Franco Modigliani was an economist, Nobel Prize winner, and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Collection contains correspondence, extensive research notes, unpublished writings, lectures and presentations, teaching materials, published materials, photographs, audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and clippings that documents the career of a noted economist and Nobel Prize winner, from his earliest student work in Italy through his 40-year tenure of teaching and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The many annotations written by Modigliani's wife and collaborator, Serena Modigliani, found throughout the collection, provide further information contextualizing the materials.
The Franco Modigliani Papers span the years 1936 to 2005, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1970s to 2003. Through correspondence, extensive research notes, unpublished writings, lectures and presentations, teaching materials, published materials, photographs, audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and clippings, the papers document the career of a noted economist and Nobel Prize winner, from his earliest student work in Italy through his 40-year tenure of teaching and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The most current items are a DVD recording of his memorial held at MIT in 2003, and a thesis by an Italian graduate student on Modigliani's macroeconomic views on the Italian and European economy, of the same year. The many annotations written by Modigliani's wife and collaborator, Serena Modigliani, found throughout the collection, provide further information contextualizing the materials. The collection is organized into the following series: Correspondence; Writings and Speeches; Teaching Materials; Professional Service; Engagements; Printed Materials; Personal Files; Audio and Visual Materials; and Electronic Formats. Oversize materials are described at the end of the collection guide.
Researchers will find ample documentation in the collection on Modigliani's work on the life-cycle hypothesis of savings, leading to the Nobel Prize in 1985. Other materials represent his work on topics and issues such as monetary policies, both domestic and foreign; pension trusts; public debt; econometric modelling; international finance and the international payment system; the effects of and cures for inflation; stabilization policies in open economies; and various fields of finance such as savings and investment, credit rationing, mortgages, the term structure of interest rates, and the valuation of speculative assets. Extensive documentation can also be found in the collection on Modigliani's key participation in the design of a large-scale model of the U.S. economy, called the MPS (an abbreviation deriving from collaborators MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Social Science Research Council), sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank, a model used by the U.S. government until the 1990s. Other documents reveal Modigliani's analyses of the forces of economics and politics in the United States as well as in Italy and the European Union as a whole. His views on various social issues, including the arms race, are found throughout the papers, especially in the many editorials and commentaries he wrote for newspapers and other publications. The materials in this collection reveal the high value that Modigliani placed on collaboration with other economists and with graduate students, with whom he exchanged letters, notes, and drafts of writings and commentary. Researchers examining the correspondence and writings will find the comments, replies, and writings of his many colleagues on the same range of topics. Significant correspondents or collaborators documented in the collection include European and American economists such as Albert Ando, with whom he collaborated on the MPS model, Mario Baldassarri, John Bossons, Jacques Drèze, Merton Miller, Paul Samuelson and James Tobin. Many other major economists of the twentieth century, as well as many political and academic individuals, are represented in smaller amounts of writings and correspondence.
In addition to illuminating Modigliani's distinguished academic career and his collaborative approach to teaching and research, the materials in this collection offer insights into how he contributed significantly throughout his life to European and United States economic growth and reform, through professional service as an analyst, advisor, and expert witness. Organizations that benefited from this work include the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Congress, and the Treasury Department. Other organizations with whom Modigliani participated and corresponded and are represented in many series in the collection are the offices of the International Economic Association, the American Economic Review, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences.
The Correspondence Series, second largest in the collection, spans all of Modigliani's career, and consists chiefly of professional exchanges initiated by his colleagues in the U.S. and in many other countries. Many of the exchanges are in Italian, though most are in English. Numerous correspondents requested that Modigliani review their writings, and in most cases a draft of their manuscripts can be found in the folder, often accompanied by Modigliani's comments. The correspondence also contains more routine exchanges concerning student advising, academic committees, and activities related to Modigliani's non-academic service. There is very little personal or family correspondence in the collection, though there are some exchanges between Franco Modigliani and his son Andr, sociologist at the University of Michigan, and with his granddaughter Leah, a financial analyst with Morgan Dean Stanley Witter, with whom Modigliani collaborated on a formula for measuring stock risks.
