Economist as public intellectual: Max Corden’s journey through life

Author name: 
Prema-chandra Athukorala
Hal Hill
Sisira Jayasuriya

This paper examines the intellectual contributions of Professor W. M. (‘Max’) Corden to Economics. We focus on three main fields: trade theory and practice, especially his pioneering work on the theory of effective protection; open economy macroeconomics, including exchange rate policy, the international monetary system, Dutch Disease, and economic crises; and Australian economic policy. We emphasize Max’s motivation for working on these topics, as he sought to understand real-world economic issues and challenges, and to employ economic theory and expositional clarity in search of policy reform. We also draw attention to his personal life history, and how it has shaped his thinking on major economic and political questions.

Key words: Max Corden, trade theory, open economy macroeconomics, biography, public policy, Australia. JEL codes: A11, B31, Z18

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