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Ronald Macdonald

Adam Smith Chair of Political Economy, University of Glasgow

Ronald joined Economics at Glasgow in January 2005, following thirteen years as Professor of International Finance at the University of Strathclyde. He holds a BA with first class honours in Economics from Heriot-Watt University and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester. The main focus of his PhD was currency and exchange rate issues in both a theoretical and empirical context. The currency aspect of his academic work has continued during his career and he has published 92 articles on this topic in peer-reviewed journals, including the profession’s top macroeconomics journal, the Journal of Monetary Economics. He has also published 11 books on currency and exchange rate issues.

Outwith the exchange rate theme Ronald has a wide range of interests in the general areas of macroeconomics and international finance, has published over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, authored or edited over 18 books and has 340 papers listed on Google Scholar. For example, he has written on the role of FDI, capital flows and corruption on economic growth; optimal monetary policy and the monetary transmission mechanism; the sustainability of fiscal policy; the determination of stock prices and the term structure of interest rates and, most recently, he has co-authored a paper on the effect of heritage sites on well being.

Ronald’s work on exchange rate modelling has been influential beyond the academic literature for both practitioners and policy makers. For example, his behavioural equilibrium exchange rate (BEER) approach, developed jointly with Peter Clark at the IMF, has been widely used by central banks and the wider financial community to assess the appropriate rate at which currencies should be fixed and the implied degree of misalignment of major currencies. Also the currency forecasting work he has been involved in is widely used in private sector companies.

Ronald MacDonald has acted as a consultant on exchange rate issues to the European Central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and has also been a visiting Scholar to the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Austrian Central Bank and the Norwegian Central Bank. Additionally, he has been a consultant and visiting scholar at the IMF on 14 separate occasions and has presented his five-day course on the economics of exchange rates on seven separate occasions at the IMF Institute (this course has also been delivered in a range of central banks and PhD programmes). In addition, he has acted as a consultant to many organisations including the European Commission (and was a co-author of the report which used the BEER approach to determine the appropriate exchange rate values for the euro zone), private sector financial institutions and government agencies around the world.

Ronald has been visiting professor at the European University Institute Florence on two occasions, Queens University Kingston, Ontario, the University of New South Wales, the University of Cergy Pontoise and the Centre for Economic Studies, Munich.

Ronald has 9955 citations recorded on Google Scholar and has consistently been ranked in the top one per cent of economists in the world in the IDEAS/RePEc ranking. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Research Fellow of the CESifo Research Network Munich; and an International Fellow of the Kiel Institute of Economics. He is an associate editor for six economics journals.

Since the creation of a parliament in Scotland, Ronald has been active in the debate about devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament and has written a number of papers on this topic. More recently has been involved in the economics of an independent Scotland in the context of the independence referendum debate. See his blog on the latter at: and his personal web site:


  • –present
    Adam Smith Chair of Political Economy, University of Glasgow