Manuelli named James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor​

WUSTL Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton places a professorship medallion around the neck of Rodolfo Manuelli during a ceremony Feb. 25 in which Manuelli was officially installed as a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor. Barbara A. Schaal, PhD, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, looks on. (Credit: WUSTL Photo )

Rodolfo Manuelli, PhD, professor of economics in Arts & Sciences, has been named a James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences. A formal installation ceremony was held Feb. 25.

Manuelli, a member of the Washington University economics faculty since 2008, is an influential macroeconomist with expertise in topics such as economic growth and development, dynamic fiscal policy and inflation.

In the last five years, he has focused on labor market and development issues such as demographic transitions, the behavior of women in the labor market, and the interaction among human capital accumulation, growth and the distribution of income and wealth.

He studied at the University of Buenos Aires and graduated with honors in 1976, then remained in Argentina until 1980 as an economist for the National Institute for Hydraulic Sciences and Techniques, Argentina’s Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Foundation for Latin American Economic Research. In 1983, Manuelli joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as a research associate and later became a visiting scholar.

He earned a PhD in economics at the University of Minnesota in 1986. Also in 1986, he joined the faculty of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. In 1987, he moved to the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was promoted to associate professor in 1991. Two years later, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served as director of the Social Systems Research Institute, and eventually became a full professor.

He also has served as a visiting professor at the Universidad de Tucuman in Tucuman, Argentina (1998, 2000-2003), the Universidad DiTella in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1994-2007), and the Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1996, 2011).

Manuelli has 25 publications in refereed journals, including the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy. His success and influence in the profession is reflected in his more than 1,500 citations and five multi-year grant awards from the National Science Foundation. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina (economics), a fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory and is the president-elect of the Midwest Economics Association.

Manuelli is the latest Arts & Sciences professor to be named a McDonnell Distinguished University Professor. The position is one of three such-named professorships established in 1997 by the McDonnell Family in honor of the aerospace pioneer whose name they bear. Other recipients include Raymond E. Arvidson, PhD, professor of earth and planetary sciences, and Henry L. “Roddy” Roediger, PhD, professor of psychology.

The late James S. McDonnell (1899-1980) was an aviation pioneer and founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corp. “Mr. Mac” served for many years as a university trustee and chairman of the Board of Trustees.

His interest in and support of the university are evident from the first professorship he established — in the space sciences in 1963 — to the establishment of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences in 1974, and many other valuable contributions, especially in the area of genetics and studies of the human mind and brain.

His family has continued its strong affiliation with Washington University, serving in numerous leadership roles and generously supporting faculty, students and programs across the Danforth and Medical campuses.

Rodolfo Manuelli, a newly installed James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, converses with John McDonnell, son of the aviation pioneer for whom the professorship is named. (Credit: WUSTL Photo)