Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Sir Tony Atkinson, 1944-2017

I was saddened to hear of the passing of the British economist Sir Tony Atkinson recently. Atkinson was one of the giants of the economic analysis of poverty and inequality and a sometime co-author of both Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. His latest book, "Inequality: What Can Be Done?" is currently sitting in my to-be-read-soon pile (along with Branko Milanovic's latest book on global inequality). The Financial Times has a good obituary of Atkinson. Here's one bit:
For more than 50 years Atkinson battled for economics to take poverty and inequality seriously, crediting his interest in the subject to a stint of voluntary service working at a deprived hospital in Hamburg in the mid-1960s. From 1967 when he took up a fellowship at St John’s College, Cambridge, he dedicated himself to the theory and the practicalities of understanding differences in society.
Tutor2u.net has collected tributes to Atkinson here, and this piece by Beatrice Cherrier is a nice reminiscence that covers his many contributions. He will be missed.

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