Last October, the Grim Reaper cut down my long-time colleague and friend, Bill Niskanen – Chairman Emeritus of the Cato Institute. If Niskanen’s loss wasn’t bad enough, I learned in April that I had lost another friend and brilliant economist, Ralph Turvey. On September 14th, we will celebrate Ralph’s life at the Reform Club, in London. For this event, I prepared the following, a “remembrance.”
I feel as though I cut my economic eye teeth on “Turvey.” Yes, I even wrote two articles with titles that contained the word “Turvey:”
- “Project Evaluation During Inflation, Revisited: A Solution to Turvey’s Relative Price Change Problem”, Water Resources Research, Vol. 17, No. 6, December 1981.
- “’On Turvey’s Benefit-Cost ‘Short-Cut’: A Study of Water Meters”, Land Economics, Vol. 58, No. 1, February 1982.
But, my favorite remembrance of Ralph wasn’t from economics, per se. Once, after Ralph had abandoned his regular duties at LSE in the 1960s, I asked him why he still embraced the title, “Professor.” He immediately replied, and with twinkle in his eye: “Well Steve, in London, the title ‘Professor’ can still pull the first table in a proper restaurant.”
We both then had a very good laugh and resumed our intense discussion on the beauty of water meters.