Sessions at the Western Economic Association International conference, June-July, 2019.

CIEPS sponsored and organized three sessions on international monetary and financial economics at the Western Economic Association International conference held in San Francisco in June/July 2019. The sessions provided current doctoral students and faculty with the opportunity to present their research to an international audience and to receive helpful and constructive feedback from other researchers working in related areas. The conference had over 2000 participants from all over the world, and each of the CIEPS sessions was well attended. Doctoral students also had the chance to act as discussants to other people’s papers. On top of this, the sessions allowed former doctoral students who have gone on to follow successful academic careers, or who work in the financial sector or in government ministries, to present their on-going work, maintain their links with the Institute, and meet and advise the next generation of research students in international money and finance at CGU. Topics covered in the sessions included: the impact of natural disasters on banks; an application of machine learning to forecasting currency crises; the operation of the markets for cryptocurrencies; options strategies; complexity and the organization of banking affiliates; inflation in China after the global economic crisis; capital flow surges, credit and stock market booms; the use of machine learning in financial analysis; monetary autonomy in Hong Kong and Singapore; the impact of US monetary policy on Korea; and the relationship between capital surges and reversals. The range of topics accurately reflects the diversity of research that is being undertaken within the Institute. Academics from other universities frequently commented on the high quality of the research that is being undertaken at CIEPS. The WEAI sessions are one of the ways in which the Institute disseminates its research and discusses its future research plans with an international group of researchers.

Independent Evaluation Office Workshop on Adjustment and Growth in IMF Supported Programs, June, 2019.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to be an international institution under extreme scrutiny. At a broad level there is the whole debate about the role of multilateral institutions in the 21st century and the multilateral approach to dealing with global problems. How well has the IMF performed in terms of facilitating a multilateral approach and aiding recovery from the economic and financial crisis in 2008/09. Is it an institution that is well designed to help underpin future global economic growth? At a somewhat narrower level, there is the question of what impact IMF-supported programs have in countries that turn to it for assistance when confronting severe economic difficulties?

The Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF was set up in 2001 to audit the Fund’s activities and to provide critical insights and proposals for reform that would improve the institution’s performance. A recent workshop was held in June 2019 at the Fund’s headquarters in Washington DC to discuss future research into the effect of IMF programs on adjustment and growth. This is an important topic not only for the individual countries concerned but also in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in 2015. Graham Bird, a professor in the Department of Economic Sciences in CGU, and Deputy Director of the Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies (CIEPS), was one of three high level experts invited to participate in the workshop, alongside senior policy makers and former senior IMF officials and members of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Institute of International Finance, and the Center for International Governance Innovations.

In collaboration with Dane Rowlands of the Norman Paterson Institute of International Affairs at Carleton University in Canada, Bird has recently written an article that empirically examines the effects of IMF programs on economic growth in low income countries. This was published in the prestigious Journal of Development Studies in June, 2017. The research by Bird and Rowlands challenged many of the claims that had previously been made about the effects of IMF programs and that had resulted in a conventional wisdom forming that IMF programs were fairly universally growth retarding. Further research by Bird and Rowlands on the growth effects of IMF programs in both low income and middle income countries was presented in their recently published book, The IMF: Distinguishing Reality from Rhetoric; a book that has been described by reviewers as a ‘must read’ for any serious scholar of international economic affairs.

The workshop in DC also evaluated the IMF Policy Paper that presented a review of program design and conditionality. This is another element of IMF activity upon which Bird has undertaken research and published widely. A heavily cited paper co-written with CGU professor and CIEPS Director Thomas D Willett was one of the first to analyze the importance of country ownership in explaining the implementation of IMF conditionality. The CIEPS has a long standing and internationally respected track record of research covering the political economy of IMF operations. Underpinning much of the Institute’s research is the belief that many issues in the field of international money and finance are better understood where economics, politics and international relations are combined.

CIEPS Annual Student-Faculty Conference, April, 2019.

The Institute’s most recent annual student-faculty conference on international money and financial economics was held on April 19, 2019. The conference series is especially designed to give dissertation students the opportunity to practice making professional presentations in a friendly atmosphere and to receive comments on their research from faculty based in the Claremont colleges and other institutions as well as from fellow students. The conference also includes presentations from faculty. Many of the presentations are based on collaborative work between faculty and doctoral students, and these have often led to published papers.

Reflecting the international focus of CIEPS, participants hailed from more than 10 different nations. Revised versions of a number of the papers were later presented at the annual meetings of the Western Economics Association Meetings (see above) and one has been accepted for a poster session at the upcoming annual meetings of the American Economic Association. One of the many highlights of the conference was the keynote address by Professor Julio Garin of Claremont McKenna College. Professor Garin discussed recent developments in macroeconomic analysis, stressing the close interrelationships between micro and macro economic analysis. He also provided a number of helpful suggestions for graduate students in developing and executing their research agendas.

Poster at 2019 AEA meetings

In January, 2019, dissertation student Shan Xue presented her paper with alum and Research Associate Alice Ouyang and Professor Thomas Willett on “Monetary Autonomy in Hong Kong” at a poster session at the Annual Meetings of the American Economic Association in Atlanta.

