Influencing economic theory: Carl Walsh

November 02, 2017

Carl Walsh is this year's recipient of the Faculty Research Award for his distinguishable research on economics and influence on economic policy. Watch the video about Walsh's distinguished career. The award is the foremost academic honor bestowed by the Santa Cruz Division of the Academic Senate.

Walsh is one of the world’s premiere researchers in the fields of monetary theory and monetary policy. His now-classic papers on central bank governance, optimal monetary policy, and inflation targeting have helped set the research agenda for monetary economists for over thirty years and have had a strong positive influence on the way the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and central banks abroad conduct monetary policy. Transcript below.

Voiceover read by Associate Professor of History, David H. Anthony III.

Transcript:

In 2004, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called a landmark paper by UC Santa Cruz Professor Carl Walsh “one of the three most influential papers in macroeconomics over the past 25 years,” he acknowledged what the world of economics had known for a more than a decade.

Carl Walsh is one of the world’s premiere researchers in the fields of monetary theory and monetary policy.

The now-classic paper titled "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers" has become known as the “Walsh Contract.

Walsh, a distinguished professor of economics at UC Santa Cruz, has been selected to deliver the 52nd Faculty Research Lecture for 2018. Selected by his UCSC peers, it is one of the highest campus honors a faculty member can receive.

Walsh joined UC Santa Cruz in 1987, after serving as senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he continues as a visiting scholar. Earlier he held teaching positions at Princeton University and the University of Aukland, New Zealand after receiving his bachelors and doctorate degrees at UC Berkeley.

His classic papers on central bank governance, optimal monetary policy, and inflation targeting have helped set the research agenda for monetary economists for more than 30 years. His work has influenced the way the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and central banks abroad conduct monetary policy. Tony Blair’s government cited Walsh’s 1995 paper as it reformed the Bank of England.

Walsh has been busy during his 30 years at UC Santa Cruz. He has chaired the economics department for six years and was vice provost for UCSC's research and academic initiatives in Silicon Valley.

Today, Walsh is also an International Research Fellow with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany and recently completed a
three-year stint as a scientific adviser to the central bank of Norway. Just last week he presented a paper to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

We don’t know where he finds the time but he has finished a fourth edition of Monetary Theory and Policy, required reading in most graduate courses worldwide. And his textbook, Economics, written with Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, is a standard in Economics 101 classes.

From international economics to pocketbook issues, Carl knows the economics of education by heart. In 2003, he and his wife, Judy, a Crown College alumna, established the Walsh Family Scholarship in honor of Carl’s parents Eugene and Bessie Walsh.

Since then, 15 UC Santa Cruz undergraduates have been awarded a Walsh Family Scholarship to support their studies in the social sciences.

In honor of his impact on international economic policy, distinguished scholarship, service to UC Santa Cruz, and generosity to students and researchers, Professor Carl Walsh is the 2018 Faculty Research Lecturer.