Obituary: Nina Shapiro

[received from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College]

The Institute grieves to announce the death on March 6 of Nina Shapiro, Professor of Economics Emeritus at St. Peter’s College, one of the first Levy Institute Visiting Scholars and a major contributor to the field of post-Keynesian economics. Nina passed away last week at the age of 71 from complications due to cancer.

Nina was best known for her work on the post-Keynesian theory of the firm and innovation, as well as the history of economic thought, and macroeconomic theory. Her work was rooted in the tradition of Marx, Keynes, Kalecki and Steindl. She was a deeply creative thinker who connected Marxian and Marshallian ideas on competition with the macroeconomics of Keynes and Steindl. An essay published at the start of her career, “The Revolutionary Character of Post Keynesian Economics” (Journal of Economic Issues, 1977) made an enduring case for the rejection of scarcity as the basis for economic analysis. She was a founder member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics and at the time of her death was at work on a book on the theory of the firm.

Trained in the nascent political economy doctoral program of The New School for Social Research with Edward Nell, Robert Heilbroner, David Gordon and Anwar Shaik, she was a part of the Rutgers University Livingston College program in post-Keynesian Economics along with Paul Davidson, Alfred Eichner, Jan Kregel, Bruce Steinberg, Lourdes Beneria, Robert Guttmann and Michele Naples. One of very few women in the field of Post Keynesian economics she was a brilliant teacher of the history of economic thought and heterodox microeconomics and mentored two generations of Rutgers graduate students in economists including Fernando Cardim de Carvalho, William Millberg, Andrea Terzi and Radhika Balakrishnan.