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Renowned economist to give talk on paper vs. electronic currency 17 November at Texas A&M at Qatar

Published Nov 12, 2014

One of the world’s most renowned and frequently cited economists will give a lecture Monday (17 November) at Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Dr. Miles Kimball, professor of economics and survey research at the University of Michigan, USA, will present a talk, "How Subordinating Paper Money to Electronic Money Can End Recessions and End Inflation," at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall 238. The lecture is hosted by the Liberal Arts Program at Texas A&M at Qatar.

“We are very excited about hosting Dr. Kimball for this lecture,” said Dr. Troy Bickham, chair of the Liberal Arts Program, “as it highlights the broad interests of our students and further underlines that social sciences, arts and humanities are in important part of engineering education at Texas A&M.”

Kimball writes the blog Confessions of a Supply Side Liberal ( and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1987. His expertise is in the areas of macroeconomics, the economics of uncertainty, cognitive economics and labor. Research includes business cycle theory, utility theory, economics of uncertainty, survey measures of preference parameters, economics of happiness, origins of preferences, consumption, labor supply, risk aversion, investment, and technology shocks.

In his abstract, Kimball said that it has long been taken for granted that paper currency earns a zero interest rate, making it difficult to lower other interest rates more than a fraction of a percent below zero. But the ability to vary the paper currency interest rate along with other key interest rates makes it possible to stimulate investment and net exports as much as needed to revive the economy even when inflation, interest rates and economic activity are quite low, as they are currently in many countries.

An electronic money standard can be much more stable than a paper currency standard because under an electronic money standard, zero inflation is consistent with economic stabilization. For Qatar, this creates an opportunity to raise its status as a financial center by making a transition to a fixed exchange rate of the Electronic Qatari Riyal with real (inflation-adjusted) U.S. dollars instead of with nominal U.S. dollars. That would automatically make all securities denominated in the Electronic Qatari Riyal into inflation-protected securities from the perspective of U.S. investors.

Moderating the talk and discussion will be Dr. Khalid Rashid Alkhater, director of research and monetary policy at Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Investment Committee at QCB. Alkhater is an economist from Qatar, specializing in monetary policy, political economy and economic growth. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Irvine, and B.S. and M.A. degrees in economics with a minor in mathematics from Western Michigan University.

From 2003 to 2005 Alkhater was the acting/assistant director of the QCB Department of Research and Monetary Policy before becoming director in 2005. From 2003 to 2010, Alkhater represented Qatar in the Technical Committee for the GCC Monetary Union. He was a scholar-in-residence at Georgetown University in Qatar from 2011 to 2012.

His areas of research interests include: monetary and exchange rate policies, the political economy of the rentier state, macroeconomic policy framework of the GCC countries, the GCC Monetary Union and the Eurozone debt crisis, the political economy of international financial institutions, and the political economies of the Arab Spring counties. Some of his work has been published in scientific journals and research centers, and he has participated as a speaker and lecturer in many local, regional and international conferences and scientific events.