Rüdiger “Rudi” Dornbusch (June 8, 1942 – July 25, 2002) was a German economist who worked for most of his career in the United States.

Dornbusch’s law states that “Crises take longer to arrive than you can possibly imagine, but when they do come, they happen faster than you can possibly imagine.”

Throughout his career his main focus was on international economics, especially monetary policy, macroeconomic development, growth and international trade.

According to some of his students and associates his talent was to extract the heart of a problem and make it understandable in simple terms. For example, he explained fluctuations in prices and exchange rates with great clarity (notably with his Overshooting Model). He succeeded in making a more realistic model than Mundell-Fleming model with regard to a small open economic system, considering exchange rate expectations.

He worked also for the International Monetary Fund, making contributions to the development of stabilisation policies, especially for Latin American countries. Along with Sebastian Edwards he coined the term macroeconomic populism. For more than 15 years he served as an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Together with Stanley Fischer he also wrote widely used undergraduate textbooks.

Link to Dornbusch page at MIT

Link to the History of Economic Thought Website

Dornbusch Obituary in The Economist