Eswar Prasad

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Eswar Prasad
Eswar Prasad - World Economic Forum on East Asia 2012.jpg
World Economic Forum on East Asia, 2012
Born 1965 (age 51–52)
Occupation Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
Known for Author of "The Dollar Trap", "Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi"

Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University[1] and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.[2] He held the New Century Chair in International Economics at Brookings.[3]

Prasad began his studies in economics at the University of Madras (B.A., 1985), and continued at Brown University (M.A., 1986) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1992).

Prasad is a former Chief of the Financial Studies Division in the International Monetary Fund’s Research Department and was also the head of the IMF’s China division. [4] He served as the co-editor of the journal IMF Staff Papers,[5] was on the editorial board of Finance & Development[6] and was the founding editor of the quarterly IMF Research Bulletin.[7] He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research[8] and a Research Fellow at IZA[9] (Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn).

His research covers many areas including labor economics, business cycles, and open economy macroeconomics. He has testified before the United States Senate Committee on Finance[10] and the United States House Committee on Financial Services (both on China), and his research has been cited in the U.S. Congressional Record. He is now also one of the two Lead Academics for the India country programme at the International Growth Centre. His lengthy publication record includes articles in many collective volumes as well as top academic journals such as the American Economic Review,[11] Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,[12] The Economic Journal,[13] Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives,[14] Journal of International Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics.

In a series of papers written with Michael Keane (economist) in the early 2000's, Prasad argued that the Polish model of transition, which involved rapid liberalization of prices and opening to trade ("The Big Bang"), combined with very gradual privatization of state enterprises and a generous system of social transfers, led to both superior growth performance and less inequality than occurred in other former communist countries.[15]

In The Dollar Trap[16] (2014), Prasad examined the U.S. dollar's continuing dominance in the world economy following the global financial crisis. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he stated:

... it’s difficult to lay out a convincing scenario where the dollar is displaced any time in the foreseeable future as the dominant reserve currency. In international finance everything is relative. It’s not that the U.S. has especially good policies or growth prospects, it’s that the rest of the world looks weaker when it comes to putting together the powerful financial institutions that the U.S. has.... There are times, like during the debt-ceiling debate, when that trust is called into question. But the world has no other place to go, especially during times of global financial market turbulence or, paradoxically, even turbulence originating in the U.S.[17]

Prasad was asked in 2014 to comment on whether he believed President Obama would impose harsher sanctions against Russia for their aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Prasad said harsher sanctions at this time were unlikely.[18]

In September 2016, Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi[19] was published. As the date for the designation of the Chinese renminbi as an IMF major global currency also approached, Prasad

thinks fears of a [Chinese] financial meltdown are overblown. Most borrowers and lenders, he points out, are owned by the government, so banks are unlikely to pull their loans and precipitate a cascading crisis. Still, economic and financial fragility, he argues, will limit the rise of the Chinese yuan as a global “safe haven” currency.[20]

The book was launched at Brookings with a panel including Prasad, Ben Bernanke and others moderated by Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal[19] and published by Oxford University Press October 2016.[21]


  1. ^ Prasad's professor page at Cornell University
  2. ^ Brookings Institution website search, Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  3. ^ "Senior Fellow and New Century Chair in International Economics, Brookings Institution", "Prasad, Eswar Chairperson 2010 -". Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  4. ^ Beattie, Alan (2011-05-15). "Crisis threatens European role at IMF". The Financial Times. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  5. ^ IMF Staff Papers, a journal of the IMF
  6. ^ Finance & Development, a quarterly magazine of the IMF
  7. ^ IMF Research Bulletin, an online quarterly bulletin
  8. ^ Prasad's author page at NBER
  9. ^ Prasad's fellow page at IZA
  10. ^ Testimony before the USCC on China’s Role in the Origins of and Response to the Global Recession
  11. ^ Modernizing China's Growth Paradigm
  12. ^ Brookings Papers on Economic Activity Archived March 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Identifying the Common Component of International Economic Fluctuations: A New Approach
  14. ^ A Pragmatic Approach to Capital Account Liberalization
  15. ^ See, e.g., Keane, M. and E. Prasad (2002). "Inequality, Transfers and Growth: New Evidence from the Economic Transition in Poland," Review of Economics and Statistics, 84:2, 324-341.
  16. ^ Prasad, Eswar. "The Dollar Trap". 
  17. ^ Davis, Bob, "8 Questions: Eswar Prasad, ‘The Dollar Trap’", Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2014.
  18. ^ Davidson, Paul. "U.S. exporters feel chill in Russia orders". USA Today. Retrieved 26 March 2014. It's unlikely that Obama will impose drastic restrictions on trade between the two countries, says Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University. But, he says, U.S. organizations such as the Export-Import Bank could feel pressured to limit loans or guarantees to companies seeking to sell to Russia for the first time or expand into new markets. 
  19. ^ a b "Upcoming event", Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  20. ^ Browne, Andrew, "Chinese Debt Soars Into Space", Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  21. ^ Gaining Currency, Retrieved 2016-09-13.

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