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; international relations; and the history of banking regulation.
Past research has dealt with a range of topics, including: the importance of gold reserves to the Bank of France’s monetary policies; the influence of interwar experts 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, published in Studies in Applied Economics, investigates the importance of gold and foreign-exchange reserves to monetary policies. It explores how rapid changes in reserve holdings, coupled with changes to the discount rate and procurement of foreign loans, thereby reflecting the changing role of the central bank in times of crisis.
Economic 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 to address escalating geopolitical conflict. My research, published in the Financial History Review, shows how economists simultaneously aimed to resolve the fiscal problem of inflation and the geopolitical crisis of the 1923 Franco-Belgian invasion of 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.