Thomas Willett is the Horton Professor of Economics Emeritus in the Department of Economic Sciences at Claremont Graduate University and the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College. He is also director of the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies. His research specializations include international and monetary economics, behavioral finance, political economy, and analysis of national and international economic policies.
His recent research has focused particularly on the causes and effects of international capital flow surges and reversals and on how political and institutional as well as economic and financial variables influence the incidence of currency and financial crises. In this work, he has been paying particular attention to measurement issues and the roles of agents’ mental models and behavioral biases. He has authored or edited over 20 books and published over 200 articles. A major facet of his professional activity has been to improve the dialogue between economists and political scientists.
Willett holds a PhD in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree with a double major in economics and mathematics from the College of William and Mary. He has previously taught at Harvard and Cornell, and served as a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, as director of international research at the U.S. Treasury, and as a visiting researcher at the International Monetary Fund. He has also served on the editorial boards of 16 journals in the areas of economics, international relations, and public policy, and was co-editor of Economic Enquiry and Public Policy.
Co-authored with Hassan Almahmood and Graham Bird. “The relationship between currency crises and capital flow reversals: an empirical examination.” International Review of Economics and Finance 69, (2020): 419-34.
Co-edited with Richard Burdekin. “China’s Global Interdependence.” The Chinese Economy special issue 52, no. 4 (2019).
Co-authored with Eric Pentecost et. al. “Contagion from the crises in the Euro-zone: where, when and why?” The European Journal of Finance 25, no. 14 (2019): 1309-327.
Co-authored with Eric Chiu. “Capital controls and currency crises: revisited: A political economy analysis.” Emerging Markets Trade and Finance, (2019): 1-21.
Co-authored with Hassan Almahmood and Munif Al Munyif. “Most Speculative Attacks Don’t Succeed: Currency Crises, and Currency Crashes.” Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy 9, no. 1 (2018): 1-9.
Co-authored with Kawin Iamtrakel. “The Effects of Monetary and Fiscal Policies on the Output costs of Sudden Stops.” Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy 11, no. 1.
Co-authored with Puspa Amri. “Policy Inconsistencies and the Political Economy of Currency Crises: An Agenda for Research.” Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy, (2017).
Co-authored with Graham Bird and Wenti Du. “Behavioral Finance and Efficient Markets: What does the euro crisis tell us?” Open Economies Review 28, no. 2 (2017): 273-95.
Co-authored with Levan Efremidze, et al. “The Relationships among Capital Flow Surges, Reversals, and Sudden Stops.” Journal of Financial Economic Policy 9, no. 3 (2017): 284-301.
Co-authored with Levan Efremidze and John Rutledge. “Capital Flow Surges as Bubbles.” Singapore Economic Review, (2016).
Co-authored with Puspa Amri and Greg Richey. “Capital Flow Surges and Credit Booms: How Tight is the Connection?” Open Economies Review, (2016).
Co-authored with Priscilla Liang. “Chinese Stocks during 2000–2013: Bubbles and Busts or Fundamentals?” The Chinese Economy 48, no. 3 (2015): 199-214.
Co-authored with Eric M. P. Chiu and Stefanie Walter. “Fixed Exchange Rates and Financial Markets as Sources of Macroeconomic Discipline.” In Handbook of International Monetary Relations, edited by Thomas Oatley, 285-303. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015.
“The Role of Defective Mental Models in Generating the Global Financial Crisis.” Journal of Financial Economic Policy, (2012).
Co-authored with Eric Chiu. “Power Relationships and the Political Economy of Global Imbalances.” Global Economic Review, (2012).