REMEMBERING LANCE TAYLOR, 1940-2022
The following message was sent to the NSSR community today from Dean Will Milberg:
"I am writing to share that Lance Taylor, NSSR Professor Emeritus of Economics and the former Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development, died on August 15 in Washington, Maine. He was 82 years old.
"Lance was one of the world’s leading thinkers in development economics and macroeconomic theory. He was a pioneer in the field of structuralist macroeconomics, and he added a deep understanding of institutions, power, and inequality into the analysis of the dynamics of developing economies. His scholarship brought the insights of Keynes and Kalecki regarding aggregate demand and income distribution squarely into contemporary discussions of macroeconomic policy and economic development.
"Born in Montpelier, Idaho on May 25, 1940, Lance received a BS with honors in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1962 and a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1968. In 1993, he left a full professorship at MIT — then home to the top-ranked economics department in the world, where he mentored Paul Krugman, Sandy Darity, and Eduardo Amadeo —to join a distinguished group of economists here at NSSR, including David Gordon, John Eatwell, and Alice Amsden.
"At NSSR, Lance mentored a generation of students who are now among the leading heterodox economists in the world, including Nelson Barbosa, Laura Carvalho, Michalis Nikiforos, Özlem Ömer, Ute Pieper, Codrina Rada, Armon Rezai, Daniele Tavani, Matias Vernengo, Rudi von Arnim, and many others. He joined our Center for Economic Policy Analysis (now SCEPA) as a Research Fellow in 1995 and became Director in 1996. Although he retired from NSSR as Professor Emeritus in 2012, he continued working with SCEPA and in2013, he and close NSSR Economics colleague Duncan Foley launched the SCEPA Sustainability Project to investigate how nations can reconcile their needs for growth, stability, and sustainability. They received the 2015 Leontief Prize for their work.
Read more in this SCEPA tribute here, and watch his 2019 SCEPA Heilbroner Memorial Lecture here.
"In addition to his work at NSSR, Lance was an in-demand consultant to progressive governments around the world and to many UN agencies concerned with economic development, income inequality, and climate change. He was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, Universidade deBrasilia, Delhi University, and the Stockholm School of Economics, as well as a visiting scholar or policy advisor in over 25 countries, including Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Russia, Egypt, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Pakistan, India, and Thailand.
"His scholarly contributions are voluminous and varied. He had enormous intellectual range, functioning both as a top-rate theorist of macro-modeling and as a deep analyst of contemporary political economy developments around the world. His books, often co-authored with NSSR faculty and alumni, reflect this breadth, ranging from works of mathematical modeling (Reconstructing Macroeconomics: Structuralist Proposals and Critiques of theMainstream), to development economics (Growth and Policy in Developing Countries: A Structuralist Approach, with José Antonio Ocampo and Codrina Rada), to contemporary political economy debates (Macroeconomic Inequality fromReagan to Trump, with Özlem Ömer; Global Finance at Risk, with John Eatwell; The Market Meets its Match: Restructuring the Economies of Eastern Europe, withAlice Amsden and Jacek Kochanowicz), to the history of economic ideas (Maynard'sRevenge: The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics). His articles were published often in academic journals, and in recent years he was a regular contributor to the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
"Throughout his career at The New School, Lance lived in Maine and ran an award-winning goat farm with his wife, Yvonne. Those who visited him there reported that he felt as comfortable milking and shearing the goats as he did solving systems of differential equations.
"Jim Miller, NSSR Professor of Politics and Liberal Studies who became close friends with Lance, shares: 'Lance Taylor was a born nonconformist raised in modest circumstances in the mountain West, with a profound dislike of BS as well as of injustice, and a razor-sharp mind. He was someone who wanted to make the world a better place, but also wanted to be left in peace to raise goats on his farm in Maine. And that is why he decided to leave behind the cozy club of Cambridge’s liberal economists and come to TheNew School, where he could be around other outsiders, and other people who didn't give a damn about being clubbable.'