Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1964
Office: SSC 4021
Telephone: 519-661-2111 Ext. 85386
The Development of Classical, Neoclassical and Keynesian Monetary Economics; Monetary Policy Regimes, with special reference to Canada and North America
The theme of David Laidler's research is summed up by the title of his 1988 presidential address to the CEA, "Taking money seriously" (CJE 1988). He has been a leader in the monetarist tradition of analysis of the crucial role of money in determining inflation and short-run economic fluctuations ever since, as a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, he was a research assistant for Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz's Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960 (1963). David Laidler has been an eloquent advocate and defender of Friedman's Chicago monetarism both upholding monetary explanations of inflation, and the absence of long-run real stimulus from monetary expansion, against Keynesians (Old, New, and Post) and insisting on the importance of money for short-run real fluctuations against New Classical claims that any systematic monetary policy will be neutral. His influence was extended, in part, through his textbooks The Demand for Money – Theories and Evidence and Introduction to Microeconomics*, both of which went through four English language editions and were published in numerous other languages. The first of his family to attend university, David Laidler grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where his father had a fish-and-chips shop. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Syracuse University, and the University of Chicago, he has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1982, and was president of the Canadian Economics Association in 1987–88. Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society in 2009, David Laidler has championed the need for macroeconomic theorists and policy analysts to have a historical perspective on how their field has evolved. He has also been an influential writer about Canadian monetary policy. The Great Canadian Disinflation: The Economics and Politics of Monetary Policy in Canada, 1988–1993 (with William Robson, 1993) shared the first Doug Purvis Memorial Prize for a work of excellence in Canadian economic policy, and Two Percent Target: Canadian Monetary Policy Since 1991 (with William Robson, 2004) won the Donner Prize for outstanding book of the year on Canadian public policy. After teaching at the University of Manchester and the University of California, Berkeley, David Laidler joined the University of Western Ontario in 1975 and was Bank of Montreal Professor there from 2000 to 2005. Two volumes on David Laidler's Contributions to Economics have been edited by Robert Leeson (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
Reprinted from the Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 46, No. 1, February 2013: 1-2.
*Introduction to Microeconomics, now entitled Microeconomics, in its sixth edition.
Harvard, the Chicago Tradition and the Quantity Theory: A Reply to James Ahiakpor (with Roger Sandilands)
Financial Stability, Monetarism and the Wicksell Connection (The 2007 John Kuszczak Memorial Lecture)
What Was Lost with IS-LM (with Roger E. Backhouse)
An Early Harvard Memorandum on Anti-depression Policies (with Roger Sandilands)