic theory and policy. His career included experience as a self-employed businessman, management adviser, and consultant to banks and financial institutions.

In 1983 Professor Meltzer received a medal for distinguished professional achievement from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was named the distinguished fellow of 2011 by the American Council for Capital Formation and was a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association. In 2003 he received the Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute and the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics. In 2009 he received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the International Mensa Foundation. In 2011 Professor Meltzer received the Bradley Award, the Harry Truman Medal for Public Policy, and the Truman Medal for Economic Policy.

Allan wrote the article on Monetarism for the first edition of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Comments and Sharing

CATEGORIES: Monetary Policy , Obituaries

COMMENTS (6 to date)
Jon writes:

I remember reading and enjoying many of his articles. It seriously pains me that the world has lost another great mind. My deepest condolences

Daniel Klein writes:

Sad to hear. Just few months ago he graciously signed on to Liberalism Unrelinquished.

Scott Cameron writes:

Does anyone know if Meltzer was working on a third volume of his history of the federal reserve? I really enjoyed the first two volumes.

Allan Meltzer, with whom I had the great honor of working at the Council of Economic Advisers, has two excellent podcast
interviews on EconTalk.

Thaomas writes:

Baumol and Meltzer in the same week and Arrow not long ago. :(

What does it mean when everyone you read in grad school has passed on? [bittersweet emoji]

Jon Murphy writes:

A sad day indeed. Terrible.


"What does it mean when everyone you read in grad school has passed on? "

It means it's our turn to carry the torch.

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