In Memoriam: Professor James P. Smith
The Ph.D. Program in Economics regrets to announce the death of former Assistant Professor of Economics James P. Smith.
The Ph.D. Program in Economics regrets to announce the death of former Assistant Professor of Economics and central appointment in the Economics program James P. Smith on August 10, 2022, at the age of 79.
Smith taught at the Graduate Center from 1971 through 1974. During that period, he also was a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. After leaving the Graduate Center, he was an economist at the RAND Corporation until 2020. At RAND, a nonprofit research institute based in Santa Monica, California, he served as the director of the Labor and Population Studies program from 1977 to 1994. He also held the Distinguished Chair in Labor Markets and Demographic Studies at RAND.
Smith published widely on topics ranging from education to immigration to wealth inequality. More recently, he authored numerous widely cited studies on health outcomes and economic status worldwide. In addition, he assembled the scientific and financial support to create the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). That study is one of the most widely used in the social sciences. In 2020, he joined Rose Li & Associates as a senior research associate and continued to contribute to research related to health outcomes.
“Jim was a truly great labor and health economist," said CUNY Graduate Center Distinguished Professor Emeritus Michael Grossman (Economics, Business), who taught with him from 1972 through 1974 and remained friends with him until he died. "Many of the alumni of the economics program who received degrees in the mid to late 1970s received excellent training and mentoring from him.”