Douglass C. North, PhD, co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the Spencer T. Olin Professor Emeritus in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, died Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at his summer home in Benzonia, Mich. He was 95.
An economic historian, North examined the effects of institutions on the development of economies through time. His work shed new light on economic development in Europe and the United States before and in connection with the industrial revolution. He emphasized the role of property rights and institutions.
North joined Washington University in 1983 as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Law and Liberty in the Department of Economics in Arts & Sciences after serving 33 years on the economics faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle.
He also served as director of Arts & Sciences’ Center in Political Economy from 1984 to 1990. He remained active in teaching and research at Washington University until his health began failing over the past few years.
He and Robert Fogel, PhD, an economist then with the University of Chicago, were co-recipients of the 1993 Nobel in economic sciences “for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change.”