Wednesday, November 10, 2021

RIP Tracy Mott

 Tracy Mott has died at 75, a well-known Post Keynesian economist and nice guy.  I was Facebook friends with him, and from there he seemed fine, actively posting and commenting.  Indeed, in the obit I saw for him it did not say what he died of.  But I guess one can post there even when one is not well.  He died in Denver where he had long lived and been in the economics department at the University of Denver, which he served as Chair of for quite a long time, building it up as a center of heterodox economic thinking.

Tracy took some time to get into economics.  He was long interested in the problems of inequality and poverty, but he had an earlier academic degree from Union Theological Seminary.  However, he never became a minister, and I am not sure what his religious affiliation was at any point. Apparently he worked for various charitable and government agencies associated with combating poverty. Somewhere along the line all this work led him to decide he should pursue the study of economics.

He ended up at Stanford for his graduate study, and his major professor was Don Harris, father of the current US vice president. His main academic interest came to be on the work of Michal Kalecki and the relationship of it to that of Keynes.  The obit I saw online identified him as being interested in "Keynesian economics," no mention of Post or of Kalecki.  But in fact he was more interested in Kalecki and his most cited publications were in the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics. And it was at Post Keynesian conferences that I first met him, although I would see him elsewhere as well.  

I always liked and respected Tracy.  He was a good guy and a good progressive economist. I shall miss him.

Barkley Rosser

1 comment:

Peter Dorman said...

Sad news, Barkley. I liked Tracy quite a bit too, a person of real substance. I realize now I hadn't seen him in many years (our work didn't overlap at all), which makes it all the worse.