Lecture series in China

In December, 2018, Professor Yi Feng presented a series of lectures on “Research Methods in Social Sciences and Publications in International Journals” at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics in China and also met with officials from Peking University and Renmin University in Beijing to discuss possible co-operative arrangements with our CGU program in Global Commerce and Finance.

Keynote addresses in Taiwan

In December Professor Thomas Willett presented keynote addresses on “Principles of Economic Governance” at two major conferences in Taiwan: “Cross-Border Co-operation and Network Governance” and “Regional Governance in Asia”. The second conference was organized by alum and Research Associate Eric Chiu of National Chung Hsing University and alum Peter Ractham of Thammasat University in Thailand. The two conferences brought together economists and international relations and public policy experts from across Asia and as far away as Moscow.

The focus of one session at the second conference was to promote cooperation in research among young scholars in Asia with guidance from senior faculty, a project that the Institute is delighted to help promote.

Lead article

The recent paper by alumni Hassan Almamhood and Munif Al Munyif in collaboration with Professor Thomas Willett on “Most Speculative Attacks Do Not Succeed” was published as the lead article in the February 2018 issue of the Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy. The article critiques the major measures of currency crises in the literature and shows that the vast majority of speculative attacks do not result in large currency depreciations. This has important implications for future empirical work and for the formulation of policy.


The paper “Do Financial Crises Discipline Future Credit Growth?” by alumni Puspa Amri of Cal State Sanoma, Eric Chiu of National Chung Hisng University, Greg Richey of University of California, Riverside, as well as Professor Thomas Willett, won a highly commended award for 2018 from the Journal of Financial Economic Policy. The paper concluded that the answer posed in the title was ‘yes’. This is important since excessively high rates of credit growth have been found to be the single most important contributor to the generation of banking crises. Based on a large sample of countries the researchers found that roughly two thirds of countries did substantially lower their rates of credit growth after crises.


Alumnus Eric Chiu, Associate Professor of Public Policy at National Chung Hsing University, received the Ta-You Wu Memorial Award. This is a highly prestigious national award made to outstanding young scholars in Taiwan.


Alumnus Jie Li of the Central University of Economics and Finance in Beijing has become editor of the Journal of International Commerce, Economics, and Policy.
He replaces the previous editor, alumnus Ramkishen Rajan, who is Professor and Vice Dean (Research) at National Singapore University.

European Seminar on the IMF: Rome, 2018

The Task Force of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) on IMF issues organized a seminar in Rome in November, 2018, to prepare a report for the Governing/General Councils of the ECB and the relevant bodies for European coordination on IMF matters including Fund conditionality and program design issues. The recently published book by Graham Bird and Dane Rowlands on The IMF: Distinguishing Reality from Rhetoric was used as a basis for the seminar. The book has received positive endorsements from Barry Eichengreen of UC Berkeley and Axel Dreher of Heidelberg University and has been enthusiastically received by reviewers who have argued that it is a ‘must read’ for serious scholars investigating the IMF.

Seminar on Regional Financing Arrangements: Cartagena, Colombia, 2018.

In June 2018, Graham Bird gave a presentation dealing with many aspects of IMF conditionality to a two-day seminar on Regional Financing Arrangements held in Cartagena, Colombia and jointly organized by the ASEAN +3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), the European Stability Mechanism (EMS), and the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR). The seminar was attended by high level senior officials from these organizations, from the IMF, the World Bank and the Regional Development Banks, as well as by academic experts.

Financing Economic Development and the Impact of IMF Programs on Poverty

In June, 2018, Graham Bird presented two papers to the 3rd Loughborough Conference on Macroeconomic Policy in Developing Countries in the UK. The first dealt with the effects of remittances, FDI and foreign aid in low income countries, and was based on research conducted by him along with alumnus Juan Carlos Arriaza (now a senior economist at the central bank in Guatemala), current doctoral student Yonseok Choi, CIEPS Research Associate Manfred Keil, and CIEPS Director Tom Willett. The second paper reported the results of a study of the effects of IMF programs on poverty, income inequality and social expenditure in low income countries. This was based on research undertaken at CIEPS by Graham Bird in collaboration with alumna Faryal Qayun and Dane Rowlands. Faryal has been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the National University of Science and Technology in Pakistan.

Financial Contagion and the Euro Crisis

Alumna Wenti Du of Akita International University, Eric Pentecost of Loughborough University and former Visiting Scholar at CIEPS, and Professors Graham Bird and Thomas Willett, have published a series of research papers on the financial contagion generated by the Euro crisis. A write up of this research is available in the News section of the DPE web site. It also featured in the The Flame, the CGU’s own magazine.

CIEPS Annual Student-Faculty Conference, 2018

The latest in the Institute’s annual conferences was held in April, 2018.
Besides those given by students and faculty, it included presentations from several leading scholars from outside of CGU.
Please View Agenda and Pictures here.

Sessions at the Western Economic Association’s Annual Meeting, 2018

The latest meetings of the Western Economics Association International were held in Vancouver, Canada, in June, 2018. CIEPS organized two sessions which brought together CGU faculty and students, alumni from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States, as well as CIEPS Research Associates and other distinguished researchers.
Please View Agenda and Pictures here.