Guide to the Franco Modigliani papers, 1936-2005 and undated, bulk 1970s-2003
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 Collection contains correspondence, extensive research notes, unpublished writings, lectures and presentations, teaching materials, published materials, photographs, audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and clippings that documents the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.
- Collection Number
- Franco Modigliani papers
- 1936-2005 and undated, bulk 1970s-2003
- Modigliani, Franco
- 89 Linear Feet, 62,105 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Correspondence Series, 1944-2003 and undated, bulk 1960-2000
- Writings and Speeches Series, 1936-2004 and undated
- Professional Service Series, 1961-2002 and undated
- Teaching Materials Series, 1940-2003 and undated
- Personal Files Series, 1938-2005 and undated
- Engagements Series, 1963-2003 and undated
- Printed Materials Series, 1936-2005 and undated, bulk 1950s-2003
- Audio and Visual Materials Series, 1963-2003 and undated
- Electronic Formats Series, 1993-2003
- Oversize Materials
- Accession (2008-0067), 1985-2005
- Accession (2009-0114), 1930s-2003
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 Through correspondence, extensive research notes, unpublished writings, lectures and presentations, teaching materials, published materials, photographs, audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, and clippings, the papers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.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open.
Original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
In addition, all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Also, some of the materials in this collection are not immediately accessible, because they require further processing before use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Franco Modigliani Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Chiefly professional correspondence, including comments on the work of other economists, debates on current issues, recommendations, and advising exchanges. As much as one quarter of the exchanges are in Italian. Prolific correspondents represented in the collection include Modigliani's close collaborators over the years: Albert Ando, Mario Baldassarri, Tullio Jappelli, Giorgio La Malfa, and Merton Miller. His granddaughter, Leah Modigliani, an economist and collaborator on several projects, is also represented in this series. Major American and Italian twentieth-century economists such as Kenneth Arrow, Jagdish Bhagwati, Paul Davidson, Peter Diamond, Robert Hall, Jacob Marschak, Don Patinkin, Paul Samuelson, Robert Shiller, Paolo Sylos Labini , and Sidney Weintraub, among others, are represented by smaller amounts of correspondence. Other correspondence with colleagues can be found throughout the Research and Writings Subseries files (Writings and Speeches Series), and to a lesser extent in the Professional Service Series and the Engagements Series.
There are many files of recommendation letters forming their own series. In addition, there are general correspondence files under each letter of the alphabet which contain single letters from a variety of individuals. The series also contains Modigliani's non-academic correspondence chiefly stemming from his work as a consultant to Italian banks. Letters of protest, articles and editorial pieces in newspapers (including New York Times, Corriere della Sera, and Financial Times) document Modigliani's long-term involvement in civic acts and protests against United States and European fiscal policies and the arms race, revealing the intersection of his personal, academic, and political life. Arranged in alphabetical order by last name or subject, then chronologically within folders.
[Materials removed to Oversize Box OS1]
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Largest series in the collection. Arranged into the following subseries: Research and Writings, Speeches and Lectures, Writings by Others, and Non-Academic Works. See subseries descriptions below.
Contains extensive documentation related to Modigliani's research and to the writing of his articles, papers, or book-length works. It includes several early writings by Modigliani, most notably his doctoral thesis, circa 1944, "The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money Under the Assumptions of Flexible Prices and of Fixed Prices" (New School of Social Research). Other writings from 1936-2003 can be found in the Non-Academic Works Subseries below, and in the Printed Materials Series, which houses reprints of almost all published articles by Modigliani. Research notes and correspondence are often organized in folders with the titles of the published work to which the materials relate. Other folders of research notes are categorized by subject terms. Formats include correspondence, drafts of writings, data, research notes, bibliographies, and econometric estimations. Major topics include econometric modeling; the life-cycle hypothesis of savings; social security; European Union and Italian economies; government economic policies; inflation; unemployment (especially in Europe); and mortgages. Other groups of materials represent Modigliani's long-term involvement with various projects, including the "MPS" model (an abbreviation deriving from the collaborators -- MIT, Penn State, and the Social Sciences Research Council) of the U.S. economy, sponsored by the United States Federal Reserve, and the NSF-funded project in the 1980s on monetary mechanisms and stabilization policies. There are also materials that pertain to Modigliani's memoirs, Adventures of an Economist, published in 2003.
This subseries also includes Modigliani's comments on papers written by others. In this case, the comments are in a folder with the title of the original paper followed by "comments, F. Modigliani" and date. Overall, the subseries is further enhanced by the frequent presence of related correspondence between Modigliani and his co-authors or commentators, as well as printed materials (such as reports, clippings, reprints and journal articles) and writings by others, both published and unpublished, related to Modigliani's research. Significant collaborators and correspondents include S. L. Cao, Tullio Jappelli, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Robert Solow, and Arlie Sterling. Arranged in alphabetical order by title of work, by subject, or by personal last name, then chronologically within folders.
