The Hidden Cost of Privatization

We mourn the loss of our dear friend and mentor Nina Shapiro, Professor of Economics at St. Peter’s College and a major contributor to the field of post-Keynesian economics since the 1970s. Nina passed away last week at the age of 71 from complications due to cancer. She is survived by her husband Richard Garrett, retired Professor of Economics, Marymount Manhattan College and daughter Emma Garrett at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Nina wrote about the history of economic thought, the theory of the firm and innovation, and about 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 published regularly in 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.

Nina received her doctorate at The New School for Social Research in New York City and became an integral part of the post-Keynesian and Marxian Economics Department at Rutgers University in the late 1970s and 1980s, which included Paul Davidson, Alfred Eichner, Jan Kregel, Lourdes Beneria, Michele Naples and others. She was a unique intellectual in her ability to identify the instability of capitalism with its underlying logic of competition and to embed that in a deep philosophical sense of the meaning of economic life. She was one of very few women in the field of Post Keynesian economics. A brilliant teacher of the history of economic thought and heterodox microeconomics, Nina mentored two generations of economists, including the two of us. A memorial service will be held in May and we will send details when they are available.

-Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University
-Will Milberg, The New School for Social Research

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