We Are Deeply Saddened by the Death of Professor J. Peter Neary

18 June, 2021

With profound regret, CERGE-EI announces that Professor J. Peter Neary, Emeritus Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, Merton College, University of Oxford, and member of the CERGE-EI Executive and Supervisory Committee and Board of Trustees, passed away on June 16 at the age of 71. 

His colleagues from CERGE-EI's Executive and Supervisory Committee (ESC) mourn the loss of a renowned colleague and extend sincere condolences to his family. They remember him as a fantastic scholar and a great human being, a very kind and generous person with a wonderful sense of humor.

"Peter was an excellent economist and a devoted member of the ESC at CERGE-EI. We will all miss him. Our thoughts are with his family," said Professor Jan Švejnar, Chairman of the ESC and Professor of International and Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Economic Governance at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.

"Anyone who ever met Peter will remember his humor, warmth, and infectious enthusiasm. He was humble, despite his enormous achievements, and was enormously supportive of young economists wherever he met them," said Ole Jann, Assistant Professor at CERGE-EI.

"The unexpected and shocking death of Peter Neary caught us all yesterday in dismay and left us in deep sorrow," said Associate Professor Krešimir Žigić. "It is such a devastating loss for his family, Oxford, CERGE-EI, and the whole universe of international trade and other academic economists. Peter was such a likeable and humble person with a neat sense of humor, always smiling and laughing and ready to chat on any topic... It was a big honor and privilege for me to know Peter and spend some precious time in his company, to be able to co-operate with him and learn from him all these years."

Professor Neary was an applied theorist with a particular interest in international trade, whose research contributions earned him an international reputation in his field and beyond. He was educated at University College Dublin and Oxford, where he completed his D.Phil. in 1978. He was a post-doctoral Visiting Scholar at MIT and a Visiting Professor at Princeton, Berkeley, Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario), the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, and the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. He received numerous honors and awards.

"He was an incredibly versatile scholar within the field of international trade, covering and significantly contributing to all its aspects," commented Professor Žigić. "Starting with the already classic concept of 'Dutch disease', whose importance reaches far beyond the benches of the academia, to the concepts of industrial and strategic trade policy, to incorporating oligopoly into the general equilibrium framework, study of multi-product firms in international trade, modeling firms’ heterogeneity and its implications for the distribution of sales and markups, to tackling important issues of the political economy of international trade. Peter’s meticulous  approach to any issue was fascinating indeed. He would always clearly describe the conditions and assumptions of the model that he studied, inform us what his model can and cannot achieve, and was always able to put it in a broader, more general context. Moreover, he would often point to the hidden limitations of the existing models and approaches that nobody had detected before him and, at the same time, offer elegant solutions, generalizations and extensions of these models."

Please join us in expressing our deepest condolences to Professor J. Peter Neary's family and friends.