Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel appointed OECD Chief Economist


15/04/2008 - Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel has been appointed Chief Economist of OECD. A national of both Germany and Chile, he joins OECD after twelve years as Chief of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Chile.  From 1988  to 1996 he was successively economist, senior economist and principal economist at the World Bank.

“The appointment of Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel is a clear signal of the evolution of the OECD into a more global institution,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “He is an experienced and widely respected economist who provides a different,  more diverse view of the possibilities and challenges of economic development in the 21st Century. We are certain that he will enrich an already strong OECD economic team.”

Mr Schmidt-Hebbel will take up his position in September 2008. He takes over from Jean-Philippe Cotis who was appointed head of the French national statistics institute, INSEE, in October 2007. In the meantime Jorgen Elmeskov, Director of Economics Policy Studies, will continue as Acting Chief Economist.

Since 2004 he has also been Professor of Economics at the Catholic University of Chile. In 2007 Mr Schmidt-Hebbel was appointed President of the Chilean Economic Association. He has worked closely with many financial organisations (IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others), central banks (New Zealand, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico), governments and universities providing key policy advice on a wide array of topics ranging from macroeconomics and growth policies, to pension systems and capital market reforms, institutional organisation and policy design.

Mr. Schmidt-Hebbel has been widely published in the field of capital market development, monetary policies, pension systems and reforms.  He speaks fluent Spanish, English, German, Portuguese and basic French.

Mr. Schmidt-Hebbel holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MA in Economics from the Catholic University of Chile.

Further information is available from Stephen Di Biasio at the OECD’s Media Division (e-mail: stephen.dibiasio @ (telephone: + 331 45 24 81 03).

Information about the OECD’s Economics department is available here:


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