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, international 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 factors 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.
“The Long and Winding Road from the International Macroeconomic Policy Trilemma to the Integrated Policy Framework” (with Graham Bird), World Economics Journal, December 2022.
“Correlates of Crisis Induced Credit Market Discipline: The Roles of Democracy, Veto Players, and Government Turnover” (with Puspa Amri et. al.), Open Economies Review, Feb. 2022, pp 61-87.
“New Developments in Financial Economics” Journal of Financial Economic Policy, 2022 Vol 14, Issue 4.
“Modern Monetary Theory: Old wine in new bottles” (with Graham Bird and Eric Pentecost), World Economics Journal, March 2021.
“The relationship between currency crises and capital flow reversals: an empirical examination” (with Hassan Almahmood and Graham Bird), International Review of Economics and Finance 69, (2020): 419-34.
“China’s Global Interdependence” (with Richard Burdekin), The Chinese Economy special issue 52, no. 4 (2019).
“Contagion from the crises in the Euro-zone: where, when and why?” (with Eric Pentecost et. al.), The European Journal of Finance 25, no. 14 (2019): 1309-327.
“Capital controls and currency crises: revisited: A political economy analysis” (with Eric Chiu), Emerging Markets Trade and Finance, (2019): 1-21.
“Most Speculative Attacks Don’t Succeed: Currency Crises, and Currency Crashes” (with Hassan Almahmood and Munif Al Munyif), Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy 9, no. 1 (2018): 1-9.
“The Effects of Monetary and Fiscal Policies on the Output costs of Sudden Stops” (with Kawin Iamtrakel), Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy 11, no. 1.
“Policy Inconsistencies and the Political Economy of Currency Crises: An Agenda for Research” (with Puspa Amri), Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy, (2017).
“Behavioral Finance and Efficient Markets: What does the euro crisis tell us?” (with Graham Bird and Wenti Du), Open Economies Review 28, no. 2 (2017): 273-95.
“The Relationships among Capital Flow Surges, Reversals, and Sudden Stops” (with Levan Efremidze, et al.), Journal of Financial Economic Policy 9, no. 3 (2017): 284-301.
“Capital Flow Surges as Bubbles” (with Levan Efremidze and John Rutledge), Singapore Economic Review, (2016).
“Capital Flow Surges and Credit Booms: How Tight is the Connection?” (Co-authored with Puspa Amri and Greg Richey), Open Economies Review, (2016).
“Chinese Stocks during 2000–2013: Bubbles and Busts or Fundamentals?” (Co-authored with Priscilla Liang), The Chinese Economy 48, no. 3 (2015): 199-214.
“Fixed Exchange Rates and Financial Markets as Sources of Macroeconomic Discipline” (with Eric M. P. Chiu and Stefanie Walter), 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).
“Power Relationships and the Political Economy of Global Imbalances” (with Eric Chiu), Global Economic Review, (2012).