Willem Hendrik Buiter was born on September 26, 1949, in The Hague, Netherlands. His father, Harm Buiter was an economist who worked for the trades’ union and had served as Mayor of Groningen. In 1962, Buiter was enrolled in the European School in Brussels, he received his European Baccalaureate from there in 1967. Following that, he enrolled in the University of Amsterdam, which he left a year later, after studying Political and Social Science. In 1968, he attended the Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and in 1971, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and his B.A. with First-Class Honours. In 1972, he received his master’s degree in Economics, and later, in 1973 and his was awarded his M.Phil, that too, in Economics. In 1975, Buiter received his Ph.D. in economics at the Yale University. In 1979, his thesis “Temporary Equilibrium and Long-Run Equilibrium”, was published
He began his career in 1975, as the Assistant Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. In 1976, he left Princeton for the post of an Economics lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1977, he was offered the post of a Research Associate in the Financial Markets and Monetary Economics Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research, he maintained this post till 2011. In 1980, he shifted to the University of Bristol as a professor of Economics.
In 1982, Willem Buiter accepted the post of Cassel Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics with special reference to money and banking. However, in 1985, he left LSE once again to teach Economics at Yale. In 1989, he was made a correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1994, he left USA upon accepting the position of a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and professor of International Macroeconomics at the University of Cambridge. In June 1997, he was made an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy, he maintained this position till 2000.
In June 2000, he was appointed the Chief Economist and Special Advisor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 2005, Buiter returned to teaching and began working as a professor of European Political Economy at the European Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Meanwhile, Buiter also held the position of an International Advisor of Goldman Sachs International, a position he enjoyed till 2010. In 2010, he joined Citigroup as its Chief Economist.
Buiter has authored six books on international macroeconomics, including hugely celebrated economic journals such as International Macroeconomics, Principles of Budgetary and Financial Policy, Macroeconomic Theory and Stabilization Policy and Budgetary Policy, International and Intertemporal Trade in the Global Economy among others. He has also made several notable contributions to financial and economical journals, including the Financial Times.
Willem Buiter has been placed on the list of Top 100 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, in 2009 and 2012. He has received numerous awards and honors such as the Honorary Doctorate from the University of Amsterdam “for his important contributions to macroeconomic research, monetary and macroeconomic policy and the public debate on these issues”, Mr N.G. Piersonpenning (the N.G. Pierson medal) and the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his ‘services to economics.’