Robert’s research interests lie in the economic and financial history of modern Europe. His dissertation explores the role of economic advisers in shaping central-bank policies in interwar Britain, France, and Germany. He explores how the contributions of economic theory, as well as an adherence to orthodox views, guided monetary and fiscal policies throughout the interwar years. Additional research interests include the history of statistics; the history of expertise and policymaking; and the history of banking regulation.
Past research has dealt with a range of topics related to economic history, which include the historic importance of gold reserves to the Bank of France’s monetary policies; the influence of interwar economists in negotiating post-WW1 reparations; and European banking during the Second World War.
Using the Bank of France’s recently compiled weekly balance sheets, this project investigated the importance of gold and foreign-exchange reserves to monetary policies. It explored how rapid changes in reserve holdings, coupled with changes to the discount rate and procurement of foreign loans, reflected the changing role of the central bank.
Economists and other technical advisers played a vital role in the debates and negotiations on Germany’s post-World War I reparations. In an advisory capacity, they offered policy recommendations to the members of the Dawes Committee in 1924 that sought to address the escalating conflict in the Ruhr.
The Washington Consensus
Although John H. Williamson is perhaps most well known for his coinage of the term Washington Consensus, his contribution to the economics discipline as a whole is noteworthy, ranging from his pioneering research on exchange-rate regimes to his his later work on growth-linked securities as investments.