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IZA World of Labor author Edward Lazear passes away

IZA World of Labor author Edward Lazear passes away

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Edward Lazear, Stanford University professor, and one of the first contributors to IZA World of Labor. Published in 1995, his book titled Personnel Economics established a new field in labor economics: it focused on human resource practices and incentives in organizations. He made important contributions in education, immigration, productivity and entrepreneurship, and was described as “perhaps the foremost labor economist of his generation.”

An intellectual successor to economist and Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, Lazear founded the Society of Labor Economists and later served as its president. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Labor Economics. In his honor the Society created the Edward Lazear Prize, to be given biennially to recognize the recipient who has shown excellence in research, provided exemplary service to the field, and contributed to civil society through government service or a public policy setting.

Dr. Lazear served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors from 2006 to 2009 and as such he was the chief economic advisor to President George W. Bush, holding a cabinet-level post as part of the White House team that led the response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In a statement on the sad passing of Edward Lazear, President George W. Bush wrote that: “Laura and I are heartbroken by the death of our dear friend, Dr. Edward P. Lazear. The renowned economist and respected Stanford professor had a brilliant mind and a joyful spirit.”

IZA World of Labor Editor-in-Chief Daniel S. Hamermesh also shared his sympathies, saying: “In a variety of ways, Ed was an inspiration to a whole generation of economists, including many contemporaries. His seriousness about economics has always been a beacon, reflected both in his own work and in his discussions of others’ work. […] Ed Lazear was a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”