Max Corden (1927 – 2023), Distinguished Economist and Former Nuffield Reader in International Economics

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the recent passing of Max Corden, a prominent economist and former Nuffield Reader in International Economics at the University of Oxford. Max Corden, who has died aged 96, was one of the world’s leading thinkers in the international economics and influenced numerous scholars and researchers during his remarkable career.

Max Corden's contributions to the understanding of international economics were significant and far-reaching. Along with his former student Peter Neary, he developed a seminal model of "Dutch disease", which explored the complex effects of favourable shocks in industries producing internationally tradable goods on the wider economy. This work, along with his exploration of the concept of "effective protection" in international trade, has had a lasting impact on economic theory and policy.

During his tenure as Nuffield Reader in International Economics from 1967 to 1976, Max Corden played a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual landscape of our department. His teachings and mentorship influenced a generation of economists. Known for his clarity of thought and exceptional communication skills, his graduate international economics seminar became legendary, captivating and inspiring students with his distinctive teaching style. He ran the graduate seminar series with Vijay Joshi and Peter Oppenheimer, worked closely with Ian Little and Maurice Scott on import restrictions and Peter Neary and David Vines, frequently co-authoring papers together.

Max Corden settled in Australia with his family after fleeing the Nazi regime. After gaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commerce from the University of Melbourne, he studied for a doctorate in economics at the LSE. He subsequently taught at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University before coming to Oxford. After nine years at Nuffield, he went back to Australia as head of the Economics Department in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He then held positions at the IMF and Johns Hopkins before finally returning to Australia in 2002. Throughout his distinguished career, he received numerous honours and titles, including being elected as an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Economic Association and being recognised as a Fellow of various prestigious institutions such as the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the British Academy. He also served as President of the Economic Society of Australia and was honoured as a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Max Corden's passing is a great loss to the field of economics and the University of Oxford community. His intellectual legacy will continue to inspire and guide future generations of economists. We pass our condolences to Max’s family, friends and colleagues.

Obituaries and tributes have been published in the FT (Vijay Joshi), the Australian Financial Review and by the University of Melbourne.