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Don ROPER, economist in the field of International Monetary Economics; Mathematics and Econometrics; Economic History.


ROPER, Don was born in 1940 in Lubbock, Texas, United States of America.


Bachelor of Science (Industrial Engineering) Texas Technological University, 1963. Master of Arts Northwestern University, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy University Chicago, 1969.


Economics, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, District of Columbia, 1969-1975. Visiting Scholar, University Stockholm, 1974, American National University, 1978, Julame University, 1980. Bailey Professor Money and Banking, University Illinois, 1981-1982.

Professor of Economics, University Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America, since 1982.


Early work focussed on asset substitution in general versus substitution between monies per se. The latter, referred to as ‘currency substitution’, has implications that can be explained only by reference to the essential property of money, which, I have argued, is the independence of money’s own rate from the value of money (measured in any numéraire). In more recent work I have used this property of money to explain Keynes’s view that the rate on money ‘ruled the roost’ in the Great Depression and to show that it is the source of neutrality theorems in monetary economics.

In work on monetary reform, I have considered new forms of contract on deposit monies which eliminate neutrality and the possibility of secular overissue (inflation). In other work, with Stephen Turnovsky, the definition of ‘money’ was viewed as the weighted average of financial instruments with weights chosen for stabilisation objectives. Lance Girton and I have separated the behaviour of private participants in exchange markets from central bank intervention through the use of a concept called ‘exchange market pressure’.

This, we think, addresses the simultaneity problem found in empirical work on the monetary approach to the balance of payments and exchange-rate determination. In work on monetary history, L. Girton and I have developed the argument that the driving force underlying the evolution of monetary institutions arises from the conflict between efforts to maintain confidence in the value of monetary liabilities and efforts to replace commodity with fiat money. As a major example of this viewpoint we have argued that the Great Depression can be seen, in part, as the collapse of an international system made vulnerable to a gold scramble by efforts to restore confidence with prewar parities while introducing gold-economising measures.