Office—International Monetary Fund, 700 19th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20431. E-mail—[email protected]
Economist and writer. International Finance Division of the Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, held research and managerial positions, 1972-85; International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, senior advisor, beginning c. 1986, also faculty member and manager of IMF Institute.
Exchange-Rate Determination: A Survey of Popular Views and Recent Models, International Finance Section (Princeton, NJ), 1978.
(Editor, with Warren L. Coats, Jr., and Reinhard W. Furstenberg) The SDR System and the Issue of Resource Transfers, International Finance Section (Princeton, NJ), 1990.
(With Joshua E. Greene) Currency Convertibility and the Transformation of Centrally Planned Economies, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 1991.
(Editor, with Michael Mussa and James M. Boughton) The Future of the SDR in Light of Changes in the International Financial System, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 1996.
(Editor, with Hamid Faruqee) Exchange Rate Assessment: Extensions of the Macroeconomic Balance Approach, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 1998.
(Editor, with Assaf Razin and Andrew K. Rose) International Finance and Financial Crises: Essays in Honor of Robert P. Flood, Jr., Kluwer Academic (Boston, MA), 1999.
(With others) Methodology for Current Account and Exchange Rate Assessments, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 2001.
(With Allan Drazen) Can Public Discussion Enhance Program Ownership? (electronic resource), National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
Globalization and the International Financial System: What's Wrong and What Can Be Done, Cambridge (New York, NY), 2005.
(Editor, with others) The Macroeconomic Management of Foreign Aid: Opportunities and Pitfalls, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals.
Peter Isard is an economist who has published articles on the behavior of exchange rates, strategies for monetary policy, and directions for reforming the international financial system. He has also authored, coauthored, or edited numerous books focusing on these and other economic issues. His 1995 book Exchange Rate Economics, has received widespread acclaim. In the book's preface the author notes: "Economists have written extensively about exchange rates, particularly during the past two decades. This book tries to describe and evaluate the literature in a way that will enlighten both students and policy makers, while also serving as a valuable reference for many research economists." In the first part of the book, Isard provides historical and institutional perspectives of exchange rate economics, discussing topics such as the evolution of foreign exchange markets and what makes money marketable. He also looks at exchange rate arrangements and international monetary regimes. Part two focuses on models of exchange rate behavior, including exchange rates and national price levels, as well as the relationships between exchange rates and interests rates. The author provides an in-depth analysis of exchange rate policies in part three.
Writing in the introduction to Exchange Rate Economics, Isard commented: "In a fundamental sense … the renewed interest in exchange rate economics has also reflected the fact that exchange rates are important. Changes in exchange rates have pervasive effects, with consequences for prices, wages, interest rates, production levels, and employment opportunities, and thus with direct or indirect implications for the welfare of virtually all economic participants. Accordingly, large and unpredictable changes in exchange rates present a major concern for macroeconomic stabilization policy."
In his 2005 book Globalization and the International Financial System: What's Wrong and What Can Be Done, Isard looks at the various aspects of the international financial system that have contributed to financial crises and growth failures in several emerging market economies. He also discusses the various remedies set forth by economists to address underlying problems. In addition, Isard explores the International Monetary Fund, demystifying its central features and explaining the factors that influence its effectiveness. "His chapter on IMF operations is a must-read for students of international monetary relations," wrote Anastasia Xenias in the Political Science Quarterly. "The depth and clarity of his descriptions of these operations are difficult to find anywhere else, and indeed were sorely lacking in the international political economy literature." Adam Godet wrote in the Southern Economic Journal: "In general, Isard's book provides the reader with a useful body of knowledge on the international financial system, the ways in which it has been affected and changed by the current era of globalization, and some basic information on economic development."
Isard begins Globalization and the International Financial System by discussing the evolution of the international money system and the international monetary fund. He then goes on to discuss financial crises and the obstacles to growth, as well as factors contributing to various international financial crises. He explores the effects of these crises and the various controversies over how to respond. He also provides an overview of perspectives on economic growth and poverty reduction. In the book's third section, he outlines an agenda for reform and makes recommendations about what individual countries can do to cope with economic setbacks. Isard, furthermore, addresses reform of the international financial system and how countries can reduce their vulnerabilities to financial crises and growth failures.
"Peter Isard diligently and skillfully tackles the two major economic concerns of globalization—financial crises and growth failures—in a thorough but highly readable book that will appeal to both scholars and a broader audience," suggested Xenias of Globalization and the International Financial System. Godet further concluded: "Isard states that he has three aims to achieve in his book: provide perspectives on the various problems that contribute to financial crises and growth failures, describe remedies as proposed by economists, and shed light on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its effectiveness. He does this effectively and, in the process, provides a useful tool for beginning and intermediate students of international finance."
Isard is also a coeditor of The Macroeconomic Management of Foreign Aid: Opportunities and Pitfalls. The book's essays address a number of issues, including the relationship between aid, growth, and poverty reduction; the potential for sizable increases in aid to adversely affect competitiveness; and the effect of aid on the institutions and political economy of the places receiving the aid. Writing in the book's preface, the author notes that the essays stem from a conference held in 2004. He comments: "With the international policy community strongly focused on the need for a large scaling-up of foreign aid and particularly concerned to address the plight of sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF Institute saw scope for a constructive discussion of issues relevant to ensuring that substantially more aid results in substantially more growth and less poverty."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Isard, Peter, Exchange Rate Economics, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Isard, Peter, and others, editors, The Macroeconomic Management of Foreign Aid: Opportunities and Pitfalls, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC), 2006.
De Economist, March, 1999, Teun Schmidt, review of Exchange Rate Economics, p. 101.
Economic Journal, September, 1996, Geert Gielens, review of Exchange Rate Economics, p. 1441.
Journal of Economic Literature, June, 1996, review of Exchange Rate Economics, p. 858; June, 1997, Christian C.P. Wolff, review of Exchange Rate Economics, p. 784; December, 2001, Paul R. Bergin, review of International Finance and Financial Crises: Essays in Honor of Robert P. Flood, Jr., p. 242; June, 2005, review of Globalization and the International Financial System: What's Wrong and What Can Be Done, p. 557; June, 2006, Barry Eichengreen, review of Globalization and the International Financial System, p. 415.
Orbis, winter, 1989, Patrick Clawson, "Empirical Macroeconomics for Interdependent Economies," p. 124.
Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2006, Anastasia Xenias, review of Globalization and the International Financial System, p. 185.
Southern Economic Journal, October, 2005, Adam Godet, review of Globalization and the International Financial System, p. 516.
Cambridge University Press Web site,http://www.cambridge.org/ (April 15, 2008), brief author profile.