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Department of Finance

Farewell Lecture Prof. Rochet

In January, Prof. Jean-Charles Rochet retired from the Department of Banking and Finance. He was a vital presence & played a pivotal role in helping DBF achieve its current level of success.


This Spring, the University of Zurich bids farewell to Jean-Charles Rochet, who retired in January from the Department of Banking and Finance. Jean-Charles was a vital presence in our department and played a pivotal role in helping it achieve its current level of success. It is hard to put into words just how appreciative we are for all he has done.

In 2010, when Jean-Charles joined our department, he was already a prominent scholar. He obtained his PhD in mathematical economics from the University of Paris. Aside from the University of Zurich, he has been a professor at the University of Paris 9, the Ecole Nationale de Statistique et de l’Economie, the Toulouse School of Economics, and the University of Geneva. As a distinguished scholar, he has visited countless universities and central banks across the globe. In 2012, he was the President of the Econometric Society, and he has been a Fellow of the same since 1995. In Switzerland, he has played an influential role at the Swiss Finance Institute, in which he serves as a Senior Chair and Head of Research.

Throughout his stellar career, Jean-Charles has published more than 80 studies in international scientific journals. The importance and quality of his research found recognition through the many research grants he has been awarded, such as the two (!) Advanced European Research Council Grants in Risk Management After the Crisis (2010) and Digital Payments, Multidimensional Taxes (2022). He has also authored or co-authored seven books, including Microeconomics of Banking (with X. Freixas) published by MIT Press, and Balancing the Banks (with M. Dewatripont and J. Tirole), and Why are there so many Banking Crises?, both published by Princeton UP. Strikingly prescient, this last book was printed shortly before the 2008 financial crisis and -- almost ironically -- had been rejected (prior to its ultimate acceptance) by multiple publishers for its lack of relevance. Indeed, as his joint work with M. Magill and M. Quinzii on Reforming Capitalism (published as A theory of the Stakeholder Corporation) shows, Jean-Charles has never shied away from taking a stand on societally relevant topics. Ultimately, Jean-Charles has left an indelible mark in a wide variety of research fields including insurance, banking, financial stability, regulation, contract theory, industrial organization, and, more recently, digital money.

Our department and the profession at large owe a debt of gratitude to Jean-Charles for his constant commitment and dedication to fundamental scholarship. The department will sorely miss him, though it is comforting to know that he will return to his home country to continue doing research at the Toulouse School of Economics. This appears to be a good move, since academics in France seem to age more slowly than here in Switzerland.

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