The largest in the collection, the Writings and Speeches Series is subdivided into several subseries, the most extensive of which, the Research and Writings Subseries, contains a wealth of notes, data, subject files, and writings that underpinned and informed nearly all of Modigliani's most significant published works. These extensive files document the evolution of Modigliani's thought on a wide range of economic, social, and political topics, and the amount of materials in this series contributed by his colleagues serves to underscore Modigliani's collaborative approach to research and writing. As much as a third of the material is in Italian. Many of Modigliani's speeches and lectures given around the world, including his Nobel lecture on the life-cycle hypothesis of saving in 1985, can be found in the Speeches and Lectures Subseries. The Non-Academic Writings Subseries contains other writings by Modigliani directed chiefly at a popular audience, in the form of newspaper articles and editorials; while the Writings by Others Subseries houses individual writings, in both manuscript and published form, by Modigliani's colleagues that were not part of the Research and Writings files.
Modigliani spent the greater part of his professional life serving in a number of roles that helped shape the national economic policies in Europe, particularly in Italy, and the United States. The Professional Service Series documents Modigliani's work for various U.S. agencies and organizations. It includes materials from his work under the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), from about 1964 to 1983; these files include agendas, minutes, notes, correspondence, papers, and statistical output relating to FRB meetings and MPS Economic Model. Other files house information relating to his frequent Congressional testimony; his work with the International Economics Association during the seventies and eighties, including conference papers and programs, minutes from executive committee meetings, nominating committee reports, and correspondence; and his other periods of collaboration with the Central Bank, the National Academy of Sciences, the office of the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and others. Materials on Modigliani's lengthy service to Italian and other European governments can be found primarily in the Research and Writings Subseries of the Writings and Speeches Series and the Correspondence Series.
The papers in the Teaching Materials Series document Modigliani's career as a professor of economics through lecture notes, syllabi, and some student papers, all filed in the Modigliani as Teacher Subseries. Materials derive chiefly from his tenure at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, although there are some materials from earlier appointments. There are some materials, chiefly class notes, from Modigliani's own student days in the United States in the Modigliani as Student Subseries.
The Personal Files Series is one of the smallest in the collection. It contains materials pertaining to Modigliani's life in Italy and his forced emigration to the United States in 1939, diplomas and honorary degrees, and a number of folders containing biographical information and articles honoring Modigliani's life and work.
Spanning several decades of internationally-recognized work and the awarding of a Nobel prize in 1985, the materials in the Engagements Series, though routine in nature, document the extent to which Modigliani spoke to academics and the ordinary public about issues in economics, via lectures, conferences, and interviews. Files in the Commitments Subseries include routine correspondence, travel arrangements and itineraries, and some writings related to the lecture or speech. The small Calendars Subseries contains appointment books and calendars dating from 1971 to 2003.
In addition to manuscript materials, the collection holds a great number of published writings. These are chiefly housed in the Printed Materials Series and take the form of reports, journals, books, and many reprints of articles. Most of the materials are written by Modigliani, but there are substantial numbers of publications by others in this series. Almost all of the few dozen bound publications originally found in the collection have been cataloged separately for the Duke online catalog and will be housed in the rare books and Perkins Library stacks. They can be accessed by searching the online catalog; a note in the record indicates their original link with these papers. Although nearly all of Modigliani's article-length published works are represented in this series, including early articles from the 1930s, some titles may not be present.
The Audio and Visual Materials Series serves as a repository for photographs, videocassettes, audiocassettes, microfilms, and a few CD-ROMs, which contain interviews, lectures, and speeches given by Modigliani, with a few including contributions by his colleagues. One CD-Rom contains the proceedings from a posthumous conference held in 2005 in remembrance of Modigliani. Family scrapbooks preserved on microfilm are made up of clippings, programs, and other memorabilia related to significant events in Modigliani's career. Use copies may need to be made of some items. Please consult with Research Services staff before coming to use this collection.
Digital formats in the collection are grouped under the Electronic Formats Series (RESTRICTED), which contains correspondence, course materials, data, and drafts of writings and speeches. The contents of the disks have been migrated to the Special Collections server. A disk directory is available for use. Please consult with Research Services staff before coming to use this series.