Robert E. Lipsey

(1926-2011)

National Bureau of Economic Research/CUNY, United States




Over his long career, Robert E. Lipsey made major contributions to the measurement and understanding of international price levels, international trade flows, multinationals and foreign direct investment. Lipsey played important roles in the NBER’s Conference on Research in Income and Wealth and the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW). He acted as a consultant to U.S. government agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and international agencies such as the United Nations. He also worked to improve and make available firm level data. As a teacher, Lipsey was a lecturer at Columbia from 1961 to 1964. He taught at Queens College from 1967 to 1995. He was a member of the faculty at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a Ph.D. dissertation advisor up to his final days. Lipsey’s approach to research was formed by his experiences at the NBER. During the 1950’s the NBER staff included Milton Friedman, Raymond Goldsmith, John Kendrick, George Stigler and Simon Kuznets. In addition to his scholarly writing, Lipsey made many contributions to the broader community of scholars. In his capacity as Director of the New York office of the NBER and as an active member of the NBER International Trade and Investment group he encouraged empirical research in international economics and he mentored generations of talented empirical researchers. He was a longstanding member of the NBER conference on Income and Wealth. He served on its executive committee and he co-organized three conferences, Volume 52 edited with Helen Stone Tice (Lipsey and Tice, 1989), Volume 59 edited with Robert E. Baldwin and J. David Richardson (Baldwin, Lipsey and Richardson, 1998) and Volume 61 edited with Alan Heston (Heston and Lipsey, 1999). He also participated fully in the activities of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW).