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Joseph Miichael FINGER


Joseph Miichael FINGER, economist in the field of International Economics; Industrial Organisation and Public Policy; A00 Political Science. Executive Committee, Vice-President, Southern Economic Association, USA, 1976-1978,1980-1981; Certificate Appreciation, Merit Achievement Award, United States Treasury Department, 1977, 1980.


FINGER, Joseph Miichael was born in 1939 in D’Hanis, Texas, United States of America.


Bachelor of Arts University Texas, 1960. Doctor of Philosophy University N. Carolina, 1967.


Assistant Professor of Economics, Duke University, 1965-1969. Association Professor of Economics, University Georgia, 1969-1970. Scholar in Residence, United States Tariff Commission, 1970-1971.

Senior Economics, Research Division, United Nations Conference Trade and Development, Geneva, 1971^4. Senior International Economics, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Research and Planning, Director, Office Trade Research, United States Treasury Department, 1974-1975, 1976, 1975-1980. Senior Economics, Economics Research Staff, World Bank, 1980-1983.

Chief, International Economics Research Division, Development Research Department, World Bank, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, since 1983.


  • Executive Committee, Vice-President, Southern Economic Association, USA, 1976-1978,1980-1981. Certificate Appreciation, Merit Achievement Award, United States Treasury Department, 1977, 1980.


My first start at a Doctor of Philosophy dissertation was abandoned. I had worked for several months on a topic in pure theory but an attempt to write an introduction led to a long pause reading the philosophy of science and an eventual introduction which argued that what followed was valueless. Convinced by my own argument, I threw away everything but the introduction (from which three papers eventually were published) and did a dissertation on intra-industry trade.

Seven years later I published a paper ‘out’ of this dissertation, which argued a thesis totally opposite to that of the dissertation. By then I had left teaching for the bureaucracy and made a series of studies estimating the effects of various trade policies — the Dillon and Kennedy Round tariff concessions, offshore assembly provisions, etc. These could have been done by anyone with good contemporary training in economics, an awareness that the policies existed, and a willingness to work.

Eventually I became more interested in the determinants of trade policy than in its effects, though to make a living I still crank out ‘effects of studies. If there is anything I have written which anyone might benefit from studying (not just taking down the results), it is the short essay ‘Policy Research’ and perhaps ‘The Political Economy of Administered Protection’. But too many people stop with the numbers in the latter paper and never get to the ideas.