Alex Wolman outlines his career path from undergraduate student to senior economist at the Richmond Fed.
Among his past areas of research, Alex Wolman examined currency unions, a topic he first studied and wrote about as an undergraduate economics student. His interest in the issue developed during a semester he spent in West Berlin, when Germany was still divided and had its own money. The changes that have occurred since then, including the adoption of the Euro as the currency in Germany and neighboring countries, have made the topic relevant in a new way. Wolman and colleague Margarida Duarte address it in “Fiscal Policy and Regional Inflation in a Currency Union.”
While he was studying economics at Carleton College in Minnesota, Wolman attended a conference at the Minneapolis Fed that exposed him for the first time to current economic research. Presentations by academics Ed Prescott, who would later win a Nobel Prize, and Bennett McCallum, a long-time consultant to the Richmond Fed’s Research Department, deepened Wolman’s interest in the field. After spending a year analyzing tax issues for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Wolman wanted the kind of work experience that would prepare him for graduate school. He applied at several Reserve Banks and was hired in Richmond, where he worked for two years as a research associate before pursuing his master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Virginia.
Wolman returned to the Fed’s Research staff in 1996 as an economist. Much of his research has involved constructing sticky-price models and using them to study monetary policy: “The Research Department is an ideal place for someone with my interests,” he says. “I am able to contribute to policy discussions, conduct my research and interact not just with my superb colleagues in the Research Department, but with academics and central bank economists from around the world.”
Alexander L. Wolman