At a gathering of the College of Arts and Sciences on Could 3, 2022, the next tribute to the life and repair of the late Emmanuel Farhi was unfold upon the everlasting information of the College.
Emmanuel Farhi, a deeply revered member of the Harvard Division of Economics, was the main macroeconomist of his era. Farhi was admired for his supreme mental talents (he was as soon as described by one among his mentors on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise [MIT] as “a present to humanity”) however may also be remembered for the curiosity, enthusiasm, and rigor with which he approached his work, in addition to by the sensibility and sensitivity he displayed in all his endeavors. He was unabashedly theoretically minded, however he was not a “theorist’s theorist”: he strove to review and design financial insurance policies that would assist the world.
Farhi grew up in Paris. His father, André Farhi, was a growth economist who escaped spiritual persecution in Egypt and died at a younger age in France. The Farhi household was a outstanding Jewish household in Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. Farhi typically informed tales about his ancestor, Haim Farhi, who was adviser to Ottoman Jazzar Pasha in Acre. Emmanuel’s mom, Danièle Debordeaux, is a social coverage specialist.
Farhi’s mental prowess was evident from a really younger age. At 16, he ranked first in physics within the Concours Général, essentially the most prestigious French highschool educational competitors. He later studied at Lycée Louis-le-Grand and École Normale Supérieure and served as an assistant to Cédric Villani, the 2010 Fields medalist. Farhi might have simply pursued a profitable profession in physics or arithmetic, however, maybe on account of his mother and father’ affect, he was deeply motivated by social and financial issues, so he selected economics as an alternative and moved to the US to review for a Ph.D. in Economics at MIT. Regardless of his analytical talents, even throughout his years at MIT, he wavered about his future and significantly contemplated a profession as a prime civil servant inside the elite French Corps des Mines.
Farhi accomplished his doctoral thesis at MIT underneath the supervision of Ricardo Caballero and Iván Werning, each of whom turned long-time collaborators of his. He was lured by Harvard in 2006, was swiftly promoted to full professor in 2010, after which turned the Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics. His dazzling educational profession was punctuated by quite a few prizes and recognitions, together with the 2011 Malinvaud prize from the French Financial Affiliation and three prizes for economists underneath the age of 40 — the 2009 Bernácer Prize for the perfect European economist in macroeconomics and finance, the 2013 Finest Younger Economist prize by Le Monde and the Cercle des Économistes, and the 2013 Banque de France and Toulouse College of Economics junior prize for distinguished analysis in financial economics and finance. He was additionally elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 2015.
Regardless of his quick profession, his contributions to economics are too quite a few to explain in a succinct memorial minute. Along with Iván Werning, he made pathbreaking contributions to optimum fiscal coverage and to New Keynesian macroeconomics, with their work proving to be of specific relevance to coverage making in his beloved Europe. Farhi made quite a few trailblazing contributions to open-economy macroeconomics. His early work on world imbalances with Ricardo Caballero and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas stays his most influential work, however his work on fiscal devaluations and debt crises with Gita Gopinath and others additionally obtained a whole lot of consideration in coverage circles. Inside worldwide finance, his work with Matteo Maggiori on the worldwide monetary system exemplifies Farhi’s broad vary of pursuits in financial concept, financial historical past, and financial coverage, whereas his work with Xavier Gabaix on uncommon disasters and trade charges illustrates Farhi’s curiosity in monetary facets of the macroeconomy, a subject which additionally motivated a lot of his work on macroprudential coverage with Jean Tirole. Within the final years of his life, Farhi launched into a novel and immensely influential analysis agenda, principally co-authored along with his former pupil David Baqaee, on the position of financial networks in shaping macroeconomic fluctuations, with implications for the design of macroeconomic coverage in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Farhi labored tirelessly on his scientific work however was additionally eager to interact and contribute to public service. He was a member of the French authorities’s Council of Financial Advisors (2010–12) and, extra broadly, was deeply concerned in French mental life. Past his pathbreaking contributions to economics and to financial coverage, Farhi shall be remembered for his work in mentoring and fostering the following era of macroeconomists. His passing was a major loss for his many former college students and, extra broadly, for the numerous younger and fewer younger researchers who admired him and considered him as a task mannequin.
The Arabic identify Farhi (فَرْحى) means pleased, joyous, or content material. Though at occasions Farhi had a considerably melancholic demeanor — and he was certainly not an all the time content material particular person — he definitely tried to profit from his restricted time on this world, and all of us miss his boisterous laughter that ceaselessly resonated within the corridors of Littauer. He was a sportsman and commonly performed extremely aggressive video games of tennis and squash. He was an avid reader and cherished to debate about economics but additionally about politics, literature, motion pictures, and humanities — ideally round good meals and a pleasant bottle of wine. He shall be sorely missed.
Pol Antràs, Chair