Clarida coming to Illinois, presenting a seminar
Professor Richard Clarida will be visiting the Illinois campus at Urbana-Champaign on October 12, 2018 to accept an Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he is an alumnus from the Economics Department. More information about the award is below.
While visiting the campus he will be giving an academic seminar co-sponsered by the Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Association, and Gies College of Business. The seminar is open to the public, seating may be limited. Details of the seminar are located below.
Professor Clarida was confirmed by the US Senate on August 28, 2018 to serve as Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. This confirmation came after President Trump nominated him for the post last year.
Professor Clarida has an extensive academic and public service record. More information about him, his research and news items can be found nested below on this page.
Headline: Alumni Richard Clarida, Vice Chair of Fed, Visits Campus
by Michael Semaca, Economics Alumni Intern
Department of Economics alumni Richard Clarida returned to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday to accept the LAS Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Clarida received the award due to his considerable academic and public service record spanning four decades. He is the first alumni of the Department of Economics to receive the award.
Clarida currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC, making him the second highest authority over the nation’s economic policy. He was nominated to the position by President Donald J. Trump in April 2018, and was confirmed by the Senate in August with bipartisan approval.
Dr. Clarida graduated from Illinois in 1979 with a degree in economics. He then earned both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees at Harvard University in 1983. In 1988, he accepted a position at Columbia University, where he currently serves as the C. Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics. Clarida is currently on leave from Columbia while he works at the Federal Reserve.
While on campus, Clarida presented a seminar to students and faculty entitled “The Effect of Global Factors on the Neutral Policy Interest Rate.” The lecture focused on how central banks like the Federal Reserve target certain inflation rates, and the policies they implement to achieve those rates to keep prices stable.
Most Western countries attempt to keep inflation around two percent, Clarida said. Doing so required performing some form of inflation targeting: a framework for monetary policy aimed at keeping prices stable. Central banks would adjust interest rates to hit a certain inflation target. Clarida said that he and other economists prefer to use the term “inflation forecast targeting” rather than inflation targeting.
“In practice, because of the lags, you’re always implicitly doing some form of inflation forecast targeting; you’re setting policy rates today based upon where inflation is expected to be if you don’t adjust rates,” Clarida explained.
Countries began to implement inflation targeting policies in the 1990s as a way to keep inflation rates low following dramatic increases in the 1970s. Central banks had been able to curb the inflation of the 1970s, but in the process created the worst recession since the Depression, Clarida said. Inflation targeting schemes were meant to decrease the volatility of inflation, and largely achieved that goal.
Many of the implementations were designed to use Professor John Taylor’s “Taylor Rule” as a guide for monetary policymakers to achieve their targeted inflation. As part of his research in the 1990s, Clarida proposed modifying the Taylor Rule into a “Forward Taylor Rule,” setting policies based on where the central bank anticipated inflation and GDP to be at some point in the future.
“We were aware of John’s work, but we were also aware of the fact that it would be very hard to think a simple rule like this could actually be consistent with the correlations we see in the data,” Clarida said.
In 2010, Clarida used his Forward Taylor Rule to analyze how Fed policy may have influenced the Great Recession. He compared the interest rate that his rule suggested and the rate the Fed actually used, and found that his model recommended using higher interest rates from 2003 to 2005 than were actually used. Clarida suggested that the Fed’s inability to raise interest rates during that time contributed to the financial bubble that led to the Recession.
Once the Recession hit, central banks around the world cut interest rates in a “textbook” manner, Clarida said, until rates neared zero. With the crisis still in full swing, banks turned to quantitative easing, a form of monetary policy where the central bank buys a large amount of government bonds. Economists predicted that such a move would increase inflation, but that did not happen, Clarida said.
“When central banks buy government bonds, they create reserves in the banking system that are excess of those required, relative to the deposit base,” Clarida explained. “The great inflation did not happen in the last decade because the banking system did not create credit with the deposit expansion as they did before the crisis.”
Abstract: Professor Clarida will discuss his 2017 NBER working paper on the factors that affect the "neutral policy rate". The "policy rate" is the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve for loans between banks (currently about 2%), and the "neutral policy rate" is the steady-state interest rate that is consistent with full employment (an unemployment rate of 4%), and modest inflation (2%). The neutral policy rate for the U.S. economy will depend on the economic fundamentals in the U.S. such as productivity and population growth. Professor Clarida will explain why the neutral policy rate for the U.S. economy will also depend on "global factors" common to all economies. These global factors include technological change, global economic growth, and savings rates around the world. Professor Clarida will then discuss the implications for exchange rates and the benefits and costs of coordinated monetary policies across countries.
Location: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL 61801 map
Date: October 12, 2018
Time: 2-3 p.m.
Seating may be limited
This seminar is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Association, and Gies College of Business
College of LAS names alumni award winners
Economics alumnus among seven recipients honored for exceptional careers
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2018 annual alumni awards. The recipients represent a variety of backgrounds and degrees, from microbiology and economics to history, psychology, and mathematics. Their remarkable achievements are linked to their experiences and connections at the University of Illinois.
Most recipients will be honored on campus during Homecoming weekend including the Economics alumnus, Richard Clarida (BS, ’79, economics), for the LAS Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Clarida is the first Economics alumni to receive this award.
The LAS Achievement Award is given to the alumnus or alumna who, by outstanding achievement, has demonstrated the values derived from a liberal arts and sciences education. Nominees must qualify under one of the following categories: outstanding professional achievement; creative achievement; worthy cumulative performance through the years; or recent acknowledgement by community or professional peers. Past recipients
Read more about other LAS Alumni Award information and recipients here
On August 28, 2018, the US Senate confirmed Dr. Clarida's appointment as the Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. (WSJ)
He has most recently taught international affairs in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, holding the C. Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics Chair. From 1997 until 2001, he served as chairman of the Department of Economics at Columbia University (Wikipedia).
He currently serves as a managing director and global strategic advisor for PIMCO in the New York Office. (PIMCO) From February 2002 to May 2003 he served as Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury for Economics Policy where he was awarded the United States Treasury Medal for Distinguished Service in May 2003. (CV)
Additionally, Dr. Clarida has served on many boards, in consulting roles, served as editor of notable publications, and published extensively. (CV)
Dr. Clarida is slated to be the 2020 Convocation Speaker for the Department of Economics.
News articles about Dr. Clarida can be found in the News Links section below.
List compiled by Economics Alumni Relations Office
Event contact information:
Marsha L. Carter-Hatchel
Media inquiries use email please