University of Notre Dame Finance Professor Jeffrey H. Bergstrand was elected president of the International Economics and Finance Society (IEFS) in December, a recognition by his peers of his extensive contributions to international finance and economics research.
Bergstrand, who also is the associate dean of Graduate Business Programs at Mendoza College of Business, is a top researcher with expertise in international trade, foreign direct investment, trade and investment policies, and exchange rates.
During his 30-plus-year career, Bergstrand has become best known for his work on the theoretical foundations for the “gravity equation” in international trade, which has become the empirical workhorse for the analysis of the effects of economic size and similarity, distance, economic integration agreements, language, conflicts, trade costs, colonial linkages, political similarities and relative factor endowments on international trade flows.
In more recent years, Bergstrand has contributed to modeling theoretically and empirically the economic determinants of country-pairs’ selection into economic integration agreements (such as free trade agreements), measuring with precision the effects of economic integration agreements on international trade, the theoretical and empirical economic determinants of multinational firm behavior including factors explaining foreign direct investment flows, and the economic determinants of bilateral investment treaties.
The IEFS is an international organization of academic and professional economists with interests in the areas of international trade, foreign direct investment, migration, international finance and open-economy macroeconomics. The membership spans several countries, with affiliated chapters of the society in the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong and China. The society is affiliated with the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) and is one of the 50 organizations that meet and hold sessions annually at the ASSA meetings, where international trade and finance economists present their recent research findings.