[Modigliani's doctoral thesis; photocopy from original held by New York City's New School of Social Research. Missing pp. 81-99.]
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Please handle with care.
Consists of a selection of presentations and interviews given by Modigliani over the course of his career, focusing chiefly on the period from the 1970s up to the present. Many are in the Italian language. Includes a copy of the Nobel lecture, given in Stockholm in 1985, Life Cycle Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations. There is also a Spanish-language version. Some texts of lectures may also be found in the Articles Subseries of the Printed Materials Series; other interviews, many published in Italian newspapers and magazines, can be located in the Clippings Subseries of the Printed Materials Series. Lectures given as a teacher can be found in the Teaching Materials Series. Arranged in chronological order.
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Chiefly single typescripts and printed materials written by Modigliani's colleagues but not filed within Modigliani's research folders. Significant groups of writings exist in this subseries for Ezio Tarantelli and James Tobin, both of whom Modigliani collaborated with extensively. There are also a few pieces by family members - daughter, Leah Modigliani, and son, André Modigliani. The majority of writings by other economists are found in the Research and Writings Series; if they are not identified by name on the folder title, they can be located in most cases by consulting relevant subject topics and/or chronological period. Includes a folder of Nobel Prize articles honoring Modigliani; authors include Athanasios Koilakos, Lucio Izzo, G. P. Galli, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Merton. Organized alphabetically by last name or subject.
Contains newspaper and magazine articles, editorials, op-ed pieces, and many other writings by Modigliani that are directed to a popular audience and are closely related to Modigliani's academic and political interests. Many of these pieces center on fiscal and economic policies of the United States and Italian governments, on politics and social conditions in those countries, and on the European economy. The contents of this subseries reveal the development of Modigliani's social and political sympathies over many decades, beginning in the 1970s and ending with his death in 2003. The earliest item dates from 1936, shortly before Modigliani left Italy for the U.S., and discusses the Fascist Party's economic policies. Some of the later editorial pieces stem from his membership with a group of economists against the arms race. Through his writings, Modigliani projects a clear and forceful voice on what he felt were the most challenging problems and injustices facing the modern world. Roughly half of the materials is in the Italian language. Arranged chronologically by date of publication.
Houses correspondence, minutes, transcripts of testimony, drafts of papers, reports, and other materials stemming from Modigliani's professional activities that he undertook in addition to his academic work. The series is organized into the following four subseries: Federal Reserve Board, Hearings and Testimony, International Economic Association, and Other Professional Service. Each of these subseries reveals the extent to which Modigliani committed his energies to these non-academic arenas.
Correspondence, memos, reports, drafts of papers, notes by Modigliani, printed materials and other materials related to three areas of activity sponsored by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board: the academic consultants meetings in which Modigliani participated extensively, along with other notable economists; discussions about improving the quality of the measured monetary aggregate, sponsored by the Committee on Monetary Statistics; and discussions on the reform of the discount window, around which Modigliani organized a seminar with other economists and presented his own views on this topic. Material on the MPS-FRB model is not located in this subseries, but rather in the Research and Writings Subseries of the Writings and Speeches Series. Arranged alphabetically by folder title and chronologically therein.
Correspondence and transcriptions of hearings and testimony before the U.S. Congress or the European Parliament, in which Modigliani participated. Other supporting materials include memos, reports, and notes. The topics include government deficit and debt, inflation, indexed bonds, and social security. Arranged chronologically by date.
Contains minutes of the executive committee of the International Economics Association (IEA), correspondence; programs of meetings which Modigliani organized or in which he participated; drafts of papers presented; and financial matters and patron contributions to the association. The IEA is committed to promoting personal contacts and to facilitating discussions and free exchange among different economists around the world. The meetings represented in this subseries covered relevant economic and social problems of the time. Arranged in chronological order by the conference date, then alphabetical by subject or last name. The city in which the conference was located is also listed.
Folders contain correspondence, notebooks, agendas, drafts of papers, notes, minutes, reports, and printed materials related to Modigliani's involvement in non-academic activities. Arranged in alphabetical order by folder title.
Divided into Modigliani as Student Subseries and Modigliani as Teacher Subseries.
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Files contain various documents concerning Modigliani's education, his emigration from Italy in 1939, and other personal history. Includes a DVD of the memorial held at MIT shortly following his death in 2003. Honorary degrees and diplomas are included in this series and in the Oversize Materials. A number of files contain biographical information, including a curriculum vitae, personal reflections, and articles by colleagues honoring Modigliani. Arranged in chronological order.
Archival-quality microfilms produced in 2004 from family scrapbooks containing clippings and other memorabilia related to Modigliani's career.
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Divided into the Commitmentsand Calendars Subseries. Commitments files include routine schedules, correspondence, and itineraries. Some folders contain notes and writings related to the engagement, particularly for conferences. Both subseries arranged in chronological order.