Carnegie Mellon University
January 13, 2023

Remembering Bennett McCallum

Bennett T. McCallum, monetary economist and long-time Tepper School of Business faculty member, passed away on Dec. 28, 2022, at the age of 87.

Dr. McCallum had an international impact on our intellectual understanding of monetary economics and a concrete influence on the conduct of monetary policy. Dr. McCallum made important contributions to the use of monetary rules as a benchmark and guide for Central Banks. An example of this approach is the “McCallum-rule” focused on the growth in the quantity of money. His research also made significant contributions in topics ranging from the desirability of different types of monetary targets, the impact of fiscal policy on inflation, and the role of central-bank independence. Dr. McCallum authored “Monetary Economics: Theory and Policy,” “International Monetary Economics,” and published more than 200 articles on monetary economics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and other topics.

"Ben McCallum was a pre-eminent monetary economist whose research established the foundation for much of our current understanding of monetary policy,” said Ariel Zetlin-Jones, Associate Professor of Economics. “His work on policy rules demonstrated the usefulness of interest rate policies that are used widely by central banks around the world. Additionally, as co-editor of the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy from 1995 to 2010, Ben helped foster the development of a community of scholars and ideas that continue to shape monetary policy today."

“Ben was thoughtful, insightful, and an exceptional scholar,” said Dennis Epple, the Thomas Lord University Professor of Economics at the Tepper School. “Through his path-breaking research and its impact on public policy, Ben made the Tepper School, and the world, a better place. I had the good fortune to coauthor a paper with Ben. I was impressed by the depth of his thinking and by the precision with which he could express ideas. Among my fondest memories are the frequent lunches over the years that Ben, other close colleagues, and I had at the faculty dining room. Our lunch discussions were lively and wide-ranging. We solved a great many of the world’s problems at those lunches. I also recall the pleasure of social gatherings with Ben and his wife Sally. They were a great team! Ben was a very dear friend and a wonderful person. He will be missed.”

“Ben had an enormous impact on the Tepper School,” said Duane Seppi, the David M. and Barbara A. Kirr Professor of Finance and Senior Associate Dean, Faculty. “In addition to his standing as an Economist of global significance, Ben was a trusted source of well-considered advice and calm and clear counsel at the Tepper School.”

Dr. McCallum started his long association with Carnegie Mellon University and the Tepper School (formerly the Graduate School of Industrial Administration) as a Visiting Professor in 1980. He became Professor of Economics in 1981 and served as the H.J. Heinz Professor of Economics from 1986-2016. McCallum became Emeritus in 2016. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Dr. McCallum held academic positions at the University of Virginia and University of Sussex.

Dr. McCallum’s impact and professional recognition was not limited to the Tepper School. He served on several editorial boards and was co-editor of the American Economic Review and Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series in Public Policy. He was a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee. He served as a consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and to the Federal Reserve Board. He was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of Japan, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Dr. McCallum also served as an Honorary Advisor to the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies of the Bank of Japan.

Dr. McCallum earned BA in 1957 and BS (Chemical Engineering) in 1958 from Rice University as well as a Ph.D. (Economics) in 1969. He earned an MBA from Harvard University in 1963.

Bennett McCallum was an influential economist, a respected professor, and a valued colleague. His legacy will be cherished by many, and his intellectual impact on the field of Economics will endure. He will be missed by the entire Tepper School community.