Takatoshi Ito is the director of the Program on Public Pension and Sovereign Funds and associate director of research at the Center on Japanese Economy and Business of Columbia Business School. He is also a professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He has taught extensively both in the United States and Japan since finishing his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 1979. He taught as assistant and tenured associate professor (1979-88) at the University of Minnesota, as associate and full professor at Hitotsubashi University (1988-2002), as professor at the Graduate School of Economics at University of Tokyo (2004-2014) before assuming his current position in 2015. He held visiting professor positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia Business School, and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, and the Tun Ismail Ali Chair Professor at the University of Malaya. He has distinguished academic and research appointments such as president of the Japanese Economic Association in 2004, fellow of the Econometric Society since 1992, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1985, and faculty fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research since 2006. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Japanese and International Economies and is co-editor of the Asian Economic Policy Review. In an unusual move for a Japanese academic, Ito was also appointed to positions in the official sector, as senior advisor in the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (1994-97) and as deputy vice minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, Japan (1999-2001). He served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (2006-2008).
In 2013, Ito chaired a committee to reform the asset management benchmark of Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) with a total asset value of 130 trillion yen (in 2013). In 2021, Ito chaired a committee to make asset management guidelines for a newly created National University Fund with a total asset value of 10 trillion yen. He frequently contributes op-ed columns and articles to Financial Times, Project Syndicate, and Nihon Keizai Shinbun. He is the author of many books including The Japanese Economy (MIT Press, 1992; and the second edition, in 2020, with Takeo Hoshi), The Political Economy of the Japanese Monetary Policy (1997) and Financial Policy and Central Banking in Japan (2000) (both with T. Cargill and M. Hutchison, MIT Press), Managing Currency Risk: How Japanese Firms Choose Invoicing Currency (Elgar, 2018, with Satoshi Koibuchi, Kiyotaka Sato and Junko Shimizu); and ESG Investing (in Japanese, Nikkei Pub., with Keiko Honda); more than 130 academic (refereed) journal articles, including in Econometrica, American Economic Review, and Journal of Monetary Economics; and chapters in books on international finance, monetary policy, and the Japanese economy. His research interests include capital flows and currency crises, microstructures of the foreign exchange rates, and inflation targeting. He was awarded the National Medal with Purple Ribbon in June 2011 for his excellent academic achievement.