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In memoriam: Douglass North

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Douglass C. North, one of the greatest economists of our time, a Nobel prize winner responsible for reinventing institutional economics, died this week at the age of 95. His passing follows those of other notable institutional and political economists in the past few years, such as Elinor Ostrom, James Buchanan, Ronald Coase, and his Nobel co-recipient Robert Fogel, all champions of the new approach to examining economic interactions, and all, just like North, with groundbreaking contributions to the field. Together with Olivier Williamson and Ronald Coase, he was attributed as the pivotal co-founder of the New Institutional Economics school of thought, a school of thought I personally favor and advocate. 

Out of all academics North arguably led the most exciting life. He was a navigator for the US Merchant Marines during WWII, a passionate photographer, a deep-sea fisherman, an heir to an insurance fortune, a pilot (he had his own plane), a ranch owner, fancied fine dining and music …