William Baumol, Renowned Economist and Former AAUP Leader, Dies at 95

We note with sadness the death of economist William Baumol, a former AAUP leader and long-serving chair of the Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession. Baumol is best known for identifying the phenomenon now known as Baumol’s cost disease, which explains why the cost of services such as college educations increases more rapidly than the cost of goods. He was a professor of economics at Princeton University and New York University.

Baumol was elected to AAUP membership in 1960 and served as chair of the Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession from 1961 to 1970. From 1967 to 1970, he also served on the Special Joint Committee on Representation, Bargaining, and Sanction. He was first vice president of the AAUP from 1968 to 1970.

Peter Steiner, who succeeded Baumol as chair of the Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession, wrote of his predecessor that “the rise in real academic compensations during his tenure was large, and was significantly influenced by his efforts."

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017