Franco Modigliani papers, 1936-2005, bulk dates 1970s-2003

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Modigliani, Franco
Franco Modigliani (1918-2003) was a Nobel Prize winner and Institute Professor Emeritus (of economics) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This collection primarily documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings and speeches, professional activities, and teaching. It forms part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
89 Linear Feet
163 boxes and two oversize folders.
15 Megabytes
One set.
Materials are primarily in English; some material also in Italian.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

Through correspondence, extensive research notes, unpublished writings, lectures and presentations, teaching material, published material, photographs, audiovisual material, scrapbooks, and clippings, this collection documents Modigliani's career 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 material.

Researchers will find ample documentation on Modigliani's work on the life-cycle hypothesis of savings, leading to the Nobel Prize in 1985. Other material represents 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 US economy called the MPS (MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Social Science Research Council), sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank and used by the US 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 Dr├Ęze, 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 material in this collection offers 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 US 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.

Biographical / historical:
Date Event
1918, June 18 Born in Rome, Italy
circa 1935 Entered the University of Rome (Law)
1938 Immigrated to Paris
1939, May Married Serena Calabi
1939 Returned to Rome and received Juris Doctorate, University of Rome
1939, Aug. Immigrated to US
1939 Awarded free tuition fellowship by Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of New School for Social Research
1942 Instructor in Economics and Statistics, New Jersey College of Women
1942-1944 Instructor, Associate in Economics and Statistics, Bard College
1943-1944 Lecturer in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics, New School for Social Research
1944 "Liquidity Preference and the Theory of Interest and Money," Econometrica
1944 Doctor of Social Science, New School for Social Research
1945-1948 Research Associate and Chief Statistician, Institute of World Affairs, New School for Social Research
1946-1948 Assistant Professor of Mathematical Economics and Econometrics, New School for Social Research
1948 Political Economy Fellowship, University of Chicago
1949-1954 Research Consultant, Cowles Commission for Research in Economics
1949 Associate Professor of Economics, University of Illinois
1950-1952 Professor of Economics, University of Illinois
1952-1960 Professor of Economics and Industrial Administration, Carnegie Institute of Technology
1953 (with H. Neisser) National Incomes and International Trade
1955 Fulbright Lecturer, Universities of Rome and Palermo, Italy
1958 "New Developments on the Oligopoly Front," Journal of Political Economy
1958 (with M. H. Miller) "The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance and the Theory of Investment," American Economic Review
1960-1962 Professor of Economics, Northwestern University
1962-1988 Professor of Economics and Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
1962 President, Econometric Society
1963 (with Albert K. Ando) "The 'Life Cycle' Hypothesis of Saving: Aggregate Implications and Tests," American Economic Review
1969-1973 Member, Comitato per le Scienze Politiche e Sociali (COSPOS), representing Social Science Research Council
1970-1988 Institute Professor, MIT
1974-2003 Member, Consiglio Italiano per le Scienze Sociali
1976 President, American Economic Association
1985 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
1987 The European Economic Recovery - A Need for New Policies?
2001 Adventures of an Economist
2003, Sept. 25 Died in Boston, MA
2004 (posthumously, with Arun Muralidhar) Rethinking Pension Reform
Acquisition information:
The Franco Modigliani papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as gifts in 2004, from Serena Modigliani in 2008, and Sergio Modigliani in 2009.
Processing information:

Processed by Carrie Alexander, Linda Daniel, Pedro Garcia Duarte, Paula Jeannet, Shauna Saunders, and Pavla Vesela, March 2005.

Electronic records processed by Zachary Tumlin, June 2023.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2004-0053, 2004-0089, 2004-0332, 2008-0067, and 2009-0114.


The Franco Modigliani papers are arranged into nine series: Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Professional Service, Teaching, Personal, Engagements, Printed Material, Audiovisual and Visual Material, and Electronic Records.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access note. Some materials in this collection are fragile audiovisual/photographic formats that may need to be reformatted before use. Contact Research Services for access.

Access note. Some materials in this collection are electronic records that require special equipment. Contact Research Services with questions.

Access restricted. Accessions 2008-0067 and 2009-0114 require additional arrangement, description, and/or screening because they are unprocessed. Contact Research Services for more information.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Franco Modigliani papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.